Just having returned from the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans I have one word to describe it… HOT! The minute I stepped off of the shuttle from the airport at the beginning of the event, I thought I was back in Houston (lived there for 15 years!)…Hot…Hot..and Humid!
With that said, a great response to the HOT, HOT days of summer is to major on some really COOL ministry ideas. Let’s break those down into three categories:
- COOL Water Ideas
- COOL Fellowship Ideas
- COOL Ministry Approaches
COOL Water Ideas
Swimming Pool Party for Kids or Leadership – Throw just a simple backyard pool bash at the home of a church member. Plan for water games/relays. Offer cool treats…waters, sodas, ice cream. If a backyard pool is not available, have a "pool" party in your fellowship area at church. Plan games using "kiddie" pools: bean bag toss into a pool, musical chairs around a pool, obstacle with various kiddie pools (jumping in and out of each.) Have fun trying to think of as many "water" stories as the group can from the Bible. Be ready to share one of the stories with life application.
Slip and Slide Party for Kids – Have a party in your yard or on the church lawn. Locate an old-fashioned "slip and slide." Kids of all ages enjoy this "cooling off" type of fun. Offer a Bible study about "slipping up" in life and how God forgives our mistakes.
Water Bottle Party for Kids or Leadership – Brain storm things to make out of water bottles: shakers for the Babies/Ones departments in your church; a ball toss game by cutting away the end and half of one side of a plastic bottle…use a small ball to toss back and forth between players; "Cozies" to decorate and place on water bottles for a nursing home. Offer a Bible study on "Thirsting after God."
COOL Fellowship Ideas
Watermelon Party – Offer games to play with watermelons: seed spitting contest; roll the water melon from side to side in a kiddie pool as a relay with several team members; watermelon rind paintings (dip various shapes of rind into paint and make a paint collage. Decorate with red, black and green. Serve ice-cold watermelon. Reflect on the story of creation and come up with other names for watermelons (if you had been Adam naming the fruits!)
Homemade Ice Cream Party/Make Your Own Sundae Party – Who doesn’t love homemade ice cream? Plan this for leadership. Have a contest with judges for tasting. Include as part of the party kids/leaders bring non-perishable foods for the hungry and deliver them to a local food bank. Build your own sundae is fun, too. Come up with some really "cool and crazy" toppings! Talk with kids/leaders about how we get "fed" at church.
Family Cake Decorating Party – Plan a time for families in your church to fellowship around cakes that have been made by each family. Challenge the families to work on the cakes jointly as a family…no matter what the ages of kids or parents…even include grandparents! Have judges! Just enjoy each others’ creations and fellowship. Allowing tasting "small bits" of each/multiple cakes. Share Bible wisdom on families.
COOL Ministry Approaches
Cool Emails to Teachers – Send an email to teachers whom you wish to affirm. Talk about how "cool" they. Describe an attribute of the teacher that makes them "cool" in your eyes and in the eyes of kids.
Cool Notes to Kids – Send notes to kids who need a little encouragement. Talk about their "cool" factor. Describe things about them that make them a "cool" kid, a "cool" friend.
Ice Cream/Yogurt Gift Cards – Send a frozen treat coupon/card to your fellow teachers. Add a note talking about your "cool" teaching team.