Hi, it is Bob.
Last night after our Discovery Bible Study was over my daughter told me, "Dad, that did not work well."
The discussion with the adults went fine. The problem was the children. They were banging on the piano, making it hard for the adults to hear. My daughter ended up leaving the group repeatedly to quiet them down. She missed a good portion of the study.
She went on to suggest that we change everyone's expectations: "Let's call this Family Church and design it so that the children have a reason to be here".
Together we worked out a new outline (below) which includes :
- The children participate in Caring For Each Other. The children are 3 - 6 years old, and can tell about their week.
- Then comes a time of free play.
- After the passage is read the children are invited to rejoin us so that an adult can tell them what we read.
- One member then explains the craft or activity related to this passage that the children will work on while the adults finish the Discover and Application sections.
- All adults are encouraged to help the children when needed
- At the end of Application the children rejoin, show their craft and tell what they have learnt.
- We pray for each of the families
We are going to try this the next time we get together. I'll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, how about sharing how you involve children in your DBS?
Caring for each other (includes children)
1. Welcome children. Set tone for family church.
2. What are you thankful for this week?
3. What has been difficult over the past week? How can we help?
Accountability (children have quiet free play)
4. Have you seen God at work in anyone's life since the last time we met?
5. Have you had any good talks with people about God since the last time we met? Tell us the highlights.
6. How have you helped people outside of your family?
Discover (children continue freeplay until after story is read)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus the Way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13 And I will do whatever you askin my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
7. Invite children back to group. Ask someone to tell the story to the children.
8. Explain to children the craft or activity related the story that they will work on while adults finish discussion. (Adults to help children as needed)
9. What stood out to you in this passage?
10. What did you like or find significant about this passage?
11. What does this passage tell us about God?
12. What does this passage tell us about people?
Application (children working on craft)
13. What are some possible ways people could apply this passage?
14. What is one way you will apply this passage in the next week?
15. What are some possible ways to introduce this passage to others?
16. What needs can we meet in the community?
17. Invite children back into group. Children show craft; tell what they have learnt
18. Pray for families
19. When do you want to meet again?