This is the craziest things I've ever seen in my lifetime. The whole world brought to a standstill.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 being classified as a pandemic, many states in America are taking drastic actions to contain it and slow the spread. New York, Ohio, California, Washington, and my home state of Oregon are just five of a growing number of states on that list.
Here in Oregon, our Governor has issued a statewide ban on gatherings over 250 people for the next four weeks, closed schools, and declared a state of emergency.
This is wild.
Because of the ban on large gatherings, churches here (and all across the country) have been forced to make decisions they never dreamed of. Many of the churches here in Eugene, Oregon have decided the best course of action is to pursue an online worship format for the next few weeks.
We will be streaming our services, following up with members, especially our seniors, through phone calls, texts, and emails, and encouraging our people to look for opportunities to show charity and compassion to their co-workers, friends, and neighbors.
But what about kids and parents? What are we doing for them?
As a Kid's Pastor, I want to find a way to connect with the kids in my church during this crazy season. I want to be able to support families and give them options for how they can have "church" even though they can't come to our building.
It's been amazing to watch how Christian businesses and organizations, including the people that write our children's curriculum, Orange, have been so willing to offer help during this time. So as I was hearing of these options, I thought I would try to put them all in one place and share them with you.
These are not my ideas or plans. I can't take credit for them. But I'm a firm believer in NOT re-inventing the wheel. So here are some great remote options for Kid's Ministries and families for such a time as this.
Remote Solutions for Your Children’s Ministry - a comprehensive plan for your ministry to stay consistent while you keep your families safe. https://bit.ly/2W6Kib9
Story and Worship Experiences - weekly video presentations that go along with our current First Look and 252 Kids curriculum. You can distribute this week's presentations to families using this shareable link. https://bit.ly/3aMZ76I
Helping Kids Navigate Anxiety Podcast - on this episode, Sissy Goff, Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee, shares tools for leaders helping kids process anxiety. https://bit.ly/2TZx1OR
Partnering with parents is always important, and it can be especially helpful in times of uncertainty. Consistent communication builds trust, and it also equips the parent to have spiritual conversations at home. Below are a couple of tools to help you connect digitally with families during this time.
Parent Cue App - this free app gives parents weekly cues that are aligned with the content in the video presentations. https://bit.ly/2wTCNtG
Promo Kit for Parent Cue App - https://bit.ly/38RbXja
Managing Fear and Anxiety During a Health Pandemic - a blog post for parents on managing anxiety during any number of life disruptions. https://bit.ly/2Q6kJTG
Manejando El Miedo y La Ansiedad Durante Una Pandemia de Salud. https://bit.ly/2xwHXvH
Anxiety Conversation Guides - helping a child with anxiety is a challenge. Parents can download these age-appropriate resources to find tips and practical ways to help their children.
(Preschool) - https://bit.ly/33eSacg
(Elementary) - https://bit.ly/38LkjZs
LifeWay Kids at Home includes a video session along with a downloadable activity page and conversation starters. To access LifeWay Kids at Home, please have each of your families follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to my.lifeway.com/redeem
Step 2: Register if you are a new user or log in if you already have an account. This is completely free.
Step 3: Enter this redemption code: VZMD4SSQ38
Step 4: Click “Access” (if prompted to sign in again, sign in) and then click “My Dashboard,” and go to LifeWay Kids at Home
Step 5: Download your Activity Page and One Conversation Sheet to use as you watch the video session.
Content will be updated weekly as needed. Free to all churches and the families they minister to.
Life.Church Open Network
D6 is offering three months of free devotional guides for families on the D6 app! When events get canceled, families stay at home. Togetherness provides an opportunity.
Download on Apple
Download in Google Play
SPYENCE: MISSION X
Note: This is made by a church in Corvallis, Oregon. Curt Nelson, Kid's Pastor at Northwest Hills Community Church, has a huge heart for kids and families...and a great imagination!
Church-At-Home Kit For Families: "Spyence: Mission X" is a new curriculum that's presented as a Disney-channel show with a Biblical lesson. (1st week of curriculum free)
That's it for now. If I come across anymore I will be sure to add them to this list, so be sure to save this post!
Whatever your church or family choose to do, remember these words from the Apostle Paul:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What other steps are you taking to make sure your church/family stay spiritually healthy? Let me know in the comments.