Working With a Bus Ministry and Church Programs
Working With a Bus Ministry and Church Programs
I will share some ideas from my experience that have worked best for me in doing children’s programs for the church.
When you are working with regular church children whose parents attend church, it is easier to have a nicer program with all the memorization parts. They are dependable and you know they will be there when you need to practice (for the most).
Bus kids are at church one week, and the next week somewhere else. I have given out parts one week, and the next week many did not show up for some reason or another.
What will work best is to prepare something that they can read their lines, using cool props and sing some songs that they have been working on in church for a long time.
One simple song with great choreography is better than a lot of singing that no one hears or done poorly.
To present something to your church can take as little as one practice walking up and down the platform, standing in a row, and walking to a microphone to speak into it so they are heard. Keep lines very simple and short.
To enhance the program, use a few of your youth for larger reading parts. This will certainly add a depth to your program. Give them a funny hat to wear and a music stand with their parts in front of them to read. It would be best if you have good readers for this, but do not be afraid to use someone who is not the best reader that you have. However, they need to know how to say the words correctly and be heard.
You can write simple lines for any holiday that the kids can recite. The people of your church love to see this and it will give them delight in knowing that you are doing a good job. (At least, it will appear you are when they see how the kids behave and perform).
Use the message bible to take stories from it. Have the youth do the larger reading such as a reader one and a reader two. Give smaller parts for the children to say. When you have extra kids, be sure to add in a part that they all say together at the end or every once in a while during the recitation of the other children.
If you really desire to have a nicer program/play, use some of your teachers or adults to do the main parts, add a few youth for other parts and use the kids for some simple songs. You can always write lyrics to an old tune that the kids enjoy singing to make it fit into your holiday or event. If you need help on writing lyrics, allow the kids to help you. What is your topic? Think of words about that topic. Add words that rhyme to the words you thought of. Now put them together. Add and take away words to fit the tune you want to sing them to. This really does work great!
Use anything for costumes and your imagination. For Christmas all carry baby dolls, hold stars, dress in gift wrapped card boxes with bows on their heads for Christmas, carry candy canes, ect. For Easter use stuffed bunnies, hats, flowers, colorful material cut on the fold and placed over their shoulders to match, carry Easter baskets, crosses. For Valentine’s Day use roses, large hearts, red and white crêpe paper on a cardboard to wave. For Thanksgiving use pumpkins, gourds, leaves, turkey hats, Indian and Pilgrim hats. For St. Patrick’s Day use shamrocks, green clothes or t-shirts, greenery, hats, green bow ties. For Grandparent’s Day use flowers to give away to all grandparents, paper hats that say “I LOVE Grandparents” for the kids to wear, provide breakfast. On Mother’s and Father’s Day, it is nice to have muffins for mom and donuts for dad and a basket of inexpensive gifts for a drawing. Give away “Best Mom” and “Coolest Dad” certificates to them all. Really just about anything will work that fits into your budget, church needs, or time available to be involved. Include Patriotic Day using stars, waving strips of light weight cloth, colors of red, white and blue, flags, ect. You must keep very simple and select what holidays that work best for your church. It you can manage at least 4 in the year with a large dinner during the same time will be great! Be sure to include Vacation Bible School Sunday. This has been a great time for me in attendance in having a guest speaker for the kids, and then a dinner following the service.
Dinners can be potluck or you can plan a menu such as about 5 items and assign people to bring this and use your youth to serve the dinner under an adult for supervision.
It is best to plan your parties, church dinners, around a special event for building momentum. Having a large dinner and a big crowd for a Thanksgiving celebration, then attempting to have another dinner in two weeks will probably not be successful. Think through all your events and how you plan and the purpose of each. The more children and youth that are involved in something up front on the platform is the best time to have a dinner or party following that. You will have more people and everyone of course will be tired, but it will be successful.
Wrap everything in prayer – no matter what you do. The Holy Spirit is the one who will reward our efforts and speak to the hearts or wake them up in the morning, give them desire to come, and help you win them to you and your church. It all takes time, but with effort, good and wise strategic planning, God will certainly help all your endeavors.
Be sure to have your congregation praying for you in all these endeavors; it will never hurt to pray too much! Give them a list of the names of your prospects to pray for on a daily basis. God moves in a powerful way by our prayers!
©Rev. Jeanne McIntosh 2011 all rights reserved.