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Children's church is an important part of most modern Christian congregations. Keeping kids entertained while simultaneously teaching them about the Bible and God is a challenge, but especially so if your children's program is underfunded. Fear not, for there are free group activities available online or easily created by the adventurous children's church leader. The activities below are intended for children in primary to middle school grades, although with some modifications they could be made appropriate for either younger or older children.
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Music and singing are an important part of any church service. A full group activity for children in church is singing worship songs. Most children enjoy singing and there does not have to be any cost to this activity. Websites such as Worship Archive offer free lyrics and guitar chords for popular church worship music. If you don't have a guitarist, children can sing a cappella and still enjoy the experience and the chance to worship God.
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Many children's church programs are expanding to include drama programs where either the children act out Bible stories or they use puppets to reenact real issues children face with a Biblical theme. Some plays have a fee, but you can find sample skits for free. You might also decide to write skits based on Bible stories and have students act them out. Older children could make a modern day version of a Biblical story after learning about one in church.
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Playing group games that increase Bible knowledge is a great way to both engage children and strengthen their understanding of the Bible. Games like Bible Battle, where children engage in a human war game, dependent on their being able to find books or verses in the Bible can help kids navigate the Bible and have fun. For younger children, you might use a flattened box and have them try and see how many animals (other children) they can fit in their ark. Discussions about the purpose after the game will round out the learning.
Other Group Activities
Other group activities are designed around specific stories of the Bible. After learning about how Jesus called his followers to serve others, have children serve each other drinks, or cookies or some other snack. Split students into Jews and Samaritans and then read the story of the Good Samaritan. In groups, students role-play their parts and how each treated the Good Samaritan. Discussions after each activity are important to make sure that students learn the necessary information.
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