Every Wednesday at 6:00 pm we gather for “Family Night”, an inter-generational education and social time. The model is fairly simple. We eat together at 6:00, with food prepared by some of the folks among us. Around 6:30 we hear about the night’s scripture story. Then we split into small groups with age-appropriate discussion of the lesson. Younger folks do crafts or music, older sit in discussion circles, while youth do their own thing.
The idea for Family Night was pretty simple. Up until last year we ran a traditional Sunday School. We heard that teachers and students were feeling isolated, maybe even abandoned in a sense. Kids would come and get dropped off in a little room, where they’d sit and “learn” for an hour. We didn’t have enough activity, connection, or interwoven relationships.
We heard this and thought, “Instead of dismissing that feedback or trying to convince more people to be a part of the system we already have, why not change the system based on what people are telling us they need? What if we started with the idea that God is learned best through relationships with each other and let everything else flow from that?” Family Night was born.
Now instead of a couple classes of children, we welcome 60-80 people of all ages. Our facilitators and participants see from moment one that they’re not alone in this…that we all find God’s family important. Parents and children can come together, talking about the experience on the way there and back. We’re not separating people anymore. We’re daring to believe God works through all of us.
We haven’t forgotten Sunday mornings either. Our youth are beginning to lead younger participants in activities that fill the space left by Sunday School: music and Veggie Tales movies and all kinds of stuff. (Right now we’re rehearsing for our Christmas Pageant!) Once again we’re trying to make connections, trusting that God’s grace will come through many hands, and working together.
Come experience Family Night for yourself if you haven’t already! It’s an easy way to get to know people and a safe environment to start learning and talking about God.
--Pastor Dave 208-362-1112 / firstname.lastname@example.org