My family took on making children's lesson videos. It was my suggestion, and the Elders allowed us to make them. Since we were no longer meeting together for Sunday school or Children's Church, I just really wanted to do something for our kids ministry. We were continuing our worship services online, the adult bible studies on Sunday and Wednesday evenings continued online, but our children's Wednesday night program and Sunday night program were basically cancelled until further notice because we could no longer gather in large groups. I am in the church building at least 5 days a week, and our sons are usually there with me. I have access to curriculum, the whole church building and grounds, a decent smart phone, and a video editing program owned by the church. We work with a $0 budget, so we just use what we find around the church and our own house. We have recently recruited a few more kids to be a part of the videos, so our resources have expanded. Don't worry, the kids have permission from their parents.
I originally thought that I would just make a video of myself teaching the lesson. I was able to get the boys to be a part of each story, and now I am hardly in the videos at all. The boys usually act out the scenes, say a few lines or react to my narration. I adapt the lessons to fit storytelling on video, rather than in-classroom instruction. I do not know how my sons are learning, but I am learning! I have read the whole bible and I have volunteered in children's ministries for several years. I like to teach children and get them involved with the lessons. Working with my own children, though, is a difficult process. They do not always want to "act", or even follow instructions. I am learning to make things more fun, even though I am stressed. I always want to do a good job, but my kids usually just want to play. If you watch any of the videos, you will probably see that we were not shooting for perfection! The kids are having more fun now that their friends are involved. Their friends seem to want to do the scenes, so that helps everyone want to continue.
I did not realized how difficult making 5-minute videos would be. Cranky actors, faulty video equipment, a short-tempered director, last-minute script changes, and wardrobe malfunctions all add to the process. Once we have everything filmed and sent, Brian is able to use the computer program to make the final products. We like to say "Quiet on the set", even though we cannot control the neighborhood dogs' barking nor the noise of vehicles in the streets. The boys and I are getting used to being in front of a camera, reading from cue cards,and projecting our voices. I hope that some of these skills will help them later in life. But, I really just hope that the kids are learning from the actual bible lessons we are teaching others. The lessons are not just for other people, but for ourselves too.
The themes lately have been: obey God; choose to follow God; and trust God. Those are not just lessons for children! Through out biblical history, we get to see examples of men and women who have put their faith in God, even when situations were difficult. I know that life as a Christian is not always easy. I hope that my kids are seeing that their parents put God first. We want to make God the center of our lives, and we hope that God becomes the center of each of their lives too.
Matthew 19:13-15 (NIV)
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.