Last week we took our three-year-old grandson to the playground and found something extraordinary—children playing freely and happily together. This was extraordinary because last year at this time all the local playgrounds were roped off and closed to children. For a time, my grandsons were not even allowed in their favorite “man store” (building supply store). “No one under 15 allowed.” Let’s face it, it’s been a difficult year for kids. They haven’t felt welcomed in many places.
Children are hungry to be welcomed again. This provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to invite them to learn about the One who eagerly welcomes children into His glorious and eternal Kingdom.
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
One way to welcome children to this gospel hope is by hosting a Backyard Bible Club. Just think, your own backyard, no matter how big or small, can serve as a place to welcome children in Jesus’ name and teach them about His marvelous love, power, goodness, mercy, and redeeming work. Not sure what a Backyard Bible Club (BYBC) is all about? Here is a description from Sally Michael:
Every member of your family can take part in the wonderful ministry of a Backyard Bible Club—whether it be extending invitations, teaching a lesson, leading singing, supervising a craft or game, or just loving the children who come.
Here’s how the clubs work. Most meet for five sessions, usually five mornings or afternoons of the same week. Invite the children of your neighbors, coworkers, or relatives. Invite your children’s classmates or any children you know. Hold the club in your backyard…or front porch…or garage. Though an hour and a half is recommended, you could meet for as little as an hour or as much as three hours. Any size group will work as long as you have sufficient help for the number of children. Any age group from kindergarten to sixth grade can be included.
The main element of the club is a Bible teaching time, but singing, games, crafts, snacks, and worksheets can all be included. There is a handout for the parents each time, which gives you an opportunity to influence them as well as their children with the gospel.
Sometimes families or small groups partner to have a club. Sometimes a family will volunteer their yard and invite the children, and the church will provide a teacher. Some groups hold a program during the last club meeting or in the evening of the last day, inviting the parents to come.
To learn more about our Backyard Bible Club resources follow these links: