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What If Series: Kids Church Museum

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Last week my wife and I took our four kids to the children’s museum right here in Las Vegas. We have an annual pass and our kids absolutely love it. This is an interactive museum. Kids can feel, touch, play and interact all while learning.

I was sitting down just looking around this two-story structure watching kids explore their world and having tons of fun doing it. All of a sudden I had a “what if” epiphany. What if children’s ministry was like this? For the most part most churches gather all the kids into a large group environment and/or small groups and teach kids about the Bible, etc. But, what if kid’s church had interactive exhibits instead? What if kids were dropped off into a place where they could explore the Bible, what it means to be a Christ follower by moving from one exhibit to another at their own pace? “Teachers” would be stationed at each exhibit ready to answer questions or help students engage in the activity. At the end (or beginning) they could all gather to worship and wrap up the church experience.

I don’t know any other church that does this. Our younger kids go from one room to another with different activities in each room, but this would be much different. This would be a huge facility that truly captures kids attention and allows a platform for leaders to build relationships and encourage kids like never before. Let’s be real, in every children’s ministry—including my own—some kids get bored. This structure allows kids to spend almost as much time as they want at one “exhibit” or they can visit as many as they want. Change the exhibits a few times a year—even rotate them to other children’s ministries. We could start a network where everyone shares exhibits just like real museums.

What are your thoughts? Could this work?

PJ
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8 Responses to “What If Series: Kids Church Museum”

  1. Christiaan says:

    Very interesting and fun idea! Like of like the rotation model, but updated!!

    • justynsmith says:

      Yes…very much like the good ‘ole rotation model, but very updated. Throw a few “roamers” in their to keep order, etc. The others would stay and facilitate their “exhibits”.

      -PJ

  2. mattsparling says:

    I love the idea but how do you keep it fresh week in and week out? Maybe it would work best for ‘summer camp’.

    • justynsmith says:

      Great point, but I think it could work. It would have to be something that the church would make a significant investment in. You could do something like 15 or so “exhibits” & every 3 months rotate them with different ones. Create enough for 1 year and you’d be good because you can go through them every year because of all the new kids coming to church. Just like museums you could get local companies to “sponsor” an exhibit that would help pay for all of them. So many things that could be done. :) -PJ

  3. I think this is an intriguing idea. It would certainly help address the various learning styles/attention spans of individual kids. The idea of several churches in an area banding together and putting together the components (and storing them) makes sense as well.

    Maybe there would also need to be a smaller group of “exhibits” for smaller spaces just like there are big and small museums. Those churches with large spaces could host something like field trips for those who can’t hold the big stuff on a day other than Sunday maybe.

    Thanks for starting the conversation.

  4. Happened to find this article that relates to what you’re talking about. http://www.childrensministry.com/backissues/detail.asp?ID=6326
    It’s a couple years old but still useful I think.

    I’m not in kidmin at the moment at my church, but that may change. Sensing I’m supposed to do more than my recent book. This whole interactive idea has the wheels turning in my head too :-)

    • justynsmith says:

      Cheryl, Great article. I remember reading that when it first came out. I think this “new” way of children’s ministry is neither small group nor stage show. I’m not sure what you’d call this interactive experience. Thanks for your comment.

      PJ

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. This Week in Children’s Ministry for 10/21/2009 - [...] Creative: Justyn Smith asked a great question after visiting a children’s museum. What if we created a place where …
  2. The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol (October 2009) « Dad In The Middle - [...] What If Series: Kids Church Museum [...]

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