If there is a theme to my closest circle of childhood friends, it’s that we all attended United Methodist churches as youth. We were a part of Methodist Youth Fellowship. This means we spent our summers playing late-night, sweaty, parking lot volleyball tournaments against each other. We passed our winters curled up in drafty cabins or hunting jackalope on Mingus Mountain. We danced far too close wearing far too much Jovan/Sand and Sable to Boyz II Men at countless dances and lock-ins. We adventured for weeks in vans trekking across the western United States volunteering in forests, sleeping on hard church floors and eating copious amounts of Taco Bell until we thought we would eventually ring.
And at some point, we became adults and scattered.
It’s funny to think of it now — the Yas — all in this group. As are many of my closest male friends. I spent so much of my teenage awkward years in a church fellowship hall flirting, eating pizza and rolling my jeans, it is amazing I learned anything from my pastor. Most of my friends don’t attend church today. Just as I can’t imagine my life without it, they cannot image theirs with it. To each is own.
On top of a few of the other changes happening around here this week, I’ve accepted a part-time gig at my church to help with children’s ministries. I am really looking forward to creating a MYF group, strengthening Sunday school curriculum, getting more kids and parents involved and making church a fun place for little ones to come spend time.
So — this is where you come in. Do you have any happy memories of church as a child? What and how did you learn that you still remember today? If you are a parent, what types of activities do you like to see your children involved in with church? What seems to work?
I am completely new to this type of ministry and would love any suggestions of books, activities, etc you may have. So, please delurk and leave a comment.
P.S. Get the girls in the car and we’ll still sing any Boyz II Men song at the top of our lungs. Also, we’ve been known recently to still enjoy copious amounts of Taco Bell.