Friday, March 7, 2008

Kingdom Kids




























The following is an article I wrote for today's
Hoisington Dispatch.


Kingdom Kids Offers Fun with a Purpose


Three minutes isn't long, but it's enough to transform the Hoisington Bible Church building every Tuesday afternoon. At 3:00, the foyer is empty, the fellowship hall downstairs is neatly lined with rows of chairs, and the adjacent table is spread with cookies and forty cups of Kool-Aid. By 3:03, however, the first wave of kids has arrived from school, chattering and laughing and jostling. By 3:30, backpacks fill the foyer, kids fill the chairs, and there are no more cookies to be seen.

Welcome to Kingdom Kids, a weekly after-school Bible club for children in kindergarten through 6th grade. For the next ninety minutes, the kids will hear a Bible story, learn a Bible verse, play games, and sing songs—all of it what leader Roland Broeder likes to call “fun with a purpose!”


This is the sixth year that Hoisington Bible Church has been holding a kids' club. “Our purpose from the beginning,” Pastor Gary Clark explains, “was to make boys and girls aware that God has a plan and purpose for their lives, and that plan and purpose begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We want the kids to be 'kingdom kids': to know God and be a part of His family.”

In addition to Broeder and Pastor Clark, there are four regular staff from the Church and several others who help as needed. Some Church members give to fund the program; others provide supplies for the snack time that begins every Kingdom Kids club.

Predictably, “snack time!” is one enthusiastic answer you'll get if you ask the kids what their favorite part of Kingdom Kids is. Other responses include, “the games,” “singing,” “playing Zonk” (a popular review game), “meeting new people,” and “learning about Jesus.”


Broeder explains
his favorite part of Kingdom Kids using a story. “Three or four weeks ago, there was a little girl who got hurt, but she told me she didn't want to go home because she wanted to hear about God. It melted my heart! Hopefully, we're changing lives for eternity—and in the present, too.

Changing lives is a constant theme of the club. As the kids hear the adventures of Samuel, Saul and David from the Old Testament, they are challenged to apply what they learn to their own lives. “David had to wait years after Samuel anointed him king of Israel, before he actually began to rule as king,” Broeder teaches, “But what about you? Are you patient for God to reward you when He decides the time is right?”

Later, the kids work on memorizing I Peter 5:6, a verse about being humble and waiting on God's timing. Then they play a game, reviewing the Bible story by drawing pictures and letting their teammates guess what they're drawing. “Mountains!” one boy guesses when a row of triangles is drawn. “No, it's a crown!” another exclaims, “King Saul's crown that the messenger brought to David!” It's apparent they've been listening.

Why is it important to learn those old Bible stories? Pastor Clark says, “Because the Bible is God's unchanging truth for every situation and time. We want the kids to evaluate life decisions in light of what God teaches—everything from 'What should I do with my life?' to marriage to end-of-life decisions.”

That's a lot to get across to children when you only have an hour or two every week. But Pastor Clark recognizes parents play an important role, too. “We want to reinforce the moral and spiritual values that the children are learning at home. We appreciate the opportunity parents allow us to teach and work with their children.”

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