Recently we hosted a Princess Party at our church. We had over 800 people attend the event. 60% of people were not regular church attenders. We received a lot of positive feedback after the event about how much people enjoyed coming to the event. Here are some of the things we included at the Princess Party:
Four times a year we do an event that is meant for families to do something together.
Gingerbread Party – to kick off the Christmas Season
Princess Party – in the winter
Family BBQ – during our EPIC kids summer camp week
LEGO Party – in the spring
Here are some pictures of our LEGO Party and what we did:
I went out for lunch with my family after church on Sunday to celebrate the last few days of freedom before school started. While we were eating, I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation happening at the table next to us. The lady was telling her friend about her experience growing up in a church. The now grandmother age lady recalled a building with hard pews that were uncomfortable to sit in, a pastor who spoke long, and a Sunday morning experience that was extremely boring. The religious experience was all about rules & consequences for breaking the rules. When she was old enough, she decided that she had no interest in this thing called church. The church has a challenge currently facing them. How do we keep kids from leaving church when they are grown up?
Crossroads church in Cincinnati, does a great job of communicating to parents what the lesson was about in the kids program. At the door of each room they have door signs that they change each week. They list 2 questions that parents can ask their child to start a discussion about that day’s lesson. I loved that it was simple, visual, and user friendly!
We have just finished an EPIC week at our church. Here is a little video I put together with highlights from this past week.
I am starting to plan for the fall & the events that we will do for this next ministry year.
To kick off the Christmas Season, we have a Gingerbread Party on the last Saturday in November. It is for families to build a Gingerbread House together. We have several stations that families can go to:
Gingerbread Station – all the ingredients needed to build a Gingerbread House. The house pieces are ready to be assembled. The icing is ready to go in a piping bag & there are 6-8 kinds of candies on each table for them to decorate their house with.
Craft Station – a fun foam gingerbread man ready to decorate. Glue & decorations ready to go.
Coloring Station – several options of Gingerbread people & houses ready for coloring.
Bounce House – to burn off some of that sugar.
Photo Booth – a professional photographer takes photos of families. They are emailed a link where they can download their pics.
Snack Station – home made sweet treats to have a little snack so they don’t eat all the candy before it gets on the Gingerbread House.
Take Home Bag – info about our upcoming Christmas Events at our church, Christmas stickers & coloring sheets.
This event is for church families & for families from the community. It’s a great opportunity for church families to invite non-church friends.
Family Dedications happen several times a year at our church. We hold this event on Saturdays from 4-5pm. Here’s what we do:
Dedication Service – We hold a 30 minute service where the dedication ceremony takes place. We have live music, video, & a talk from our lead pastor about parenting. This is also the time in the event where families who are participating come to the front, and make their commitment to raise their child to follow Jesus and grow in a relationship with Him. This service is family friendly. There are a lot of young children, so it’s not really a quiet event. I have preschool packages ready for children to pick up on their way in. This includes coloring pages (all about families of course), a pack of 4 crayons, stickers, goldfish and pipe cleaners to play with.
Reception – After the service, we have cake for everyone. We create an atmosphere for families to chat with their friends and family, and to get to know other families with children.
Excellence is found in the details. We want our families to feel like they have come to a first class event. Here are a few things that we include in every event:
Decorations – tablecloths & fancy decor as much as your budget will allow.
Food – we try to do a great job of this, so a 3 tier cake it is!
Frames – Each child receives a Frame that has been personalized with their name, photo, the date of the event, & the Bible verse that their parent’s chose for them.
Blessings Booklets – We hand make a Blessings Booklet for each child. Friends and family can write a prayer, poem, or special message for the child. Great keepsake.
Professional Photographer – We book someone to take photos of the event as well as family portraits. After the event, families can download these pics for free.
The following Sunday – We want the church to partner with these families as they raise their children. Because we have 4 services on a Sunday morning, we video the Dedication Event, and then show a 2-3 minute video of the families at the Dedication Event.
If you have any questions about how we run our event, feel free to comment below.
A few times a year we hold a Family Dedication Event. Instead of calling it a baby dedication, we call it a family dedication. It’s a chance for parents to:
#1 Publicly thank God for these children
#2 To commit themselves to raising their children to follow God
#3 To ask for God’s blessings on their children
#4 To ask the church to partner with them
We give each family a framed picture like the pic shown above. It’s a great keepsake of the day, and reminds parents of the commitment they made to raise their children in a God-honoring way.
We hold our events on a Saturday afternoon. To see photos and find out details about what we do at our dedication event, be sure to read “Family Dedications – Part 2”.
When you walk the halls in the kids area at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, you will find these pictures displayed. They are trying to encourage families to grow spiritually together. The visual images show examples of families serving together, or reading the Bible together etc. Many of the display boards include a Bible verse that families can read as they pass by. I love that it is a visual reminder to families that they can do things together as a family to grow spiritually.