Lara Schopp Articles, Children & Families, Monica Lewis

Family Worship Night this past Sunday was one of the best ever! No offense if you weren’t there. That’s not what made it so great. But you did miss out if you weren’t!

You may not know what Family Worship Night is. And if you don’t, the best way to know is to just come see it happening. I’m warning you now, it is chaos…but the good kind of chaos! We gather together a few evenings during the academic year for fun, to share a meal, and to engage in mission, worship and prayer as a family. We have activities that speak to children from birth to about 4th or 5th grade and even middle school students enjoy it. We typically focus on a theme or a specific story from the Bible. One time it was “Breakfast on the Beach,” another it was “The Five Senses,” and last week it was “Jesus Was a Refugee.” I always tell parents that one of the best parts of it is a free meal that you don’t have to cook. Believe me, that’s a huge perk!

I’m not sure what it was about the last one that made it so great. Maybe it’s because it’s freshest in my memory. Really, I think it’s several things.

I think it’s that Nancy Lear took the time to share with the children the journey a refugee family takes from their home country to their new home in Kansas City. She used bean bags tossed on building blocks to demonstrate war. She used a toy boat, train, car, and airplane to show all of the types of transportation they have to find along the way. She made tents out of construction paper (complete with green grass floors) to show the children what a refugee camp looks like. And she had the children put together a house for the refugee families using toy food, a tea set and doll house furniture. They loved it! I loved it.

I think it’s that children understand that something is happening in our world now. They hear their families talking. They hear and see the news on our devices. They go to school with people who are from other countries. They read books that teach them about refugees. They’re aware. And I think their minds are ready and waiting to learn and to grow.

I think it’s the game we played guessing which names were in the Bible and which weren’t. I think they saw their parents cracking up because they had no clue whether they should put their thumbs up or down. I think it’s because there were three pastors in the room who got most of the answers wrong…and they thought that was hilarious.

We had fun. And we learned. And we ate. And we grew together. And, I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds a whole lot like the meals Jesus shared with those others had cast aside.