Take Out Church

Take Out ChurchWe have been thinking of new ways to engage families in spiritual formation during the summer time.  So many families travel on weekends during the summer and that means missing worship and all the formation that happens at church on a Sunday morning.  How can we empower families to learn to worship together and to remember to take their faith with them on vacation?   How can we take church out on vacation with us?  Out of these questions grew the Take out Church box.  We will be giving a box to every family in our church this summer and inviting them to engage with us online to share how God is moving in them while they are away.  Each item in the box is designed to help us live into our mission as a church to “Worship God, Grow Disciples, and Love our Neighbors”.  We are in love with this idea and hope that it will continue to grow in our community.  As families take pictures with “Flat Jesus” we hope that they will post them on facebook and instagram taged #takeoutchurch so that we can enjoy the summer as a community.

Inside the box are the following items: Flat Jesus, Colored Pencils and pencil sharpener, scroll of bible coloring pages, flip card conversations starters, a prayer cube and Skittles prayers to guide prayers,  VBS CD to learn new songs, serve your neighbor game, Beach Ball thanksgivings, and suggested bible apps to download on your device.

Exterior of box

Exterior of Box  (We bought 10 x 10 pizza boxes at the local chefs supply store ($14 for 50 boxes).  This goes with the take out theme and can be used as a hard surface to write on.  It is small enough to slide under the seat of a car for long trips.


Instructions (see Take out church Documents for all printed materials)

Interior of box instructions

Interior of box when empty.  The printouts were done on label paper so they could stick on easily.    On the bottom of the box are Apps you can download on to any device.  We found the links here http://rachelwojo.com/best-bible-apps-for-kids/ and then modified them to fit (see Take out Church documents linked above).

Flat Jesus

Flat Jesus is the best part.  We invited families to color this cut out (printed on hard stock) and then take pictures of them with Flat Jesus on vacation.  We hope folks will post pictures online and link them #takeoutchurch so we can share the fun.  Poem on the back can be found in Take out church documents linked above and the image is from clip art online.

Skittle Prayers

Skittle Prayers: Have sweet snack and remember to pray for your family, friends, community, creation, and those in need.  Printable in Take out church documents linked above.

Serve your neighbor

While on vacation this is a fun way to serve on another and be creative about it.

Coloring Scroll

We printed 4 coloring pages with bible verses on them to memorize and rolled them up in a scroll as the word of God.  The scroll has Psalm 119:105 printed and is tied with a ribbon with footprints. We also included a pack of colored pencils and a pencil sharpener.

Links to coloring pages can be found here:  http://www.spelloutloud.com/3-free-scripture-coloring-pages.html          http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/fruit-of-spirit-reflective-colouring.html

 Beach Ball Thanksgiving

Beach Ball Thanksgiving:  This idea was modified from a pumpkin craft found here;  http://www.scottsdalemomsblog.com/2011/10/07/three-fun-halloween-craft-ideas/.  We made it into a beach ball in invited families to write one think they are thankful for while one vacation.  We plan for families to bring these back to church as an offering.

We found these colorful Conversation Starters online (http://www.happinessishomemade.net/2012/08/28/dinner-conversation-jar-topics/), printed and laminated them, cut them out and put them on a binder ring to flip through.

We also found these prayer cubes we thought would be fun to get prayer started and invite kids to look up bible verses about prayer.  http://www.livinggracecatalog.com/new-kids-teens/Prayer-Cube-Prayer-Starters-VC668?gclid=CMelqKr46cUCFUUbgQodDT0AUQ

Also in the box is a copy of the music from the VBS we will do this summer.  We hope families will listen and get familiar with the music over the summer.

We hope this will be a fun an interactive way to do church as a family when you are away this summer!

Harrisburg UMC Children’s Council


27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue Heffron
    May 30, 2015 @ 18:03:20

    WOW! What a vision & great idea! Thumbs up HUMC Childrens Council!!!!!!!!


  2. Julie Klock
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 17:24:14

    Thank you so much for generously sharing all your hard work for others to copy. I absolutely love this idea and am going to start on a “going to the lake” version of it for my congregation!


  3. Jeanette
    Jun 04, 2015 @ 12:50:00

    Thanks for sharing! This is a concept I’ve been trying to think through for our congregation. You have provided great ideas!


  4. Trackback: Take Out Church | kayebledsoe
  5. Karen
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 11:22:02

    Just Brilliant! Thank you for being generous enough to share your wonderful ideas!


  6. Sandra Rumfeldt
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 16:50:21

    Great idea. Conversation will flow as well.


  7. Debra
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 21:44:11

    It would be great to give you credit for this on boxes that we make. Is that possible?


  8. kalicet
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 07:32:09

    This is a GREAT idea 🙂
    I know you have done this one for the summer, but hey, you could do them for Christmas and Easter too!


  9. kalicet
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 07:33:04

    Reblogged this on Understanding Alice and commented:
    What an absolutely brilliant idea. I reckon you could do them for Christmas and Easter too:


  10. Rhonda Carson, Administrative Assistant
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 15:03:39

    Awesome idea!!


  11. Beth Royalty
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 20:05:24

    LOVE this!! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and resources


  12. cedarunited
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 03:44:58

    Reblogged this on Cedar United Church and commented:
    hmmm …. this sounds like a great idea ….


  13. Mom Sees All
    Jun 23, 2015 @ 16:21:16

    Oh, my, you just struck temple gold, my friends! I’m in love with this idea. We all have members coming and going throughout the year and this addresses the issue perfectly – even for people with no children! Who wouldn’t want their picture taken with Flat Jesus!! I appreciate your willingness to share!


  14. Trackback: Summer Church-on-the-Go Boxes | DeDeBullReilly
  15. Trackback: Take Out Church: A Summer Tool for Home and Traveling - Building Faith | Building Faith
  16. Trackback: PRC Resources to Keep Your Church Alive in the Summertime | Practical Resources for Churches
  17. Trish
    Jun 05, 2016 @ 17:06:34

    Fantastic! Thanks you and may God bless your talent and willimgness to share


  18. Robin Palmer-Burton Ray
    Jun 06, 2016 @ 14:40:35

    When I down load the documents they are all corrupted and was wondering if anyone else is having a problem?


  19. Trackback: Take Out Church: A Summer Resource for Families -
  20. Trackback: Take Out Church: A Summer Resource for Families
  21. Tammy
    May 23, 2020 @ 02:15:21

    This is INCREDIBLE!! Just found it on Pinterest and am making it for my class at church for an activity during all this Covid mess! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!!


  22. Jennifer Pluff
    Jun 09, 2020 @ 14:02:10

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I was beginning to feel completely hopeless about this summer. God bless!


  23. whitney ghabrial
    Jun 24, 2020 @ 04:08:40

    Thank you so much, this will be a difference maker during this summer! Today as a church staff we discussed how what you post now could be influential in the future. What you made 5 years ago is so amazing for today!


  24. Mary
    Jul 16, 2020 @ 16:41:22

    Using bits and pieces to supplement the VBS in a Box we are doing. I really appreciate all of your hard work on this project.


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