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