Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

18 July 2013

Holiday Bible Club

A display connected to the theme for the week.
Every year during the first week of the July school holidays our church runs a Holiday Bible Club for primary school aged children.  This has been happening here for a long time - 24 or 25 years I've heard it said - so it's a well oiled machine.  A couple of dear ones have asked me to blog about it so here goes.

What it looks like

HBC runs for five mornings 9am to 12pm.  On the first four days (Monday to Thursday) it looks like this...

9:00 - 9:15  Registration and drop off.  While that is happening the children are ushered into the hall (via the church so that they can see what a church looks like) to colour in a picture connected with the day's story.  The pictures are glued onto a mural that builds up over the week along a big section of the hall wall.

9:15 - 9:45  The children go outside for fast, furious, non-stop action games.  That is, the children are run ragged for half an hour to burn off energy so that they're ready to sit still and listen.

9:45 - 10:45  Teaching time.  We have someone from OAC Ministries come each year to run this hour of Bible teaching through stories, games, quizzes, puppets and all sorts of fun.  The folk at OAC are really, REALLY good at what they do.  Outsourcing the teaching to experts in the field frees us up to make sure the rest of the programme is as good as we can make it.

10:45 - 11:00  Morning tea.  Our trusty team in the church kitchen put on a morning tea fit for a birthday party five mornings in a row.

Craft for Daniel in the lions' den
11:00 - 11:50  The children do a craft activity connected with the theme of the teaching time.  We try to have someone ready to play games with those who finish early so that everyone is kept busy and occupied right up until the last moment.

11:50-12:00  Final notices, a prayer and off the children go home with their parents.

On the Friday we reverse the order and invite the parents to join with their children from 10:30am.
9:00 - 9:15  Registration and colouring in.
9:15 - 9:45  Action games
9:45 - 10:30  Craft
10:30 - 11:00  Parents, children and leaders have morning tea together.
11:00 - 11:50  Teaching time - which includes a bit of summary of the week, new material and a presentation of the Gospel for the children and their parents, all at the skillful hands of the OAC presenters.
11:50 - 12:00  Wrap up, prayers and farewells.

Nuts and bolts

Teaching time
Each year we run to the theme provided to us by our speakers.  This year it was Heroes from the Bible.  Other recent themes have included The Beatitudes, The Fruit of the Spirit, Stories Jesus Told and a theme that tied in with the Olympics.  There is memory verse for each day.

To charge or not to charge
There is debate about this.  But we charge $5 per day per child with all sorts of exceptions for differing circumstances.  The money collected goes towards paying for OAC to come and for some reimbursement for craft and food costs where required.

Dress up day
We didn't do it this year, but some years we have a dress-up day, usually on the Thursday.  Last year when we did the Beatitudes everyone got to come in yellow and black (bee colours) and we even had a few dressed up as bees.

We send a letter of invitation during term two to children who have attended HBC in the last three years.  Each day of HBC the children take home a letter which includes a summary of the day's story and teaching, the memory verse for the day, advanced notice for the Friday morning tea arrangements, notices about the bookstall running and any other thing we might need to advise and contact details for the church.  And every child who attends receives a letter by mail during the first week back at school thanking them for their attendance, reminding them of the things we learned, wishing them well for the term ahead and with some information about our normal Sunday services.

Other advertising is via flyers to all the students who do Scripture in the local primary school, posters in the local shops and library and letters are sent to local churches and nearby schools for their newsletters. 

That's it in a nutshell.  Seems so straight forward when you put it like that.  :-) Let me know if you want more info, and if anyone else has these sort of programmes running at their church, please let me know what themes you have used.  I'd be interested to collect ideas for future reference.


Deb said...

Of course there would be OAC in there! :) Love OAC. Sounds like a fabulous program. Thanks for blogging it for the rest of us!

Meredith said...

Hooray for OAC indeed. Praising God for them.

mattnbec said...

This is a very helpful outline indeed! Thank you! Now I have a much better sense of what something might look like & I can almost imagine running something like that, someday!
Also lovely to have a better picture of HBC now for next I read about it on fb - will help me to picture it know how to pray when I read a status update :-).

Meredith said...

Thanks so much Bec, most especially for your prayers. You always pray so faithfully for us each year. We certainly felt particularly upheld this year.