Orange Thoughts – What is KidStuf?

1st off – I know what KidStuf is. We’ve been doing RiverKidStuf at our church now for over a year and Rae and I lead the Worship Dance Team with fervent enthusiasm.

KidStuf is where parents and their children can come together for a unique worship environment that will give them a shared experience that they can discuss together during the week.

I just made that up on the spot because I think I get it. I say that to say that for the first time at a KidStuf I felt more like I was at the latest Disney on Ice or High School Musical or some other amazing production that also draws children and their parents. Now, I remember being in an overly critical mood that night because I was wickedly tired and so this isn’t so much a criticism of Orange‘s KidStuf but more of a warning to us as we bring back what we saw at Orange to our church.

The KidStuf at Orange was phenomenal. They were able to use just about every element of KidStuf to show us what is available if time were not a constraint and you had media and talented people at your disposal. I loved it! I want us to avoid the performance trap though.

Yes – let’s bounce around and jump and dance and engage those little 4th graders but not in a way that draws attention to me and the other singers. Let’s do it in a way that exuberantly portrays celebration to a big God. That was the 1 criticism I have on Orange‘s KidStuf but again, taking into account where and how it was done, I cut them some slack. I’ve been to KidStuf at NPCC and didn’t feel that way.

For our RiverKidStufs time is a problem for us so we have to examine carefully what it is we need to keep and what we need to cut. We try to be real intentional on using the elements that firmly nail that week’s bottom line and/or virtue over what might get the biggest laugh or be the coolest video session. Hopefully, it was the funniest element or coolest video but it’s not always.

Lastly, let’s make sure we clearly communicate what it is we’re bringing our families to. This is NOT another program for your kid, NOT a summer musical or VBS skit, NOT a place to drop your kids off while you have coffee and socialize with the other parents in the gathering area. This is potentially the most significant thing you and your child could do the entire week! It’s a time of worship and fun and teaching that you can carry with you until next Sunday and use it to talk about Jesus with your child!

I LOVE KidStuf. But what is it at your church? Make sure you ask that question before your next one.


4 Responses to “Orange Thoughts – What is KidStuf?”

  1. May 4, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    I am still processing the “event” myself. I know that my SP and I had an interesting discussion about it afterwards.

    He felt very similar to you in the “production” line and was a little concerned that the virtue lesson was somewhat hidden even though they nailed it down a few times.

    There is also the aspect of being “bible lite” with the understanding that if we can not move parents or children into family time at home or children’s small groups (with more teaching), are we really giving them something they can hold onto.

    Still thinking, so I will quit typing.

  2. May 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    One of the great things about KidStuf (and in our case RiverKidStuf) is that the point is to put the kids and parents together, so that they can be on the same page when they go back home and live life together the rest of the week.

    Parents are always going to have a greater impact on their children’s lives than can the church, even the most event-filled or best-intentioned church, simply because the parents are with the kids more than anybody else (typically).

    Of course, what really helps KidStuf work is that the things that are shown and taught in KidStuf are also talked about that same morning in the other things that the kids do while their parents are in “big” church. So the kids get extra doses of it, often in ways that are even more Biblical.

    Hopefully that combination of everything, from the small group to the big KidStuf, helps the kids really begin to understand the virtue (this morning it was patience) and the Bible story. Then the parents get to see it and hear about it in KidStuf too (sharing the funnyness with their kids) and they are given a CD/kit to take home so that they can have a reference during the week to help them talk about it with their kids.

    The whole package is what really makes it successful. KidStuf is just a part of that. By itself, it really is just more of a stage production.

  3. May 4, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Yeah dude but I agree with Jeff. It’s got to be something more than a stage production. It’s got to be something that engages the children’s attention and the adults thinking. I’m glad the kids get it again in the back but the parents don’t and I hope, pray, wish, and desire for the parents to use that CD at home but it’s not a given.

    Orange did a great job nailing down the bottom line for us, in our debrief (prior to this month’s RiverKidStuf) I don’t think we did such a great job of that. It needs to be crystal clear in there so that the parents and the kids get it and can take it with them. They can get great entertainment anywhere but for these 30 minutes I hope they get a catalyst for talking about Jesus than anything else.

  4. May 4, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    BTW – good job today! Even though at one point in Get This Party Started I almost took your head off! HAHAHA 🙂

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