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Kids Just Wanna Have Fun . . . And So Should You!

Leadership / Personal Development //

In a recent conversation with some kidmin leaders, the word fun was brought up for discussion. Specifically, someone asked: “Is fun important in kidmin and can you have too much fun?”

Everyone in the group shared their opinion. When it came my turn I simply responded with, “Yes, fun is important, and no, you can never have too much of it.” A simple answer indeed but let me unpack for you why I believe that.

Our team at Orange recently wrote a book called Playing for Keeps. It’s a book for parents and leaders about six things you can give a kid over time that will make a significant impact. These six things can help give a kid the kind of history that will show them why they matter to God. Fun is one of those six things we talk about in the book.

Simply stated, fun matters. In fact, I would say that one of the most effective ways to stay connected to the kids in your ministry is to have fun with them. As leaders, we need to act like fun really matters—because it does to a kid.

You and I were made to have fun. But if you’re like the average adult, one day you grew out of it. And it’s possible, just possible that you’ve lost that “playing” feeling. And now it’s gone, gone, gone . . . whoa, oh, oh.

Cheesy? Yes. But listen, too many people, especially Christians, take themselves too seriously. And it may be time to admit that we have a serious problem. Meaning, we have a problem with being too serious. And the only way to remedy our serious problem is to get uncomfortable long enough to get comfortable with the idea of having fun again.

We may just need a little “fun” adjustment.
We may need to . . .
Laugh a little more;
Dance a little longer;
Play a little harder.

What if it’s time to stop taking ourselves so seriously and start getting serious about having fun?

It’s more than just okay to have fun. I actually think it’s a command—or at least a strong suggestion. The word fun may not be in the Bible, but all its relatives are there.

“REJOICE in the Lord always. . . . ”
“May the righteous be GLAD. . . .
“CELEBRATE a festival to the Lord. . . . ”
“A CHEERFUL heart is good medicine. . . . ”
“The fruit of the Spirit is . . . JOY. . . . ”

At the risk of oversimplifying, if we played, laughed, danced and smiled a little more at church and at home, kids might grow up with a healthier perspective on their family and Christian community.

So, let me ask you a question. Have you forgotten how to play?

As the father of a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter, my kids are constantly asking me, “Daddy will you play with me?” Regrettably, my answer more often then not has been, “Not now kids, daddy’s busy.”

One particular Saturday afternoon my kids desperately wanted me to go outside with them to play with some of their neighborhood friends. Unfortunately, I gave them the usual answer, “Not now, daddy’s busy.”

My wife, being the amazing woman she is, took our kids outside to play with their friends. As I sat there at my desk working, the thought hit me that my kids won’t be kids forever. One day, they’re going to stop asking me, “Daddy can we play?”

So, in that moment I made the simple decision to get up, go outside and have fun with my kids. I grabbed a bag of water balloons from our garage and filled them to capacity. Once my arsenal was locked and loaded, I snuck around to the front of the house where the kids were playing with their friends. In stealth like manner I hid behind my neighbors mid-size sedan. After surveying the scene, I decided the time was right to unleash my water arsenal on the unsuspecting youth. In what can only be described as a shock-and-awe moment, I came running out from behind the sedan screaming “wolverines!” while hurling water balloons with skill and precision. All the kids screamed while dropping like flies as my water balloons exploded on impact against their frail, helpless bodies. It was a memorable moment for my kids and their friends.

Your kids surely know that you love them, but do they feel like you love them? Before they can feel loved, they may need a little evidence that you like them; and they may never feel confident that you like them, until you start having fun with them.

Now please hear me, I’m not saying that fun is THE most important thing you should build your ministry around. But, if you don’t have fun, little else matters.

In your ministry, if you want to—
Build trust with kids . . .
Have lasting influence . . .
Establish a deeper connection . . .

You have to make fun a priority, because fun over time is one of the best ways to connect to the heart of a child.

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About the Author

Mike Clear serves as the Director of Children’s Strategy at Orange. He will be leading the Family Experience (FX) Track at the upcoming Orange Conference in April. Prior to coming on board at Orange, Mike was one of the founding pastors of Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California, where he served as the Family Ministries Director for nearly 10 years. Mike lives in Cumming, Georgia, with his amazing wife Crystal, who thanks to him, has the coolest name ever—Crystal Clear! Together, he and Crystal have two fantastic children, Nash and Kennedy.