Chuck E. CHURCH, Should Church be Fun?

25 05 2007

Yes and Yes. One thing that drives me crazy is when people think that we shouldn’t have games, contests and activities that kids find fun and or exciting. One blog referred to this as Chuck E. Church. I know what they are referring to, but at one time flannel boards were controversial method of preaching the Gospel. We are not in competition with Chuck E. Cheese, and Disney because we are after two different things, but through the same means. Disney, and Chuck are after the Hearts of kids and Money of the Parents. We are after the Heart and Soul of both. What Disney and Chuck understand that we can learn is that everything they do is about creating an environments to have an experience . We ignore this to our peril and the peril of those we are trying to reach. We need to create an environment that is an experience :

What do kids need to experience ?
1. The Power of the Word
2. An engagement of all their senses
3. True Community
4. The Power of God
5. People modeling true godliness to them
6. Fun, Kids need to have fun

If reaching more kids and more parents means changing the way we do things than we need to change. We so often care more about our methodology than we do about the lostness of those looking for Christ.




5 responses

25 05 2007

i TOTALLY agree with having fun! please do not suggest that i said (in my post) that children’s ministry (or youth ministry) shouldn’t be fun. i’ve presented entire seminars on how to add fun to your ministry. but there are theological/ecclesiological questions that arise when a ministry prioritizes fun to a place where the experience is almost indistinguishable from a trip to chuck e. cheese. or when the only reason children enjoy attending is because they get to redeem coupons for prizes. or when we subtely teach them that they are nothing more than consumers, feeding on the fun we offer; which will then be how they approach church for the rest of their lives.

25 05 2007


Thanks for you comment. I think we do agree, Fun is not the end but a means to an end. We want kids to have fun but if you separate from that fun the power of God and message of the gospel you get Chuck E. Church. I think there will always be kids that come for the games alone, but as long as they are hearing the life changing the word of God to me it is worth it.

28 05 2007
Kenny Conley

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in the board meeting where the controversial teaching methodology of Sister Margaret’s flannel boards were hotly discussed. Ha, I kind of poke fun at this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if people left churches even over flannel boards. You make good points here Sam. It’s too easy for us to become idealistic about how ministry is done. Why should I have to spend money on cheap gags to lure people in where there are people in other places that are hungry for the truth. The point could be easily debated. However, creating an environment that is nice and fun filled with Games and great programming is the “price” of reaching kids here in the US. Ultimately, it is through relationships and great teaching moments that will win these kids to Christ, but this can’t be done until we get them through those doors at least once… maybe more.

29 05 2007
Lon Dean

Of course church should be fun. I remember when I was a children’s pastor reading a Dr. Dobson article about “emotional memory.” In it Dr. Dobson stated that small children (under 7) won’t remeber much of what they were taught in church but will have an emotional memory that they either like church or don’t. They then turn into teens and adults who say, “I don’t want to go to church.” but don’t know why they feel that way. It is very important to teach kids to worship and to hide God’s word in their hearts but let’s not overlook the equally important goal of connecting these kids to church in a way that make them want to come back. Keep up the great work Pastor Sam!!

3 06 2007

I agree with you. Society gave us the cards we’re now playing with. We have to be every bit as relevatnt and engaging to reach kids. Is there a lone to draw? Of course! Marko hit on it with the push for consumerism. We need to first and foremost make authentic Bible teaching our priority, but we also cannot overlook the means in which to do so. I recently wrote a post regarding this as well. Great thoughts!

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