'They all have different gifts'
Children explored themes of community and unity together through the life of Jesus at this year’s Baptist Assembly
Led by a team from ISingPop, the children aged 5-11 were welcomed to “The Hive” for sessions packed with games, crafts, tasks, Bible teaching and worship. The Hive related to the wider Assembly beehive metaphor as a symbol of our interconnectedness.
As such, there was a real sense of getting to know each other, the importance of teamwork and understanding how we each can contribute in our own way, explained Jake Drake of ISingPop.
‘A lot of the tasks required teamwork, and they were all different, so it was getting the children working together and involved in problem solving, and showing they have different gifts.
‘Some of the children were quieter and maybe not initially recognised – but their gifts and skills were often needed in the tasks. It highlighted how it’s really easy to look at someone else’s qualities, and overlook your own. Everyone has a role to play. It was great to highlight this.’
Gospel stories involving Lazarus, Martha and the woman at the well were explored. On the former, Jake said, ‘We looked at the story of Lazarus from the point of view of patience. Sometimes it’s really hard trusting God, or your friends. Sometimes you just want it now! But often you have to wait. And just being a bit more patient helps.’
Highlighting New Testament stories such as these enabled the team to share with the children how Jesus is with them in these moments.
The children were split into two groups, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, with slightly different activities for each group. Around 30 children participated, and one of the pleasing aspects was how they increased in confidence throughout their time in Bournemouth.
‘On the Sunday we had so many of the children rush back,’ said Jake. ‘Even on Saturday they ran back from the beach after lunch. Some had been very nervous and shy to begin with, but they just got into the swing of it, which was so encouraging.’
Part of this was the bonds the children began to form during their time together, Jake added, ‘The activities showed how it’s fun in the journey of getting to know someone, of getting to know our friends, and how special it is to be listened to. Though maybe one or two remembered each other from three years ago, nobody knew each other at the start but they really bonded.’
He highlighted one particular instance of a Year Six girl comforting a crying Year One girl at the start of the first session. ‘She said “would you like to do something together?”, and took her hand and looked after her throughout the sessions. The younger girl was just in awe, and from being upset at the start, just had the most beautiful smile over the two days. The Year Six girl was so empathetic.
‘It was a beautiful moment.’
Jake added the Assembly gave the ISingPop team the opportunity to use the Pop Box - a new children's digital church resource. Each box contains twelve interactive services which include Bible stories, prayers, games, songs, animations, crafts, and engaging discussion points. All you need is a phone or tablet to access the material.
Find out more here: isingpop.org/thepopbox