It’s sunset. Everyone is in. Dinner has been served, and its too early for bed. What else do you do with your family on a Friday night?
If you are a Sabbath keeper reading this, I’m hearing you say almost unanimously: Family Worship.
Great. In many Seventh day Adventist or Sabbath keeping homes, this is the traditional way to spend time preparing for the Sabbath, with your family. Is everyone enjoying your worship time though? What did you do last Friday night and the one before that and the one before that? Same songservice, scripture, devotional or story? Maybe it’s time to revamp Family worship. Instead of the norm this weekend, how about trying some online Bible games?
I went hunting for ideas and came across a few sites that can keep your family occupied this Friday evening, and add some life to your worship. In this post, I share the site and some fun ideas on how to integrate them into your worship. Ready to try some Bible entertainment? What are you waiting for? Grab your laptops and let’s go.
1. Bible Activities Zone (http://www.bibleactivitieszone.com) is a bible games website that is inspired by Bible stories and Bible facts. The Canadian based site which boasts a non-denominational focus, states that the games “only use Bible facts, and provide cool, cutting-edge Bible themed entertainment!”
Do you like Memory games, then you’ll get hooked on the Noah’s Ark or the Bible Themes Memory Games where you click on a grid until you find matching pairs of icons. When the game is over, a picture of the icon inspired by the Bible story or theme appears. Kids have up to 15 types of interactive games to choose from: Hangman, Maze games, Bible trivia, Word searches, or Connect the dots, to name a few. Each game is equally colourful and engaging and pitched at three levels of difficulty, ‘easy’, ‘medium’ and ‘hard’, which means your toddler or teen can play and parents can even join in the fun. The games have a high entertainment and encouragement value (cheers, hoots, and praises sound effects), and kids will be hooked after the first game, so be careful homework is out of the way before they go online.
What makes this game different from the dozens of Facebook Farmville and Google app games that your kids are hooked on is that each game page has a Scripture verse relating to the Bible story or fact you just played. This provides a great opportunity for you to talk with your children about the significance of the story to God’s instructions on how to live.
Here are snippets of the testimonials fans have used in their reviews about their experiences using BibleActivityZone: “Superb job,” “Fantastic Job!” “Amazing site, “… I’m a major fan” “… great quality”, “fun, exciting, enjoyable Bible games site.”
Fun Way to Use It:
Spice up your next Family Worship with a Bible fun activity designed to teach important principles from God’s Word.
After opening song and prayer, challenge your family to a game of Bible Character Hangman or earn points collecting the ten commandments in the Moses Bible Adventure game. Huddle everyone around the family’s PC or iPad and head over to Bible Activities Zone. Play a few games, then afterwards, have each person vote on which game they enjoyed the most. To extend the discussion, you can ask everyone to share what their chosen game teaches them about God’s grace.
Use this activity as a great family bonding opportunity, where you and your family can unwind and laugh together after a long day, while learning about God in a fun way that is bound to engage the interest of all members of the family, especially your teenager. There won’t be any long faces when next you announce, “It’s Family Worship Time”.
2. Bible Activity Zone is not the only place Christian Kids can find Bible gaming on the web. GraceLink.net has a Jig Saw Puzzle page on its Resources page as well. It doesn’t have the selection of games that Bible Activity Zone has but it’s worth mentioning, as this is the site where I discovered Bible Jigsaws and sent me to dig for more kids-friendly online entertainment resources.
GraceLink as you already know provides the lessons we use in Kids Sabbath School. As I shared in my recent posts, Fall Blues… and again in Ministry News…., the weekly lessons can be accessed in audio and video podcast forms on the site’s homepage (Look in the left sidebar). The jig-saw puzzles are related to the lesson’s themes and are a great way to build some excitement around the featured story.
Note to Parents: Remember the daily activities included in the children’s quarterly on the back page of each lesson are to be used to reinforce the Bible story that the teacher presented the Sabbath before. It’s a study guide. Make time to follow this six-day Bible learning schedule with your kids.
Idea! You can listen to the podcast while the child follows in his or her quarterly, (also a great way to build his reading skills), then play the video animation, which is the a retelling of the same story, but will peak’s children’s interest, because they can now experience the lesson through audio-visual means (Which child doesn’t like cartoons?). Adding the jig saw puzzle activity can be used to pull the bits and pieces of the story together for your child as a kind of review activity, but can also be used as an incentive for saying his memory verse, which they must practice learning everyday.
Simple but effective Bible learning is how we’ll rear kids who love the Lord. It might mean, leading them away from empty, self-indulging and time warping game apps and instead showing them and praying that they will become captive audiences to the more wholesome Bible games using the same devices they are so attached to, and found on an online platform they already are familiar with.
Later, when faced with worldly attractions and unwise choices, you want God’s word, as in Psalm 119:105, to be “a lamp unto (their) feet, and a light unto (their) path.
Start today to teach your child this prayer of the psalmist: 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:10, expose the Word of God frequently in your homes as in Family Worship Time,and you’ll be on your way to leading your kids to the Kingdom.