How many kids in your ministry have access to a smartphone? In the past, I’ve discussed some tips for handling cellphones in your ministry, but today I want to talk about how we can shift our outlook on the ubiquity of cellphones. Let’s start looking at smartphones more as a tool than a distraction. There are tons of apps out there that can be used in your ministry or by families at home to continue the faith discussion. Here’s a list of a few of my favorites.
1. Bad Piggies Chances are even if your kids haven’t already heard of Bad Piggies, they know where it began…Angry Birds. Free versions of this app are available, and it can go nicely with lessons on Nehemiah. The following example modified from Faithweaver NOW shows one way it can be used with older kids or families.
Form as many groups as you have smartphones. Have everyone download the “Bad Piggies” app (free versions are available).
Say: Nehemiah learned that the wall around the city of Jerusalem was broken down. And he was determined to fix it. As he did, he faced a lot of challenges. As we read about his challenges, we’ll see what challenges our pigs face as they do some building of their own.
Have groups read Nehemiah 2:13-18. Then say: Nehemiah’s first challenge was looking toward the future at the big task ahead. Tell your group about a challenge you have regarding the future. Allow time for discussion. Then have groups complete one level of “Bad Piggies.”
Have groups read Nehemiah 4:1-6. Then say: Nehemiah’s second challenge was dealing with difficult people. Tell your group about a challenge you have dealing with a difficult person, like a bully. Allow time for discussion. Then have groups complete another level of “Bad Piggies.”
Have groups read Nehemiah 4:7-15. Then say: Nehemiah’s third challenge was making sure his people remained safe as they built. Tell your group about a time you were scared. Allow time for discussion. Then have groups complete another level of “Bad Piggies.”
Have groups read Nehemiah 5:1-12. Then say: Nehemiah’s fourth challenge was figuring out how to make the financial situation more fair for everyone. Tell your group about a time you didn’t think you were being treated fairly. Allow time for discussion. Then have groups complete another level of “Bad Piggies.”
Have groups read Nehemiah 6:1-8. Then say: Nehemiah’s final challenge was dealing with people who were trying to make him worried and distracted. Tell your group about a time you were distracted or worried. Allow time for discussion. Then have groups complete another level of “Bad Piggies.”
Say: Nehemiah overcame all of these challenges. Have someone read aloud Nehemiah 6:15-16.
•What challenges did your pigs face in building?
•How do those challenges compare with Nehemiah’s challenges?
•Explain which category has caused the most challenges for you: future, bullies, safety, fairness, or distractions.
•What can you learn from the way Nehemiah faced each of his challenges?
Say: Nehemiah confronted his challenges with prayer. He knew that God helps us face challenges. And whether it was about the looming future, difficult people, safety, unfairness, or distractions, God helped him face every challenge. As you encounter challenges in those categories and others, learn from Nehemiah. Face the challenges with prayer, and keep your focus on what God wants you to do.
2. Gabbit Studies show that families who have at least one faith conversation a week are much stronger and tend to stick together longer. Gabbit makes it easy-and fun-for your family to grow closer to each other and to God. Gabbit gives you hundreds of dynamic, family-friendly questions at the push of a button. No rules, no instructions-just pick a category and let the unforgettable conversations begin! Free versions are available for iPhones and iPads as well as Android.
3. My First Hands-On Bible Apps The My First Hands-On Bible app lets preschoolers experience God’s Word, not just read it. It includes motions, sounds, and simple activities that kids do with their families. It instills a love for the Bible while giving parents and grandparents unforgettable memories of growing their childrens faith. The best part: the first set is on us! Here are the links (Android/iPhone and iPad) to try out “God in the Beginning” for free!
For more free apps, go to Lifetree Family.
What apps would you add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below!