i love the Gospel and i love geocaching. so when it came time to plan our family worship event for the spring, these two came together in what we now call “pursuit”. we had planned on doing some sort of Holy Week or Palm Sunday stations with families at a worship at our church. then the thought hit me, “what if we planned these activities outside the church and allowed families time to discover and experience the Gospel together?” a quick email to three other kidmin leaders in my community made pursuit a reality. (pursuit could not have happened without the involvement of these other churches and the community we built may be my greatest treasure from this special time.)
in geocaching, the goal is to find treasures, whether micro or large boxes, using GPS coordinates and sometimes hints. geocaching has been one of my favorite outdoor, family-friendly activities for years, so i thought what better treasure to find than the Gospel? plus, to do it as families just made this project sweeter. the great reward was seeing grandparents, aunts and family mentors also take part in pursuit with their families.
we recently began implementing using “the story” as the means for presenting and sharing the Gospel at our church, so “the story” was my jumping off point. i rewrote each of “the story” Gospel points to make them a little more family-friendly and interactive for this specific experience. each church had a bright orange box hidden on their campus that included these devotions, the supplies needed to complete them, and a Bible. these four devotions are attached below.
families signed up using the “band” app. this enabled us to post announcements, participants to post pictures, and we could attach the pdf that included the clues to each location as well as active links for videos and worship songs for families to listen to enroute to their next stop. this pdf is also included below.
families were encouraged to go in order. some did all four stops in one day while others chose to spread out the stops over their spring break week.
here is a quote from one of our families that participated in pursuit:
“The Family Pursuit was truly a wonderful experience for our family!! We loved jumping in the car, listening to the music suggested and going on each adventure together. My husband and I loved seeing what knowledge our kids had, the questions they asked and how we as a family learned from each pursuit! We went on a little family vacation at the end of the week and loved how we were able to use what we had learned in our pursuit chase on our trip. We went on many nature walks and the kids spotted even more of God’s wonderful creations and would stop along the way and want us all to pray over where we were and to thank God for all HIS mighty handy work!! We can not thank all that was involved enough for creating such a fun family pursuit chase and look forward to doing another one if the future!!”
while we chose to test this family activity over Holy week, it can really be done at anytime. the Gospel is always relevant and we wanted to make sure families searched, experienced, and discussed these truths together. the response was so positive and encouraging. so much so that we plan to do another pursuit this fall centering on praying for back to school.
what are some ways you invite and challenge families to seek the Gospel outside the church walls?