“It reinforced an idea I have been thinking about for awhile. Why don’t children’s ministries in church utilize some kind of mascot or character to connect with kids? I have seen how much my own kids love going to Chuck E. Cheese and singing and dancing with the mouse mascot there. And my experiences in the Root Beer Bear suit have given me first hand, experiential knowledge of the fact that most kids really enjoy interacting with an over-sized animal. I think churches need to get on board with this and use it as a way to get kids excited about visiting church each week.”
by Brenton Balvin
There were many differnt opinions
For – I grew up learning the stories of the Bible from the Bible itself (with exciting flannelgraph from time to time), and I wouldn’t trade that knowledge and familiarity with the Bible for anything. However, kids these days were raised with TV and internet access and their attention has to be captured. I think any method that grabs their attention is a good one, as long as it doesn’t take priority over teaching them the stories and values found in the Bible.
Against – Hmmm…I don’t want to suggest that this can’t work or that churches using this approach are doing something wrong, but it just sounds very consumer-focused to me. I think a lot of children’s ministries are leaning too far towards entertaining kids rather than teaching and discipling them. (A problem that extends far beyond children’s ministries…)
It comes down to motivation. Why are you doing it? Is it part of who you are? Is it part of your “actual value system” Or you just trying to keep up with Jones? We are in the process of creating 2 mascots, a boy, a girl. We go into the public schools and do assemblies we will use the mascots at the schools and when we go into the community to do outreaches and then as a point of contact when they come to church. We need to ask ourselves if we are trying to be cool or are we trying to reach as many people as we can with the gospel.
I think that Jesus was a very creative cutting edge leader communicator . He used all the resources around him to communicate the value of the kingdom. Why do we feel that the only God ordained method for reaching kids is a flannelgraph board? Everyday McDonalds is reaching your kids, (My 2 year old son has gone six times and is an addict). Disney is reaching your kids. I see nothing wrong with doing all that we can to reach as many kids as we can with what God has given us.
Lastly you don’t need a mascot. Do all that you can with what you have. Be creative, think beyound what you have and where you are.