Thanks to VBS I now have a term for the process I’ve been practicing with Monkey for the last few months –God Sightings, or illuminating evidence of God’s presence in our lives. I discussed pointing out God’s presence to Monkey during our runs in this earlier post – Running with Monkey. If you remember, she didn’t seem to be impressed at the time.
Fast forward a month after her first night of Vacation Bible School where she learned that God made her and it’s a completely different story! On our run this morning rather than pointing out something and saying, “God made that,” I asked her, “Who made the ducks?” Her answer was immediate: “God made the ducks!” I repeated the same process for practically everything and her answer was always the same and it was always said with excitement.
Tonight at VBS, one of the station leaders asked her “Where did you see God today?” Monkey replied softly, “God made the water.” I practically wept with the pride bursting in my heart. By golly, she got it! There must be something about VBS that helped make the idea click for her.
Group Publishing, Inc. provides the material for our church’s VBS and in the Crew Leader Pocket Guide they note: “The more you incorporate God Sightings into your conversations with kids, the more they’ll ‘get it’.” This has certainly proved true in my experience.
Here are Group’s suggestions for incorporating God Sightings into your day:
- Eat or drink something that God made. Then say, ‘Thanks, God.’
- Point out something God made that makes you smile.
- Point out how we think of God when we hear people singing about him.
- Tell kids that hearing laughter and happy voices reminds you of the joy God gives us.
After helping Monkey recognize God Sightings, the next step is to help her be a God Sighting.
Here are Group’s tips on helping kids show God’s love to others:
- Encourage children to thank those who take care of them.
- Thank children for watching over their younger siblings and friends.
- Encourage children to help clean up.
- Practice giving high fives for jobs well done.
- Surprise your child by exclaiming “God loves you!”
- Challenge kids to share what they’ve learned about God.
- Praise children for physical gifts like running, jumping, singing, clapping and smiling.
- Encourage kids to ask questions, let them know that God gave them each a bright mind that can learn more about Jesus.