It’s relatively easy to prepare for a Holiday Club when you’ve got a full time job dedicated to Children’s work. Having said that I think I started planning vaguely around January time and then properly putting my brain into gear only about 2 months before the Club itself. It helped massively that we had some excellent material to use (Scripture Union’s ‘On your Marks’) and the promise of a team to help out (through ‘More than Gold’). So when my vicar and wife gave me feedback that it had been the ‘most organised’ Holiday Club they’d ever done, I can’t really take all the credit!
Our teeny church really rallied round to make our first Holiday Club happen and I ended up with team of enthusiastic volunteers and helpers to cook delicious lunches for the team too. Another vicar from our group of churches brought someone to help with registration and did a marvellous job of welcoming people. It worked in his favour as he got to borrow all the decorations etc for his Club the following week. There was a real sense of working together and community, even before the children arrived.
And all of this was great, because on Day 1, with a team excited and raring to go, plus our friends from Texas who had joined us through More than Gold, we only had 3 children turn up.
It was one of those moments when you think ‘Why, God?? This Club is awesome, where are the children???!!!’
However, when I was outside praying this, the Lord said, ‘Just go with it.’
So I did.
And actually, the 3 children who did come that first day didn’t care if there was just them or 50 kids. They had a lot of fun, and so did the team. It’s not about the numbers really, God was doing more in and through the adults and children that were there than any of us could see.
And on Day 2 it felt like REVIVAL had struck when no less than 9 children came in through those doors… Maybe God allowed us to have a few children on Day 1 as a ‘trial run’ or preparation. Or maybe having 3 on Day 1 meant that we would be overjoyed to welcome 9 on Day 2. Overjoyed we certainly were…
I loved watching the team engage with the children. Apart from leading the main times all together, something that I LOVE (being a frustrated Children’s TV presenter), I had managed to write myself out of doing much, except blowing the air-horn between activities. This was fun. It also gave me opportunity to see what God was doing, especially in a few children but also in some of the leaders.
On Day 3, the last day of the Holiday Club, I asked one of the Texan team, Steve the Pastor, to give his testimony/Gospel presentation to the children. As he spoke, the children watched and listened intently to his every word. Possibly they were attracted to his ‘funny’ accent, but all the same it was a precious moment as the Words of truth of the Good News of Jesus rang out in that place.
All in all, everyone agreed that Holiday Club had been a success and definitely one to repeat next year. Maybe a lot of children had gone away because of the Olympics, maybe they were at the Olympics. The Lord knows and He gave us a great few days together that have created many lovely memories for all who took part. He is the One who will grow those seeds that have been planted in each child’s heart during that time and I look forward to seeing some of the fruit of it as the new term begins.