7 Tips for Children's Ministry from Minecraft the Game

Minecraft is a game that is played on computers, game systems and mobile devices.

In Minecraft, you collect resources like wood, gold and iron that you use to build things.  A mix between a game and social network, it offers players a blank canvas to construct their own world.

It is one of the most successful games of all times.  Over 54 million copies have been sold.  Kids love this game.  Ask any kid if they've played Minecraft and you're very likely to get a "Yes!"

So what makes this game so popular with kids?  Let's take a look at 7 keys and how you can bring these elements into your children's ministry.

#1 - It lets kids be creative.
Minecraft allows kids to express their creativity through designing and building.  Kids can create mountains, clouds, prairies and more.

Kids are looking for opportunities to express their creativity.  If you encourage them to be creative at church, they will love coming.  This can be anything from letting them draw out a Bible story to designing a craft to building a replica of a Biblical structure.   

#2 - It offers community.
A thriving subculture allows kids to engage in all things Minecraft.  Kids can connect to strategize, plan and complete tasks together.  Online forums are formed and there are even conferences and summer campus where kids can connect around the game.

Kids want to be part of a community.  Are you offering kids the opportunity to connect into a community such as a small group where they can be known and interact with other kids?  Having a clear strategy for helping kids establish relationships in this context is so important.

#3 - It's an adventure.
When you play Minecraft, you enter an unknown world that is ready to be explored.  And at night, you fight to protect your goods from spiders, monsters and zombies.

Kids love to go on adventures.  The Bible contains the greatest adventures ever told.  Use teaching props, sound effects, movement, action, video and more to make those adventures come alive.  Kids will find it irresistible.

#4 - It lets kids make choices.
When kids are young, most choices are made for them.  What time they have to get up.  What time they have to go to bed.  What they will eat for lunch.  What classes they will take in school.  So when they do get a chance to be in control and make a choice, it's a big deal to them.  That's a major reason why they are drawn to Minecraft.  They control their own destiny and can make their own choices.

Instead of telling kids exactly what they're going to do at church during class, give them some options at times.  Let them choose what game they want to play, what song they want to sing, what craft they want to do, etc.  Let them make choices and you will find them choosing to come to church more frequently. 

#5 - It's a sandbox game.
There is no true purpose like other games where you have to fight bosses and defeat levels.  You can do whatever you want...when you want.  It's all about playing and having fun.

Kids love to have fun.  Give them the freedom to laugh, giggle and move.  Instead of telling them to sit still and be quiet, let them be kids.

#6 - It's simple and easy to play.
The graphics are very basic.  There are no classes to learn, skills to understand and it's not based on your reflexes like a shooter game would be.

Share God's Word in a simple, easy-to-understand format.  Package teaching truths in short statements that are easy to remember.

#7 - It's impossible to lose.
If you die, you can re-spawn.  If you drop some items, it doesn't matter.  You can still play hide and seek or chase other people around in the game.

While there is nothing wrong with competition, it's important to create an atmosphere where kids are rewarded for trying and participating not necessarily just for winning.  An example would be a review game.  Even if a child misses the question, he or she can still get a prize for trying.