This past summer, we launched our new kids’ initiative The Walter Project. The Walter Project is an activity-based lesson plan that churches can use during Vacation Bible School or Sunday school, and it encourages children to care for “the least of these” the Bible talks about in Matthew 25, while helping raise money to bring clean water to kids in Africa. Check out the impact that Gladeville Baptist Church had from participating.
This past summer, our church decided to use some of our time each day at Vacation Bible School to emphasize how God wants us to take our faith and apply it to our lives. Each day had a different emphasis, one of which was global. We began to pray and search for a global emphasis that could easily be made tangible for the kids in our ministry.
This is how our relationship with Blood:Water began. We originally selected Blood:Water because of some personal relationships we had within the organization, and as we began to gather information and have conversations, we knew that this was a great ministry to partner with.
As part of this partnership, we had two clear goals. The first and foremost goal was to use the resources of Blood:Water to educate, involve and excite our kids about the movement of God across the globe, specifically Africa. That goal was primarily accomplished by having a Blood:Water intern come in and talk with our kids about their mission as well as to educate our kids on why drinking water is so important and to help them understand this luxury that we so take for granted. This was one of our kids' favorite days in VBS! They ate up every word and, I believe, truly understood the importance of what they heard.
Our second goal was to tie our global emphasis into our daily offering. This has been an area of struggle for our church during VBS. Historically, we had kids bringing in food for the food pantry, bringing an offering for another project, etc. This year our goal was simple: we needed to simplify our giving. In other words, we needed to make a clear and concise communication to our children and families to give toward one goal that they would be passionate about. After learning about Blood:Water and seeing the water jugs placed on stage daily as our offering bins, kids could easily connect an important truth in their minds: their money was giving other kids clean water. And thanks to the reputation of Blood:Water, parents also felt good about where their money was going. The result? Our kids responded in an unexpected way. We received over a 100 percent increase in offering than we received the previous three years at our VBS. There was a synergy created around this simple and effective “ask." On top of that, our kids were excited about helping specific families with specific life needs! The Walter Project that Blood:Water provides gives you the ability to communicate a simple life need to kids who can make a HUGE impact.
Jared Norris Gladeville Baptist Church Children’s Minister
Psssst! Check out our brand new Walter t-shirt just for kids!