The End of Tablet Time

”We shouldn’t let fun become a tool to keep kids interested so we can feed them some good news on the side. Jesus isn’t a side dish." Jack Klumpenhower

Yesterday was the first Bible Club since December 15 when kids let out for Christmas break. They greatly enjoyed red-light/green-light, songtime, reviewing class rules, and listening to a story about the resurrection of Christ.

But they definitely didn’t enjoy my telling them there would no longer be tablet-time.

Tablet time has been a big part of Bible Club since I started it on the front porch and four of the best-behaved children played a game on my tablet for two-minutes. One life was also offered to children who came by my house for a Bible story.

There’s nothing wrong with tablet-time by itself, but I chose to end that part of ministry because it had become a gimmick (exciting way to bring children in).

Jack Klumpenhower in his excellent book “Show Them Jesus” explains the deeper problem with these gimmicks.

“If I can’t get little ones excited about Sunday school without pretending we’re jungle explorers or astronauts, or if I need carnival games to keep the youth group together, I’ve already lost. The subtle message of those gimmicks is that jungles and space stations and carnivals are more exciting than Jesus.”

Klumpenhower isn’t saying we shouldn’t have games [1] but argues against their becoming the “primary draw” this should be “pounding home the Gospel.”

Yesterday pounding home the Gospel meant emphasizing the resurrection of Christ
1. By singing “Jesus died for sinful men, but He arose and lives again”
2. Learning 1 John 4:14 The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the World
3. Reading Matthew 28:1–7
4. Reading a story about the people coming to Jesus’ tomb and saying “it wasn’t supposed to end like this.” [2]
5. Describing the joy of Mary Magdalene when she realized Jesus was alive
6. Asking why the women were sad when they came [3] and what changed that sadness
7. Talk about times that we may think God isn’t there (when we are frightened)
8. Be thankful that Jesus is always with us even when it doesn’t feel like it!

The children were a bit skeptical about Jesus always being with them in the sad times being as exciting as tablet-time…but as the Gospel is pounded home children will realize Jesus is much greater than all the tablet time in the world.

[1]: “If you lead games, you’ll have many informal opportunities to show the love of Christ and tell about him. That’s great!”

[2]: Jesus Storybook Bible, pg.310

[3]: Jesus was supposed to save them right away

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