We have created a few ideas for families in CCE to use as an outdoor family worship time which you can read here;
The idea is to take the family outdoors to spend time with God, each other, and the natural world around us.
In my years of experience of leading children’s groups and being a Mum, I have found that it is so much easier to be with children outdoors. Andrew and I used to take the preteen aged group on a camping trip each year, it was such a pleasure to be with them, a group that usually gave us a pretty hard time on Sundays! To be able to run, play and be unconfined enabled us to be in a state or place where we could all be ourselves and enjoy that.
I personally feel that I engage with God easily outdoors, perhaps more easily when surrounded by the natural world than indoors. The writer of Romans says God expresses himself though the created world, it speaks to us of Him.
There are lots of movements around just now that are about getting children (or adults!) outside and reengaging with nature. One is ‘Forest Church’, a missional movement concerned with taking Church services outside. A great book I have just read is Outdoor Church by Sally Welch a resource for churches about family outdoor worship times.
Sally Welch has a quote in her book attributed to Martin Luther,’ God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars’. (Outdoor Church, pg 9)
This is not just about taking our usually activities outdoors but engaging with the outdoors. Collecting sticks, listening to wildlife, looking and seeing what us is around, discovering the nature of God and ourselves.
I also thought this may be a way of having some fun.
Outdoor Church by Sally Welch (Barnabas for Children)
Rewild Yourself by Simon Barnes (Simon and Schuster)