Understanding how children experience/understand/feel about church/their church group
You will require
- An Alien image for each particpant (use the image we have provided or use a search engine to find a suitable one). Print the image so that there is enough space for writing or drawing around it.
- Felt-tip pens/couloured pencils
- A4 or A3 plain paper for creating a poster
- Print enough Alien images for your group + a few spare
- Consider which questions the Alien might want to ask (there are suggestions below). Write or print these inside speech bubbles, so that participants can take one at a time to answer.
What to do
Show the Alien image you have printed and get the group to decide on a name (we are going to use Arlo the Alien for simplicity)
Arlo the Alien has never seen a church/church group before and is full of questions. S/he would like to hear what the children have to say.
Read out some of the questions and invite the children (either individually or in pairs) to chose one to answer first. (They can write or draw their answers around the Alien image.)
The children can answer as many questions as there is time for.
Arlo the Alien would like to take something back to his/her planet to show the other aliens what happens at (name of church/group). Look together at all the responses from the activity. Which ones are the most important to put on a poster for Arlo? Create the poster together.
Reflect - what have you learned? How might that feed in to what you (or the church) do? Who can help things change?
- Why do you like coming to (name of church/group)?
- What makes you feel welcome at (name of church/group)?
- What makes you feel sad or unhappy about (name of church/group)?
- What do you do at (name of church/group)?
- What would make (name of church/group) better?
- What's the most important thing about (name of church/group)?
Do it differently
- Help Arlo find out about a particular aspect of worship (prayer, Bible, Holy Communion).
- With older young people, don't use an Alien, but someone who has never heard of Christianity.