Mini ALF and ALF meet every Sunday during term time in the top hall at Western Road from 10-11.10 am. The sessions coincide with our morning services so parents can leave their children whilst they attend church but some parents also choose to drop their children off, go home and then collect their children at the end of the session.
The letters A.L.F stand for ‘About Life and Faith.’ In our morning sessions we teach children about God and Jesus through Bible stories, craft, cooking and games. We also teach them how to be a good friend and support each other both in and out of school. For the older children we also offer day trips, for example, to an Outdoor Activity Centre and weekends away which help to build lasting friendships with other children they meet at ALF and Billericay Methodist Church. Through Bible teaching, prayer and fun we try to give them hope and helpful tips about how they can use their faith to overcome their worries in an uncertain world. We also try to support ALF families through a termly ‘Family Breakfast’ where church parents can come together over a bacon or sausage sandwich whilst the children play and through a termly evening get together for ALF Mums where Mums can chat and relax over a drink and dessert at one of the leaders’ homes.
(3 – 7 years)
Mini- ALF for children aged 3-7 years
A typical Mini-ALF session would run like this.
Theme: Jesus friends: Spring Term
Welcome: children to make a friend out of playdough whilst waiting for other children to arrive.
Word: The children would hear the story of how Jesus chose his disciples from The Beginners Bible. We would discuss what makes a good friend and why Jesus chose those men to be his friends.
Worship: the children would suggest people or friends they would like to pray for or things for which they want to thank God
Witness/ Games: children might make paper plate faces –one to give to their friend & one to keep. We would play some games which encourage them to work together and share with others such as ‘Greedy Gorilla’ or ‘Traffic Lights.’
Church: At about 11am the children go into church to share what they have been doing and join in the final hymn.
(7 – 12 years)
Welcome: each session begins with each child sharing the good/bad part of their week
Word: We have a termly focus such as ‘Jesus’ Life’ and study a Bible passage from the Youth Bible each week on an aspect of this. Most of the material and suggestions for teaching comes from ‘Urban Saints’
Worship: we include a time of refection or prayer where the children can consider what they’ve learnt.
Witness: our 7-12 year olds love playing games or being set challenges such as design packaging from an egg so it can be dropped from a height. We try to make learning and applying the Bible messages to daily life fun. We somehow manage to relate cooking, custard pie throwing or playing team games to our weekly theme.
Church: at 11amish we go into church so the children can report back. This is an excellent time for individuals to be in the spotlight and to become confident at speaking to an audience as well as to meet people of all different ages.