CANTON, MI (December 13, 2010) – Jody Eidnes, manager of the Great Lakes Conference office of the Evangelical Covenant Church, had such a great time playing with Legos during a recent visit to Stuttgart, Germany, that the conference is now asking for donations of the snap-together plastic bricks.
They are not for her, though. The conference wants to develop a program that could be used during vacation Bible schools (VBS) as well as after-school and holiday programs.
Eidnes had seen how the Free Church in Germany (FeG) was using Lego cities as a successful outreach to their community. The FeG gathered 800kg – 1,764 pounds – of Lego bricks and pieces. They built a cross-shaped base for the Lego city that comes apart, creating several smaller pieces for easy transportation as the material travels from church to church. A teaching module also has been developed.
Children assemble a large Lego city while exploring what God’s word has to say about creation (what God did and what we were created for), the foundations upon which our lives are built, and how our individual lives fit together like Legos with purpose and reason and are being built together into the entity known as the church.
“The Bible tells us we have been wonderfully made, that we are to build our lives upon the foundation of Christ’s words,” says Eidnes. “It also says that we are individually holy buildings – temples in which God’s Holy Spirit resides, and that together we are living stones that are being built together into a dwelling place for our God.”
The program is primarily designed for children ages 7-11, with a smaller program – “Duplos” – for kids 4-6 years old. Middle school/junior high and high school students are encouraged to participate as helpers, serving as “architects, contractors, site foremen” and other construction-type positions.
At the Stuttgart church, 55 children spent three days creating their Lego city. “For many of the children and their families from the surrounding community, this was their first time in the Stuttgart church,” Eidnes says.
The program had one unexpected result, Eidnes says. Generally mothers accompany their children to VBS, but the Lego city drew primarily fathers.
The families that participated in the VBS came back on Sunday to pack the church for the “family worship service.” That’s when the lesson continued.
“During the service everyone was treated to a very visual demonstration of the Lego house upon the sand and the Lego house upon the rock,” Eidnes says. “The Lego house on the sand was no match for the large sprinkler can full of water, while the Lego house attached to the rock stood firm against the sprinkler can monsoon.”
In the conference program, a participating church will pick up the Legos from the congregation that previously used them. Eidnes’ 22-year-old son, Toby, accompanied her to Stuttgart and is working with the Legos Digital Designer program to develop the cities.
Eidnes admits, “Putting together a Lego city of our own will be a very large undertaking.” The conference office says it will appreciate assistance from Covenant churches across the denomination for the following needs:
- “Legos, lots and lots of Legos,” Eidnes says. “Ask for Legos from the people in the congregation, go to garage sales, ask neighbors and friends for the Legos that are cluttering up their basements or attics.”
- Ideas for the Lego city. Kids and adults are asked to send narratives, drawings, and pictures of what they think the Lego city should look like and what it should include.
- Ideas for the schedule
- Ideas for the main Bible teaching texts
- Song suggestions – or ask the church youth group to write a song and, if possible, video record the group singing the original composition
Legos can be sent to the Great Lakes Conference, 7001 N. Haggerty Rd., Canton, MI, 48187. Information can be sent either my regular mail or by email to Eidnes.
For more information, call the office at 734-451-4670.