This post is part of a series pertaining to doing a regular family service or “family experience” in a small church.  View the first post here.

Our Family eXperiences (or FX) take place on the fourth Sunday night of the month.  For our first few FXs, we used the virtue that the kids had been talking about for that month and did a sort of recap.  In an effort to better equip our parents and encourage dialog at home, we have shifted and now premiere the upcoming month’s virtue at FX.  This has met with great satisfaction and is an added bonus for the kids who come to FX.  They get to know the virtue before anyone else.

For our welcome we do a comic host and credible host routine.  The comic host enters with some sort of dilemma, problem, or outrageous behavior that conveniently pertains to that nights topic and sets up the introduction of the virtue.

One of our hosts is “The Famous Dr. Know.”  Dr. Know is a mad scientist type character, more of a crazy scientist with an afro, who is played by our pastor.  What I love about using him in this role is the exposure it gives him to the kids at church.  I want the kids in our church growing up knowing that he is their pastor, I’m the children’s/youth pastor.  I also like it because they get to see him let his guard down, which means they know he can have fun in addition to be serious.

Another of our comic hosts, though she doesn’t come out as much, is “Millie the Baker who bakes.”  Millie is a baker who never seems to get her recipe right, that is, when she uses a recipe.  Millie is played by our pastor’s wife, who also is our preschool/nursery director. 

Both of our characters have extremely low-budget costumes, but when working with comic characters, sometimes it is actually better when the outfit looks a little pieced together.  Don’t get me wrong, they look good, but you would be surprised what you can put together with borrowed items and after Halloween sales. 

It is safe to say that with both Dr. Know and Millie, the adults AND kids enjoy the opening routine.  It is fun to see your pastor or his wife acting goofy and in costume.  Plus, both of them are surprisingly talented and do a great job with their characters.

That’s how our FXs begin.  By the time the welcome is finished, the direction is set for the service and the congregation has their attention focused on what is happening.  From there, we move on to dismissal…gotcha, just making sure you were paying attention.