02 Apr Humility: Upside Down – April 2020, Our Plan (And Our Plan B – C, D… )

Life App: Humility – Putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve
Theme: Upside Down
Date: April 2020

Our OG Plan

Our original plan for the April set was one of my favorites. And not as much because of the set itself, but more because of the way we planned to build it. You can read all of the details HERE, but basically our March set was home to a DIY workshop where April’s set would be built. We had a plan for the host to work on something each week and show the progress of each element being built. We also had a plan to have the kids involved in the creation of the set as they would work on projects each week during their small group’s social time. They were going to make clouds, flowers, airplanes and a mosaic of a sun. Each element of the set was taken from 252 Kids’ theme graphic for April and our final product was to look something like the drawing we had hanging on the pegboard wall in our workshop.

Upside Down is RIGHT!

We got two weeks into the month of March and progress was right on schedule. Our iPhone from the previous month was cut into the shape of the truck from the theme graphic. We had a painted circle of foam board ready to be mounted on a spinning wheel and the kids had completed some beautiful clouds.

And then – the world turned upside down (btw – I spent that first week singing Yorktown from Hamilton in my head). 😉 In all seriousness, it felt like everything changed overnight. We were no longer meeting in person and really had to put our energy toward partnering with families and creating resources for them to engage with church online. The first week was filled with confusion and figuring it out. Obviously, all plans for a set were on hold because we had no idea how long the stay at home orders would last and life as we knew it was completely different. I’m not telling you anything new – I’m sure you all have your own version of this same scenario! 

A New Plan

Do I have any I Love Lucy fans out there? Maybe I’m dating myself, but I loved watching that show as a kid. The re-runs of course… I’m not that old. I did not watch in real time. Anyway, one of my favorite Lucy lines was always when she got herself into a jam and was trying to get out of it and she’d say to her sidekick Ethel – I have a plan!

That’s how I felt one morning when I woke up with an idea. I had this huge desire to engage with families. I wanted to provide resources for them, but not overwhelm them either. So, I decided to do something that would keep them connected to our resources while hopefully providing a project or two that would get kids creating and – truth be told – provide something for them to do, while giving parents a bit of breathing room.

So, I invited parents to have kids create the rest of their projects at home and send me a photo of what they created. My plan was to put them on the backdrop in our C3 Kids environment and create an intro video each week from the stage. I’d be there alone, but I’d reference their work and spin the big wheel each week as planned, to reveal the “upside down” bottom line. My hope was to send a video each week of April, as a promo of the materials we made available to parents for C3 Kids online. I have received some of the most beautiful photos…

Nope! Try again…

Well, all was going well, until I woke up Monday morning and heard that Maryland had now been placed on “lockdown” and the Stay At Home mandates were in effect through April 30th. The lockdown and 8 PM curfew was to begin that night. I knew going to church to create these videos was a “non-essential” so… I did what any good I Love Lucy fan would do. I devised a new plan! I got in my truck and headed to our church. I picked up as much as I could fit in my car and drove it all back to my house and placed it all in a little corner of my basement.

A Corner of My Basement

My intention is not necessarily to recreate the exact set we would have had if we were meeting together, but I knew I could bring some elements. I got the spinning wheel – which was the key piece. I had to cut it down and then into pieces to fit it into my car, but I’m working with it and hoping it will spin by Saturday! I continue to receive photos from parents of their kid’s creations and I’m excited to put something together where I can make some videos and connect with kids and parents even though we can’t meet in person.

Build Your Own Set – At Your Home

I also added one more element and encouraged parents to help their kids create their own upside down set in a corner of their home. One mom sent me a photo of her son’s work today! This them lends itself well, to a fun way of creating an environment in your home (turning furniture upside down, hanging drawings upside down, etc) where kids can engage with the materials we are offering online each week.

I’m praying this all helps families stay connected to one another and to our church. But more importantly, I pray that while our world is a bit upside down right now – we might all remember that Jesus turned things upside down in the very best way when He came on the scene. And He can do it again! As we choose to follow Him and grow in the Life App of Humility let’s turn this world upside down – Jesus style!