Montgomery children’s leaders get creative to reach children during pandemic

Photo courtesy of Greg Gosselin

Montgomery children’s leaders get creative to reach children during pandemic

Like most everybody else this year, Greg Gosselin realized back in the spring that he was going to have to pivot a little.

“In the past, we’ve always hosted a huge Easter event at my house,” said Gosselin, who serves as minister to children at Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Montgomery.

That means hiding somewhere around 10,000 eggs, fishing on the pond and sharing the Easter story.

But this year with COVID-19, it just wasn’t going to happen. So he started thinking, “What else could we do that the kids might like that would give them the opportunity to hear the story of Easter?”

That led to him buying eggs and hand delivering them to the home of each child in Eastern Hills’ children’s ministry. Each delivery came with instructions for using the eggs to tell the resurrection story and a guide for conducting a related scavenger hunt around their home.

“It was supposed to just be a simple surprise, but the response was overwhelming,” Gosselin said.

So next, he and his wife, Karen, started thinking of other ways they could reach out to the children. And before they knew it, they’d rented an ice cream truck.

“We took it around to all of their homes — about 60 families,” Gosselin said. “We were also able to connect with probably 100 other children and their families just out in the community.”

For Mother’s Day, the Gosselins traveled around to each home and let the children make a cake in a mug for their mothers using ingredients they brought with them.

“We had chef hats on and started playing ‘Be Our Guest’ when we arrived,” Gosselin said. “It was so much fun.”

Then for Father’s Day, they did the same thing and let the children make and shake up bottles of marinade.

‘One-on-one’ time

“We really enjoyed all of it,” Gosselin said of him and his wife, who leads the children’s choir and teaches Vacation Bible School. “We wanted it to be from both of us.”

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions, he said some parts of ministry during social distancing were refreshing.

“I’ve been able to minister in a way I could’ve never done,” Gosselin said. “We got quality one-on-one time with the children and their parents and were able to let them know that the church cares. We were also able to talk with them and see how they were feeling during everything that was going on. We were able to truly minister — which is what we’re called to do.”

A blessing

Josh Wootton, Eastern Hills’ pastor, said it was a blessing to see Gosselin’s ideas become a reality.

“When we were hit with quarantine, we met together as pastors and started talking about ways we could continue to connect with our congregation,” Wootton said. “Greg said he had an idea. A week later, he was riding down the road in an ice cream truck surprising our families. The kids loved it, the parents loved it, and I believe God was glorified.”