Or church camp. You know how it goes. The teacher or counselor guides the kids, color this, glue that. Add some glitter. And at the end of the hour, a bunch of kids have completed the project. They all have uniform little bookmarks or light-catchers, or some other trinket that tied neatly into the Bible lesson of the day.
Crafts from church or camp are tangible things that kids show off, which prove to the parents that they are getting their money’s worth. What kid comes home from camp empty-handed?
One of the ironies of my occupation as an art teacher is how much I cannot stand “craft time” at church, camp, or Vacation Bible School. I’ve always avoided leading these activities as much as possible (though I’ve still found myself roped in from time to time.) But it’s not just that I’d rather not lead craft time. I think all the craft times your kids will enjoy this summer are actually a very appropriate metaphor for the broken Christianity they will be expected to embrace when they are adults.
It’s time for American churches to let go of “craft time” Christianity.