Friday, October 13, 2017

Youth Ministry: Backyard Ball Field Marker

Homemade line marker.
Acts 17:26 says - From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

Boundaries are important, especially in working with kids. Kids need boundaries. If their boundaries are not clearly marked, they will push those boundaries until you absolute define what those boundaries are. This need for boundaries extends to children's play.

Here's a handy little device for making soccer fields, baseball, football and even grass tennis courts in your backyard or your church school playground for the kids. Let me just say this. A lot of people dismiss going to the trouble of marking a ball field for kids games. I think they are mistaken.

The first thing God did when he was ready to build a nation out of the rabble that came out of Egypt was to write down the rules and build a temple. The temple was the playing field on which the Hebrew people worked out their salvation with fear and trembling. The boundaries and layout of the temple was the field upon which the Children of Israel played out the plan of salvation.

I'm here to tell you that marking out the boundaries of a playing field and putting on a striped referee's shirt makes a difference in how the kids approach obeying the rules. The lines define the boundaries of the game. With lines the arguments over whether the ball or a runner were out of bounds are vastly reduced.

I worked with emotionally disturbed kids and found that my taking the time to mark out the lines on our playing fields changed the attitude of children who played on them. The well-marked boundaries not only helped make games easier to officiate, they also made the kids feel like our games were real games and that they had been admitted to a special place as privileged participants. The boundaries said, "You are important enough for us to have taken the time to make the playing field look professional.

I've been a Pathfinder leader, a recreation therapist, a PE teacher and youth leader working with a wide array of kids. I'm here to tell you. Mark your ball fields. It makes a difference.

You can buy field markers or make your own. The link below is to my article on building a simple homemade line marker.

© 2017 by Tom King

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