Children's Ministry is all about relationships- connecting kids to kids, kids to leaders, and kids to Christ. Everything else we do, from environment design to curriculum choices is all about facilitating relationships that ultimately lead to Christ.
Yesterday's bowling party was just that, a time to build relationships in a fun environment that will create lasting memories- memories of happy times with other kids who are following Christ. Not a very spiritual environment if you're a Pharisee, but I can tell you that parents and kids connected with each other at a deeper level than they normally do when passing in the crowd on a weekend.
I got a kick out of watching some little guys try bowling for the first time. You could see the excitement on their faces. And to rephrase a verse, if I smiled at their happiness- and they aren't even my kids- I know God was laughing at their joy as He watched His kids playing and having fun.
And that makes the point of my ministry mantra- Kids learn best when they're having fun!