Now available for churches in the U.S., Incredible Islands is already changing children's ministry paradigms by engaging kids with Scripture and biblical principles in a familiar and entertaining way. Incredible Islands is a digital ministry tool designed to help the church extend its impact beyond on-site programming to disciple children throughout the week, wherever they may be.
"We want to recreate children's ministry," said OneHope President Rob Hoskins. "Incredible Islands helps churches engage their tech-savvy kids with biblical content that makes them want to explore God's Word."
OneHope will partner with My Healthy Church, a distributor reaching over 30,000 churches comprised of nearly 60 different groups and denominations. My Healthy Church will serve as the exclusive distributor of Incredible Islands in the U.S. church market.
"Our focus is to create the best and most engaging resources to reach kids where they are, with the tools they use every day. Incredible Islands is another step in our tradition of innovative resource development for the modern Church," says Steve Blount, vice president of Publishing and Production for My Healthy Church. With expertise in both direct-to-church and trade channels, the My Healthy Church partnership with OneHope expands the reach and impact of life changing discipleship tools.
"We're thrilled to partner with OneHope in offering cutting-edge resources for children's ministry. We believe Incredible Islands will play a significant role in growing kids' faith as well as equipping parents to have an active role in discipling their children at home," says Sol Arledge, president of My Healthy Church.
Research shows children as young as three are already using the Internet and kids spend an average of four to seven hours a day online. The need for a safe and productive online environment that brings kids closer to God has been evident for some time. For the church to remain relevant to this technology-driven generation, their programs must incorporate a digital element that engages kids and enhances how they are reached.
"What we've had in children's ministry is good, but won't bear up under the changes of our rapidly changing world," said Chad Causey, OneHope's vice president of Global Ministries and the idea guy behind Incredible Islands. "That can't be done without a digital platform. Incredible Islands is that platform."
Compedia, the developers of edutainment brands Bob the Builder, Lassie and Postman Pat, lent their expertise in combining fun and games with educational content to build a Scripture-rich virtual world for children to explore and learn God's Word. Working closely with churches, Compedia and OneHope designed Incredible Islands to address the 21st-century needs in children's ministry.
In the fun and highly interactive virtual world, children can earn coins by playing games as well by completing a weekly church-assigned mission consisting of a Bible story, Scripture memorization, prayer and giving. Pastors can customize some of the elements in Incredible Islands, such as the Scripture verse and Bible story, to reinforce the curriculum-based lessons they are teaching during their services. Pastors and parents are then able to monitor the kids' progress and time spent in the game, which provides opportunities for strengthening parent-child as well as pastor-parent relationships.
A Spanish version is expected to be ready for release this spring, with plans for other languages in the works for 2015.