I don’t have mad ninja-teaching skills like Mr. Feeny or Dumbledore but I work hard to hone my craft. Over the years I’ve learned 5 principles that have helped me communicate God’s Word better to kids. These principles can be used in any church as early as THIS weekend. Use a couple each weekend to add some flavor to what you’re already doing:
1. DON’T remove the conflict from the story.
My friend Ruben says it best: “Children’s ministry leaders work hard to defeat boredom. Fun is one weapon we wield, but most don’t know the other. It’s conflict. Any gripping story goes from conflict to conflict. Trying to make it all happy accomplishes the opposite: boredom. Ever since the fall in Eden, our world is in conflict. Mankind is naturally interested in seeing people struggle and overcome. It grabs us. I’m not saying show conflict for sake of conflict. That’s Jerry Springer. No, show people persevering through conflict. That grabs and teaches.”
2. DO include some kind of kid participation.
I almost never teach kids without some kind of kid-participation. Whether it’s a creative reading or spontaneous melodrama kids like seeing other kids on stage. It helps them relate better to your lesson. The more kids you can involve the better.
3. DON’T be afraid to use clips your kids are watching.
Most kids are visual learners and it just makes sense to take this medium (something they are already getting a constant stream of) and use it for Kingdom purposes. Many movies and TV shows for kids are already written around a moral anyway. Use them to show kids examples of how to and not to live.
4. DO include object lessons from time to time.
Using day-to-day objects is a great method for helping kids to remember your lesson during the week. MinistryToChildren.com has several that you can use.
5. DON’T forget that kids love to hear stories from when you were a kid.
I am always surprised by how effective this is. It’s like kids don’t realize grown-ups used to be kids. Failure stories work really well. The funnier and more embarrassing the better.
For more tips be sure to check out 5 More DOS and DONTS of Teaching Kids