Like many of you I get to speak to kids about the Bible on a regular basis. I find the more I plan ahead the better those times go. Like the old saying goes: proper preparation prevents poor performance. So how can you prepare your message to kids in a way that makes your delivery meaningful?
Here’s a little of what I’m doing that seems to really be working in my setting:
I come up with a memorable bottom line
We purchase a curriculum for our teaching time and tweak is to fit our needs. Most curriculum companies have accurate bottom lines, but not memorable ones. So I start by rewriting it until I feel it’s both accurate and memorable.
I organize my notes around Andy Stanley’s ME-WE-GOD-YOU-WE approach
I’m not sure if he intended it to work with kids or not but it’s working for me and my group of kids right now. It has been the most helpful approach to organizing my talks I have EVER used in almost 14 years of Children’s Ministry. Here’s a copy of how I organize my notes using this approach. You can read more about Andy’s approach here and here.
I include at least two of the following elements in my message:
- A personal story that’s kid-appropriate (preferably from when I was their age).
- An object lesson that illustrates or demonstrates the main point.
- A movie clip that reinforces the main point.
- A creative reading of the Bible story.
- A testimony from one of the kids in our group.
I email my notes to our team to get their questions and suggestions about it
I usually give my team a week to give me feedback. Once I’ve gotten it I’ll go back through my talks and make the changes that seem to be the most helpful.
I put my notes on my iPad for reference
Before the days of iPad I used to print my notes out and put them in a 3 ring binder so it was easier to move from page to page without losing the pages. Now I put the PDF of my notes in iBooks so I can flip through the pages more naturally and I use a large font size so it’s easier to read on stage. I also make sure my iPad is on airplane mode so I can teach uninterrupted, turn the brightness level up so the screen is easier to read, turn the lock rotation on, and turn the auto lock off.
I practice my talk aloud 2 – 4 times before giving it to my audience
This helps me work out the kinks, pace, tone, and feel of my message. I’ll set a timer up in the room I’m practicing in to make sure I don’t go over my allowed time, which is 15 minutes. Usually by the time I go up to teach for the first of our four services I’ve already “taught” it through a couple of times. This makes me less nervous and more confident in my delivery.
After my first time giving my talk I’ll go back and make changes to my notes as needed
I’ll also ask for feedback from some of our leaders I trust and incorporate their feedback (as it’s helpful) into the next services I teach at.
Hope this was helpful.