Involucrando a los niños en el ministerio y servicio

Involucrando a los niños en el ministerio y servicio

«…Y el niño ministraba a Jehová delante del sacerdote Elí». (1 Samuel 2:11)

Cuando Ana llevó a Samuel al tabernáculo en Silo para cumplir su voto a Jehová, la Biblia nos dice que «el niño era pequeño» quizá tenía unos 3 años. Sabemos que, bajo la dirección e instrucción del sacerdote Elí, Samuel inmediatamente comenzó a servir en el ministerio a esta temprana edad. ¿Cómo servía él? Primera de Samuel 3:15 nos dice que Samuel «[abría] las puertas de la casa de Jehová». Puedo imaginarme a un joven Samuel vestido en un efod de lino que le había hecho su madre, abriendo las puertas y saludando a la gente mientras entraban a la casa de Jehová.

Samuel comenzó su ministerio cuando era un niño pequeño, sirviendo y ayudando mientras aprendía del sacerdote Elí. Fue un ministerio intergeneracional. Samuel no fue puesto en la parte posterior del tabernáculo donde no sería visto ni oído; lo colocaron en la puerta principal. Sin duda tuvo que barrer, limpiar y hacer otros quehaceres menores en el tabernáculo, mientras aprendía y crecía en el Señor. Lo que debemos aprender de esta historia es que se le dio la oportunidad a Samuel de servir, aprender y crecer en el ministerio desde una edad temprana.

 Los niños en nuestros ministerios necesitan tener las mismas oportunidades que tuvo Samuel. Necesitan saber que pueden servir y ayudar, aunque sea en las cosas pequeñas. El Señor dijo: «El que es fiel en lo muy poco, también en lo más es fiel…» (Lucas 16:10, RVR1960). Debemos enseñarles a nuestros niños a servir y ser responsables en el ministerio mientras son pequeños. Nuestros niños no son sólo la iglesia de mañana, sino que son parte de la iglesia de hoy. Debemos enseñarles a decir: «Yo puedo servir».

IDEAS QUE PUEDE UTILIZAR

Es importante enseñar que el ministerio es un llamado de tiempo completo y no simplemente cuando nos da la gana. En mi iglesia nos aseguramos de que nuestros niños sean responsables cuando se ofrecen como voluntarios, o cuando se les pide que sirvan en un ministerio o proyecto. Deben recibir entrenamiento y asistir a las reuniones sobre ese ministerio o proyecto. A continuación algunas de las cosas que hemos hecho en nuestra iglesia local y campamentos que han funcionado. También presentamos la edad requerida para que puedan participar de esos ministerios.

 EL PERSONAL:Los niños se comprometen a ayudar a limpiar después de un evento. Limpian las mesas, barren el piso y ayudan a sacar la basura. El personal también ayuda, en los días programados, a limpiar y hacerle reparaciones a la iglesia. Aun han ayudado a organizar el armario de suministros. El equipo también puede ayudar a recoger la basura en el parque local. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 MINISTERIO DE MARIONETAS:Los niños son nuestros marionetistas. Deben de ensayar con anticipación. Cuando los niños están comenzando en este ministerio, les damos títeres dactilares para que los lleven a la casa y practiquen frente al espejo. Generalmente tenemos muchos niños que quieren participar en el ministerio de títeres. Cuando eso pasa, alternamos a nuestros marionetistas semanalmente para darle a cada niño la oportunidad de servir en este ministerio. Este ministerio comienza con niños en el 3er año de primaria.

 EL CORO/GRUPO DE ADORACIÓN:Los niños cantan en el coro y grupo de adoración. Deben participar de los ensayos para que puedan aprender la letra y familiarizarse con la melodía de los cantos. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 EQUIPO DE LA LOGÍSTICA:Les damos oportunidad a los niños de observar y aprender de los adultos que trabajan con el equipo técnico y de sonido. Esto es mucho más que simplemente apretar un botón. Desde el comienzo hasta el final, los niños aprenden qué se necesita para que los elementos de la logística marchen sin problemas, para que puedan ellos operar el sistema con destreza. Queremos asegurarnos de que los niños entiendan el costo y el valor del equipo de sonido y otros elementos de la logística. Los niños en quinto año de primaria pueden comenzar a servir en este ministerio.

 UJIERES:Servir como un ujier implica saludar a la gente cuando entran en el santuario y ayudar a recolectar la ofrenda. Se les debe enseñar a los niños a saludar con una sonrisa, una palabra amable y dando la mano. También deben familiarizarse con el edificio y los diversos ministerios para que puedan responder a las preguntas y dirigir a las nuevas familias a la guardería, al área del ministerio de niños, al santuario, etc. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 CANASTA DE DESPENSA:Una vez cada tres meses nuestros niños preparan pasteles, galletas y bizcochos, los embolsan y colocan en una canasta de despensa para nuestros ancianos y personas que no puede salir de sus hogares. También escriben notas alentadoras y dibujos y las ponen en la canasta. Oramos por ellas la noche en que las preparamos. Al día siguiente, los niños que están disponibles nos ayudan a entregarlas. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 FERIA ARTESANAL:Los niños hacen artesanías para recaudar fondos para las misiones. Escogemos artesanías que les guste a los niños y cada uno hace una para vender. La feria artesanal navideña ha sido la mejor de todas. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 EL SERVICIO DE NIÑOS:Los niños que quieren ayudar en el servicio de niños reciben una copia de la lección con anticipación, y nos reunimos con ellos para orar y conversar sobre la lección. Decidimos en qué parte de la lección/servicio van a ministrar —ya seala lección objetiva, la lección bíblica, operando la logística o en los juegos. Unos días antes del servicio, contactamos a los niños para asegurarnos de que están listos. Después del servicio, conversamos sobre lo que les gustó y lo que no les gustó, lo que salió bien y lo que no salió bien, y decidimos si hacer cambios o mejoras. Queremos que los niños que ayudan en esta capacidad sean al menos tres años mayor que los niños de la clase donde sirven. Los niños pueden comenzar a ayudar en este ministerio cuando estén en 4o año de primaria.

 VISITAS:Lleve a los niños a visitar los asilos y hospitales. Llevamos pequeños regalos para aquellos que visitamos y les preguntamos si desean que oremos por ellos antes de irnos. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 EQUIPO DE APOYO:Los niños escriben notas de agradecimiento a nuestro pastor y otros líderes de la iglesia. Las pegamos de las puertas de las oficinas, las ventanas de los carros, o las colocamos en sus sillas en la iglesia. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

Los niños quieren ser parte del ministerio y quieren servir. Durante años hemos oído a los niños preguntar: «¿Puedo ayudar?» Nuestra respuesta debe ser «¡SÍ, PUEDES!» Observar a un niño servir, aprender y crecer en el ministerio es una de las bendiciones más grandes que hay en el ministerio de niños. Quizá comiencen dando pequeños pasos, pero si se les brinda la oportunidad, con práctica y tiempo, esos pequeños pasos se convierten en grandes avances.

 

Autora contribuyente: Margaret Bryant  

Margaret es la líder del ministerio de niños en la iglesia Family Worship Center en Hickman, Tenesí. Ella y su esposo, David, dirigen el campamento Big Shot en Camp Hickory Hills. Margaret comenzó sirviendo en el ministerio de niños a los 12 años. Ella desea que todos los niños sepan que son amados y que han sido creados para un propósito.

 

Engaging Children in Ministry and Service

Engaging Children in Ministry and Service

“…And the child did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.” (1 Samuel 2:11)

When Hannah brought Samuel to the tabernacle at Shiloh to fulfill her vow to the Lord, the Bible tells us “the child was young”—possibly as young as three years old.  We know that under the direction and instructions of Eli the priest, Samuel immediately began serving in ministry at this young age. How did he serve? 1 Samuel 3:15 tells us that Samuel “opened the doors of the house of the Lord.” I can picture a young Samuel, wearing the linen ephod that his mother had made him, opening the doors and greeting the people as they entered the house of the Lord.

Samuel began his ministry as a young child, serving and contributing, while learning from Eli the priest. It was an intergenerational ministry. Samuel was not placed in the back of the tabernacle where he would not be seen or heard. He was placed at the front door. He most likely had to sweep, clean, and do some of the more menial tasks of serving in the tabernacle, while learning and growing in the Lord. The lesson here is that Samuel was given the opportunity to serve, learn, and grow in ministry from a young age.

The children in our ministries need the same opportunities as Samuel. We want them to know that they can serve and contribute now, even if it is in the small things. The Lord says, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…” (Luke 16:10). We can teach our children while they are young how to serve and be accountable in ministry. Our children are part of our church today, not just the church of tomorrow.

IDEAS YOU CAN USE

It is important to teach that ministry is full time, not just when we feel like it. In my church, we make sure to hold our children accountable when they volunteer or are asked to serve in a ministry or a service project. Practices are required, and they attend meetings about that ministry or project. Here are some things we have done at our local church and camps that work. The ages required for these ministries are listed as well.

THE CREW: Children sign up to help clean after an event. They wipe tables, sweep the floor, and help take out trash. The Crew also helps on scheduled work days to clean and do repairs around the church. They have even help organize the supply closet! The Crew can also help pick up trash at the local park or playground. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

PUPPET MINISTRY: Children are our puppeteers. They must participate in advance practice.  When children are new to this ministry, we give them finger eye puppets to take home and practice puppeteering in the mirror. We typically have many children who want to participate in puppet ministry.  When this happens, we rotate our puppeteers weekly to give each child a chance to serve in this ministry. Our puppet ministry begins at the 3rd grade.

CHOIR/WORSHIP TEAM: Children sing in the choir and worship team. They are required to attend practice, so they can learn the music and words. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

MEDIA TEAM: We give children the opportunity to shadow and learn from the adults who run the technology and sound equipment. This is much more than just pushing a button.  From set up to shut down, children learn what it takes to make media run smoothly, so they can operate the system. We want to make sure children understand the cost and value of the equipment. Children in this ministry can begin at 5th grade.

USHERS: Serving as an usher involves greeting people as they come in and taking up the offering. Children are taught to greet with a smile, a kind word, and handshake. They should also become familiar with the building and ministries offered in order to be able to answer questions and direct new families to the nursery, children’s ministry area, sanctuary, etc. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

BLESSING BAGS AND BASKETS: Once a quarter, our children bake cakes, cookies, and brownies to put in blessing bags and baskets for our seniors and shut-ins. They write encouraging notes and draw pictures to add to the bags. We pray over the bags and baskets the night we make them. Children who are available the next day help deliver them. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

CRAFT FAIR: Children make crafts to sell for missions. We choose crafts the children like, and every child makes one to sell. Christmas Craft Fair has been our best one yet. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH: Children who want to help in children’s church get a copy of the lesson ahead of time, and we meet with them to discuss and pray about the lesson. We decide which part of the lesson/service they will minister in—whether it is the object lesson, the Bible lesson, running the technology, or games. A few days before service, we contact the children to make sure they are ready. After the service, we discuss what they liked and didn’t like, what went well or didn’t go well, and decide how to make any changes or improvements. We want the child to be at least three years older than the children in the class where they are assisting. Children in this ministry can begin at 4th grade.

VISIT: Take children to visit nursing homes and hospitals. We take small items to give to those we are visiting and ask if we can pray with them before we leave. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

ENCOURAGEMENT TEAM: Children write thank you notes to our pastor and other leaders in the church. We post these on office doors, car windows, or place them in their seats at church. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

Children want to be a part of ministry and serve. Over the years we have heard many children ask, “Can I help?” Our answer is “YES! YOU CAN!”  Watching a child serve, learn, and grow in ministry is one of the greatest blessings that exists in children’s ministry. Children may begin with small baby steps, but given opportunity, practice and time, those small steps turn into great strides.

Resources

 

Contributing Author: Margaret Bryant
Margaret is the children’s ministry leader at Family Worship Center in Hickman, TN.  She and her husband, David, also direct Big Shot Camp at Camp Hickory Hills. Margaret began serving in children’s ministry when she was 12.  She has a desire for all children to know they are loved, wanted, and created for a purpose.

Reaching Children with the Good News!

Reaching Children with the Good News!

The Wikipedia definition of outreach is “an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to those services.”

I am a children’s pastor in a community with a university. Every summer they and various other community organizations offer sports camps. The cost is usually between $150.00 to $300.00 for the week. Several years ago, I met with five other children’s pastors from our community to discuss the possibility of offering a free sports camp for kids of single parent and low income families who couldn’t afford it otherwise.  This seemed like an impossible task since we had no budget, no staff, no venue, and no equipment. However, after continuing to pray about it for a few weeks we were all confident that God had birthed this idea in each of us. We would step out in faith knowing we couldn’t accomplish this monumental task alone, but with God nothing was impossible. The miracles that began to take place overwhelmed us.  We secured a free location on a former golf course, so we had plenty of space. Sponsorships began to come in from local businesses.  Coaches from several local schools volunteered their time. Sports equipment was donated. The list goes on and on.   We held our first camp only five months after we began to plan. That first year we had over four hundred kids in attendance.  The camp grew so much over the next couple of years that we had to cut registration off at a thousand kids!  The Lord blessed us with awesome volunteers.  We’ve had former NFL players, Harlem Globe Trotters, a former University of Tennessee head coach, University of Tennessee basketball players and a former Brazilian soccer player.

A dear friend of mine uses this saying often “What God orders he pays for.” This was clearly evident in how he provided for this camp year after year.

Each day of the camp we had a ministry time with the kids during their break. Over the years we shared the gospel with thousands of kids who might not otherwise have had access to it.

Finding opportunities to serve in our communities is not an option.  When we serve the kids and families of the communities where we live, work, and attend church we are fulfilling the mandate that Jesus gave us to be the salt and light of the world.  It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to build bridges into our communities connecting them to the life-changing message of the love of Christ.

Ideas You Can Use

 

Evaluate Your Ministry

In her article Connecting Your Church to Your Community author Krista Petty says, “While no two congregations follow the same blueprint for community involvement, most have had to answer the following six questions along the way to becoming more externally focused.”

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Partnering with Schools

Partnering with the administration of your schools and providing needed services and building relationship is an excellent way to reach the kids of your community.

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Utilize Your Facility

A great way to connect with the kids of your community is to open up your church during the week outside of regular church times.

Creative Ideas

VBS Beyond the Building

Think outside the box.  Why not move your VBS program to a local park?

Get Ideas

School’s Out Celebration

The close of the school year is an excellent time to minister to the children that live near your church.

Get Ideas

Resources

There are many resources that can help with outreach ministry. Click the button below for a list to get started.

Resources

 

 

Contributing Author: Cathy Baggerly

Pastor Cathy came to serve as children’s pastor at the Peerless Road Church in December 2005. She had previously served as the children’s pastor at the Altavista Church of God Prophecy in Altavista, VA since 1999.  Cathy has been working with children for more than twenty years and is passionate about seeing them love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength as well as loving and serving others.  Her formal training is in early childhood and elementary education. As a member of the International Children’s Ministry Team for the Church of God of Prophecy, Cathy participates in training children’s minsters around the world.  One of her favorite outreach opportunities is planning a sports camp for children through her membership in the Cleveland Children’s Ministry Network. Cathy and her husband Lee, were married in February of 1987. They have three beautiful children: Malorie, Logan and Emma.

Preteen Ministry: Reaching Kids in Transition

Preteen Ministry: Reaching Kids in Transition

What image comes to your mind when you picture children’s ministry?  For many of us, it is a puppet interacting with a group of children or a minister using an inspiring object lesson.  Now what comes to mind when you picture youth ministry?  Perhaps you see a crazy game or a youth pastor leading a weekend retreat.  Either way, most of us have a definite opinion about what children’s ministry or youth ministry looks like.  There is, however, a middle area of ministry that is sometimes hard to define– preteen ministry.  This ministry area consists of children between the ages of 9 and 12.  They don’t consider themselves to be “little kids” anymore, but they aren’t quite teenagers yet.  These children are definitely in a transition period.  As children’s ministers, we want to reach them at this critical time and help them make the transition to youth ministry.

Ideas You Can Use

 

Use Small Groups Effectively

Effective use of large and small groups is important, especially if you cannot completely separate your preteen ministry from your younger elementary age students (grades 1-3).

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Involve Preteens in Ministry

Give preteens leadership roles in your children’s ministry. This will build their self-esteem and give them purpose and fulfillment.

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Creativity is Key

It is important for preteens to have fun. Here are some creative ways to add excitement to your ministry.

Creative Ideas

Moving Up

Have a program for transitioning preteens out of children’s ministry and into youth ministry.

Get Ideas

They (preteens) need pastors and leaders who will stand with them as they test their legs, finding the footing of their faith as they discover a God who grows up with them.

Jim Kast-Keats

Resources

There are many resources that can help with preteen ministry. Click the button below for a list to get started.

Resources

 

Contributing Author: Curt Knowles
Curt Knowles is a member of the International Children’s Ministry teaching team. He has trained children’s ministers globally and throughout the United States. He and his wife, Sandy, have served as children’s pastors, evangelists, and camp directors over the past 15 years. Curt holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in both Computer Science and Theology, and has worked as a Data Architect/Engineer for the past 25 years. Curt and Sandy have two children (Jordan and Jeremy) and three granddaughters (Maddie, Emmy, and Chloe). They currently live in Gallatin, TN and serve on the 3Trees Kids Ministry serve team at 3Trees Church in Russell Springs, KY.

 

 

Nursery: Children’s Ministry Begins Here

Nursery: Children’s Ministry Begins Here

Too often, the nursery is considered a babysitting service for parents and grandparents. While it is essential to care for the physical needs of infants and toddlers while in the nursery, it is equally important to begin teaching them about Jesus. A baby begins to see the heart of God through the heart of the nursery volunteers. As babies learn to trust the volunteers, they learn that church is a place where people care about us.  Although a baby cannot understand a Bible story, volunteers can pray blessings upon each young child as they give them a bottle or rock them to sleep. As babies become toddlers, they can learn basic Bible truths such as God loves me and God made me through Bible stories, finger plays, and other appropriate learning activities.

Here’s what it takes to transform your nursery from a babysitting service to a ministry

  • Purpose: What do you hope to accomplish as you feed infants and do finger plays with toddlers? Every nursery ministry has specific goals: every child will be loved and accepted; every child will learn that God made him and loves him; every child will feel safe in the nursery environment; every child will be encouraged to develop acceptable social skills.
  • Leadership: A nursery ministry needs capable leadership. Above all, a nursery director loves infants and toddlers. She understands the value of providing excellent ministry to them. A capable director is able to develop good relationships with parents and volunteers. She is gifted in administration and able to develop schedules, procedures, forms, curriculum, etc. to help the nursery run smoothly and safely.
  • Established policies: Policies are developed to help the nursery be a safe environment for infants and toddlers. They should be carefully developed and well communicated to parents, volunteers and the congregation. They should be consistently but lovingly enforced. Some of the policies that need to be developed include: age of volunteers, training required for volunteers, types of snacks, discipline plan, sign in and sign out procedures, diaper and restroom procedures, etc.
  • Facilities: Your nursery facilities may not be ideal but they can be improved. Provide good lighting, paint walls and furniture, organize toys and equipment, and remove clutter. Above all, keep the nursery clean.
  • Trained workers: Select workers carefully by using a children’s ministry application and referral forms. Train them by modeling appropriate ministry to nursery age children as well as by providing books, podcasts, CDs, and DVDs on nursery ministry. Encourage the workers to be involved with the infants and toddlers by playing on the floor with them, holding them, reading or singing to them, and talking to them even if they cannot respond.

With careful planning, your nursery can be a place where children learn about the love of God.  There is no greater ministry.

Ideas You Can Use

Prepare the Classroom

Your nursery space should be carefully planned to allow for its many uses- playtime, rest, and care of children.

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Safety

The number one priority of any nursery is to keep children safe. A safe environment allows for peace of mind for parents and a place where children can feel the love of Jesus.

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Recruiting Volunteers

Recruit with this understanding: nursery ministry is a significant ministry. Nursery ministry meets the needs of babies and their families.

Recruiting Ideas

Teaching Children

Be intentional in your plan to teach young children, not just care for their physical needs.

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Family Milestones

Some of the best times to minister to parents are during significant events, such as births or baby dedications.

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Resources

There are many resources that can help with nursery ministry. Click the button below for a list to get started.

Resources

Making Christmas Memorable

Making Christmas Memorable

With each season that occurs throughout the year, change tends to come as well. Things begin to look different: flowers bloom, leaves fall, and the temperature increases and decreases depending on where you live. As the Christmas season approaches, there are also changes that take place. Yes, we see the physical changes such as decorations and lights that fill children with excitement and anticipation, but most importantly there is a reminder of eternal hope that comes through the birth of Jesus.

One of the most beautiful things about Christmas is that it not only highlights the coming of Jesus as a baby, but it is a reminder that we can be excited and filled with that same anticipation because Jesus is indeed coming again! Many times when we are teaching children, it can be easy to overlook the sacredness and the awe and wonder of this deep theological truth. If we begin to connect these dots to the children and families in our ministries, we are instilling them with something that goes far beyond a holiday season and deep into their hearts, minds, and hopefully their households.

The arrival of Jesus changed everything. He was constantly challenging those He encountered to live their live differently and to serve others. This Christmas season, let’s strive to display to kids the awe, wonder, and excitement Jesus brought to the world.

Ideas You Can Use

Celebrate Advent

One of the best ways to teach kids about the anticipation of Christ’s birth and return is through the celebration of Advent.

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Christmas retro background with christmas tree branches. Vector.

Create a Jesse Tree

This is a unique spin on the traditional Christmas tree. A Jesse tree is a way to teach children the salvation story from the beginning of the Bible.

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Give to Others

Christmas is a wonderful time to step away from the normal pace of life and think about others. Whether you are a children’s minister or a parent, you can create windows of opportunity for kids to help other people.

Giving Ideas

Prayer and Praise Ornaments

It may seem simple, but Christmas is a good time for children to reflect on their year and what is to come in the year ahead. Have children create prayer and praise ornaments as a reminder of all that God has done.

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Burning candle

Community of Faith

The Christmas season is not just for kids; it is for all people! During this special time of year, let children spend time with believers that are older and younger than them.

Get Ideas

Christmas Nativity Scene

Teach the Story

In the hustle and bustle of the season, sometimes we get so busy crafting and giving that we forget to teach the story of Jesus’ birth. Lots of magnificent details can easily be overlooked.

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Resources

 

cogop_smaller-2008Contributing Author: Joy Hensely

Joy is the Associate Pastor of Children at Spring Place Church of God of Prophecy. In July of 2016, she completed her Master of Arts degree in Ministry Studies from Lee University. Her desire is to develop and build relationships with children, their families, and volunteers that point them not only towards a growing relationship with God, but also fulfilling God’s call for their own lives.

 

6 Ways to Present Bible Lessons Creatively

6 Ways to Present Bible Lessons Creatively

Picture it: You’ve put hours into your children’s church lesson. You’re just sure that by the time you give your invitation for prayer your whole class will either be weeping at the altar or so inspired by your message that they will be running to the signup sheet for the next mission trip.  You boldly begin your lesson. You start out confident. Things are going well, and then 5 minutes into the lesson– IT happens.  You see the legs start swinging and little fingers poking their neighbors. You hear the whispers and see the squirming has begun. And while some students are getting fidgety and restless, others are blankly staring off into the distance.  It’s then that you realize you’ve completely lost all of them!  While their attention is somewhere, it is far from the lesson you are teaching!

So, what do we do to keep children’s attention?  How do we teach students in a way that’s effective and relevant? Sure, I could reflect back to the time when I was in Sunday school or children’s church, but I was born in the late 70’s. Let’s face it– teaching with a flannel graph, filmstrips and putting little foil star stickers on an attendance chart isn’t relevant, so therefore, would not be effective in the day in which we live.

Over the years I have watched churches put amazing effort into special events such as VBS, which is great; however, why don’t we put that kind of dedication and creativity into our week to week ministries?  Colossians 3:23 tells us, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” I realize that we can’t necessarily transform our entire church every week like we would for Bible school. But we can indeed use our imaginations, creativity and online resources to implement those same strategies in our children’s ministry area, just on a smaller scale in a more focused way.  It’s important that if we are providing ministry for children, we do it heartily, as unto the Lord!

Ideas You Can Use

Bring Story to Your Classroom

Everyone benefits from making a simple Bible story come alive right in front of them.  The key is to find the main focus or the setting of your story, and ask yourself, “How can I create that in my room?”

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Create Awesome Bulletin Boards

I love using bulletin boards in my children’s ministry area. They’re great for so many reasons. You can use them for information for parents/volunteers and to display student work. However, I love using them as a part of my lesson, especially if I’m teaching a series with a theme.

Bulletin Boards

Become a Good
Storyteller

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than having to listen to a speaker that has no enthusiasm! I’ve come to the conclusion that if it’s boring for me, it’s probably boring for the kids! That’s why we need to be good storytellers.

Storytelling Ideas

Use Digital Clips and Media

We live in a high tech world. Children will benefit from the use of media to make the Bible come alive.

Media Activities

Perform It

All of us children’s ministers have, at some point or another, had our kids act out the Bible story.  Although this can be a great technique, after a handful of times it can become a bit redundant.  Continue reading for ideas using the same concept but with a fresh twist.

Fresh Ideas

Get Messy

I realize that many people are bothered when things get messy! Messy things bother me in some ways, but not when it comes to ministering to kids. I’ve learned they absolutely LOVE messy object lessons and science experiments!

Object Lessons

RESOURCES

 

Amy RevelsContributing Author:  Amy Revels
Amy was born and raised in Michigan. She began serving in children’s ministry at the age of fourteen.  She and her husband Furney have been married for sixteen years and have five children.  Together, they have served in pastoral ministry for over fourteen years as well as Intermediate Youth Camp directors for 5 years.  Currently, she serves as the children’s ministry director for the Great Lakes Region. Amy has served in children’s ministry for nearly twenty-five years. She devotes her time to homeschooling her kids and incorporating the Gospel in every aspect of their life.

Engaging Kids in Worship

Engaging Kids in Worship

My church recently began having family worship services twice a month on Sunday nights.  The goal is to incorporate all ages in worship.  One of the ways we do this is by providing the children with instruments to play while singing.  I was next to one very rambunctious three year old boy this past week whose mom is on the praise team.  He loved the first song and was so excited about the worship.  As the song ended, he shouted loud enough for almost everyone to hear, “Good job with singing Mommy!”  It brought a smile to all of our faces. Not only had he been given the opportunity to worship God through song, but He had the privilege of being led into worship by his mom. As children’s ministers, we also have the privilege of leading kids into the worship of their God.

We know that it is biblical for children to experience true worship. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, children were active participants in worship.  Moses, Jehoshophat, and Nehemiah all invited children to be part of worshiping the Lord. (Exodus 10:8,9; 2 Chronicles 10:13, 18; Nehemiah 12:43) Jesus himself accepted the worship of children.  When the children saw Jesus healing the blind and the crippled in the Temple, they began to shout praises, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” This made the rulers of the Temple angry. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked Jesus. “Yes,” Jesus answered. “Haven’t you read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

We often think of worship as being a time of singing in church.  While this is certainly an important part of our worship, we can also teach children that worship is anything we do to show God that we know who He is and what He has done.  We can worship with words by singing and saying words of praise. We can also worship with our actions by reading the Bible, praying, and obeying Him.  As children begin to understand the different ways of worshiping God, they learn that worship is both a lifestyle and an experience.  We live our lives in worship (Romans 12:1,) and we also experience specific times of worship, such as singing and praising God in church.

Ideas You Can Use

View of hand writing on blackboard on desk

Learning Activity: “What is Worship?”

Make a large worship chart by writing the word “worship” at the top of the paper and including the following definition:  Worship is what you do to show God that you know who He is and what He has done.  Under the definition, divide the paper into two columns, “Who is God?” and “What has God done?”

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multicultural hands around Bible

Worship Using the Word of God

Use the Word to show children who God is, provide examples of worshippers, help children define right attitudes of worship, define worship, and invite children to worship.

Worship Activities

Noisy Nursery Lesson

Worship through Singing, Movement, and Instruments

Praise and worship is a wonderful opportunity to engage every part of the child— body (movement), mind (singing) and spirit (feelings of joy, sensing the presence of our God as the child focuses on who God is).

Active Worship Ideas

Blank paper notes pinned on cork board

Worship Through Prayer

Prayer is an important act of worship. Encourage your children to participate in prayer by planning creative, interactive prayer activities.

Prayer Activities

woman handing coins

Worship Through Giving

Giving is another way we can worship God with our actions. Vary the ways you invite children to give so that giving doesn’t become a habit but continues to be a true act of worship.

Giving Ideas

I love God text spelled in cubes on wooden background

Praise Cube

Make and use a praise cube to help children understand different ways they can worship God.

Directions

RESOURCES

Mission Minded Kids

Mission Minded Kids

As a mom of two daughters and a children’s pastor, I wish I could tell you that my children developed a heart for missions through my inspired teaching, but I cannot.  My oldest daughter first became aware of the needs of others in the world through the Helping Hands for Kids program.  As a five year old, she attended a preschool class at the Assembly for Children in which the teacher shared about the needs of children in Guatemala.  She began to tell me all about it.  A few years later, we once again attended the General Assembly, and I took her to an afternoon mission’s fair where we learned about the work of missionaries in other countries.  Once again, we talked to someone about the Helping Hands for Kids program.  In a moment of divine inspiration, I asked her if she would like to be in charge of the program for our church.  She was excited and told me that she had been praying for God to give her something to do for Him!  That year, she was able to help raise over $1000 US dollars for curriculum and supplies for children’s ministers in Central and South America. Continue reading

It’s Time for Summer Camp!

It’s Time for Summer Camp!

I remember when I first fell in love with the camping ministry.  It was the summer that I brought my youngest daughter to a camp for 6-8 year olds in the state of Tennessee.  She and I were both campers because, at her age, the camp had the option for parents to attend with their child as a parent camper. We both left closer to God, and God continued to work in our lives through the camping ministry.  His plan for my daughter was to encourage her spiritual growth each summer as she returned to camp. I will never forget the day she came home from Teen Camp hungry for more of God and His Word.  She spent weeks studying the Bible and making notes.  That camp was a turning point for her. God’s plan for me went beyond just attending camp. Continue reading