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?”
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.
Become a Good
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.
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.
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.
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!
Contributing 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.
Contributing Author: Amy Revels