Welcome to a continuing series of tips on working with large groups of children. I hope that you will find these tips useful and be able to implement them in your dealings with large groups of kids. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know. For a complete list of posts in this series, please see the index page. So, without further introduction, here is today’s installment.
Always be on the lookout for the next “thing” to use in your lesson. Any method, trick, gizmo or other thing done over and over and over again will eventually get old. Even a laser light show with live music and a smoke machine will be boring after a few weeks. I think a child (or adult) who lived at Disney World for a while would eventually find even that boring!
Constantly be on the lookout for, and thinking of, new ways to present your lessons to the kids. Teach them in a normal large group. Show them a video. Video yourself from a “remote location.” Use characters. Use puppets. Incorporate music into the teaching rather than just using it during worship. Ask the lead pastor to come in for a day. Play a game. Put on a show. Have a question and answer time. Let the kids act out the lesson. Let the kids teach the lesson. Play a round of “stump your leaders.” Involve small group leaders in the teaching. Interview people during your lesson. Go for a walk. Invite guest speakers. Hire a magician. Have older kids come in and teach. Whatever you can think of to keep things fresh and new will go a long way towards keeping the kids involved. That is really the point of this whole series – finding exciting and innovative ways to teach kids about Jesus.
If you can get kids to the point where they sincerely don’t want to miss church on Sunday because they’re afraid they might miss whatever it is you’re going to do next, you’ve succeeded. The good news in this area is that most kids don’t have the long memory. Just because you’ve done something once doesn’t mean that you can’t use it again. Just make sure that you aren’t doing the exact same thing every week! Finally, remember that everything you do in the limited time you have kids at church should be relevant and serve the purpose of teaching them about Jesus!