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.
Whether you’re 22 or 42, there may be times when you are too old to be the best person to relate to a bunch of young children. Find kids who are just a little bit older than the kids in your ministry to help you out. Children tend to relate to and bond well with kids who are just a little bit older than they are. Let’s face it – they’re cooler than you are. Use this to your advantage. Have the middle school kids in your church come and teach the elementary age kids every once in a while. Build a high school worship team for your Children’s Ministry. Using older kids to help you out is particularly effective in getting kids involved in worship. They are much more willing to open up, sing and dance if they see an older teenage boy leading worship. Find older kids to help you with sound and video (they’re probably better at it that you anyhow). If you don’t know which kids to ask, ask their parents. Although some can be a bit biased and blind to reality when it comes to their own kids, most parents know whether or not their children are good with younger kids.
Here another free tip. If you’re having trouble keeping up on the latest trends and cultural phenomena, find a middle schooler. They’re still young enough to know what the younger kids like, and they’re old enough to talk to you about them. No of us likes to admit that we’re old, but sometimes it is in the best interest of the kids that we minister to to admit it.