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.
When I was 21, my best friend’s sister had a baby. I remember going over to his house one day and walking upstairs where he was playing with the new baby. As I walked into the room, I noticed that they were having a great time. Having a great time, that is, until the baby turned around and noticed me. I’m a big guy (about 6’5”), and the sight of me sent him into hysterics. That pattern continued for several years. When my friend’s nephew was two, he backed off a porch one day when he saw me coming. Back then, I never would have imagined that God would have Children’s Ministry in my future. The interesting thing was that when I was sitting down my friend’s nephew would walk right up and play with me. You see, to him I was some sort of giant until I sat down and dealt with him on his level.
The same technique works in Children’s Ministry. See, we look big to the kids in our ministry. To them, we are just like all the other adults in their lives whose primary reason for existence is to tell them what to do. In Children’s Ministry, our role is not to just give them a list of things we want them to, or not to, do but to explain that God wants to have a relationship with them and what that relationship looks like. While they should recognize the authority we have in the classroom, when we are talking about our relationship with God we are all brothers and sisters, not teachers and students. Sometimes it will do a great deal of good to get on their level when presenting your lesson. Sit down or get down on the ground so that you’re looking straight into their eyes rather than looking down on them. Physically and figuratively, we should not be in a position where we are looking down on the kids in our ministry.