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.
One great way to spice things up in your Children’s Ministry is to invite in guest speakers and people to do live demonstrations. In addition to giving the kids someone other than you to listen to, it gives the kids another focal point to remember your lesson by. If it fits with your lesson, invite someone in to talk to the kids. If you’re talking about Noah’s Ark, invite someone from the local zoo to bring in some animals. If you are talking about the holiness of God, invite a judge to come in to talk about the law. If you are telling the story of Gideon, invite someone from the armed forces in to talk about their impression of Gideon’s “strategy.” Invite your pastor to come talk to the kids. If you’re talking about Satan as the great deceiver of the brethren, have a magician come in and do some tricks as an example of how you can make things seem completely different than they are. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to demonstrations.
Here’s one example of how I’ve personally used this technique. When we were talking about spiritual disciplines, I had my eight-year-old come in and do a karate demonstration. Then, I interviewed him about the amount of training and practice that goes into doing some of the things he demonstrated. I concluded by having him teach the kids in the room a simple move they could practice on their own. Following the demonstration we talked about spiritual disciplines and how you have to train yourself in those areas as well. The kids had a blast, as did my son, and they still talk about that lesson and remember the point of it today.
If you don’t know where to find people to come show off their skills, just ask! You’ll be amazed at what you can find in your own congregation. Like visual aids in general, one key point to remember is that any demonstration you incorporate into your lesson should always have a point. The demonstration should expand upon or reinforce your lesson. No matter how much the kids might enjoy them, frivolous demonstrations are a bad stewardship of the time God gives us with the kids in our ministries.