Posts Tagged "culture"

#28 – See the World Through Their Eyes (Tips For Large Group Teaching)

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.

As a teacher in Children’s Ministry, you put a lot of time and thought into preparing your lesson (at least, you should).  You’ve thought about methods for reaching the kids.  You’ve tried to pick activities and stories that will keep the kids engaged in the story.  You’ve researched the Bible lesson you are present.  You’ve tried to keep things interesting.  But, there is one more step in making sure that your lesson will work for your audience.  After you’ve prepared your lesson and you think it is ready to go, there is one more critical step in your preparation.  You must step back out of the weeds and view your lessons through the eyes of your intended audience.  Picture yourself as a six-year old boy or girl (or whatever age you teach) and work through your lesson.  Answer these questions through their eyes:

  • What do like about the lesson?
  • What don’t you like?
  • Would you have trouble paying attention?
  • Are there parts of the lesson where you will find your mind wandering?
  • What would make the lesson more interesting to you?
  • Do you understand the lesson?
  • What questions would you have about the lesson?

Step away from your role as teacher and become the student.  Put aside all the knowledge you have gathered in preparing your lesson and pretend you have never heard the story before.  Now pretend that you’re a kid who has grown up in church and heard this particular Bible story twenty times before.  Will you tune the lesson out immediately as something you already know, or is the presentation and lesson innovative enough to keep your attention?  Try to look at your lesson through the eyes of all of the different kids in your classroom.

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#11 – Build On What They Already Like (Tips For Large Group Teaching)

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.

I read an article recently from an older gentleman who was told that he was now too old to be involved in Children’s Ministry.  The consensus in the comments to that article was that the ability to serve in Children’s Ministry has nothing to do with age and everything to do with staying relevant.  By relevant, it just means that you must put yourself in a position to talk to the kids in your classroom about the things they do and the things they like.

For me, this is easy because of my circumstances.  I teach 5-6 year olds and I have both a six year old girl and an eight year old boy at home.  Hardly a week goes by where I have not watched an episode of Zach & Cody on Deck or listened to Hannah Montana.  I know who Phineas and Ferb are.  I know what video games they like because I buy them.  Truth be told, I like to play them as well.  I know what the new game systems are.  We have several of them at our house.  I’ve seen the latest movies.  I know what the kids see on television and in the movies.  I know what kind of foods they like and the newest gimmicks in the grocery stores.  I follow the same sports.  I know the difference between a Bakugan and a Pokeman.  I use facebook and twitter.  In my case, I don’t have to make a concerted effort to go out and learn these things because they are part of my everyday life.  Even given my circumstance, I still have to make a concerted effort to take note of what I see and observe.  Being immersed in kid culture does me no good in conversation if I can’t remember any of it.

If you are in a different circumstance, you might have to do a little more work to keep up.  Subscribe to a kids’ magazine.  Watch the occasional kids program on TV.  Go to a kids’ movie.  Anymore, most of the kids’ movies that are made include enough stuff for adults to at least entertain you a little bit while you’re learning.  If you don’t know where to start, ask the kids.  Years ago when my kids were much younger and I was working with a class of 2nd graders, I asked them all what their favorite television shows were.  They loved telling me about them, and I made a point to find and watch each show they mentioned that week.  Over the course of the next year, it gave me a launching point for conversations that enabled me to really connect with them.

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Ch. 3 – Your Child’s Development: Godward Orientation – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 3 – “Your Child’s Development: Godward Orientation”

In the last chapter, the author laid out 6 shaping influences which impact our children, but he was quick to point out that it is not shaping influences alone which determine the types of people our kids will grow up to be.   Mr. Tripp explains that regardless of the shaping influences in a child’s life, it is his Godward orientation that determines how he will react to those influences.

Mr. Tripp points to Proverbs 9:7-10 for guidance.  Here is that verse from the English Standard Version:

7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Tripp makes the observation that, “It is the fear of the Lord that makes one wise and it is wisdom that determines how he responds to correction.”

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