Posts Tagged "Teaching"

#53 – If It’s Too Comfortable, You’re Not Doing Something Right! (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.

In this series, we’ve been through a ton of tips for improving and expanding your large group experience.  Some may seem very natural to you, and some of these ideas may make you very uncomfortable.  All of us are better at some things than others and find certain ideas more intimidating than others.  So, while it’s important to find the things that we are good at, it’s equally important to stretch ourselves and try things that are not in our comfort zone.

In order to take over the large group teaching portion of our lesson, I had to give up doing small groups on a regular basis.  Small groups were something that I loved and something I thought I was quite good at.  It came naturally to me.  I love talking to kids one-on-one and finding out what is going on in their lives.  I love building on the large group lesson and helping kids figure out specific ways to apply it to their own lives.  I had become very comfortable in the position of small group leader.  So, as cool as I thought doing the large group teaching would be, I was a little bit apprehensive to give up something I was so comfortable with.

In the end, it was that level of comfort that actually led me to swallow the bullet and start teaching the large group.  It was listening to a song by Matthew West called “The Motions” that finally convinced me that I needed to step out of my comfort zone.  The lyrics to the chorus of that song are:

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#52 – Seek Feedback (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.

If we’re doing Children’s Ministry the right way, we invest a lot of time preparing in preparing the actual lesson, a lot of time praying about the lesson and the kids in our ministry and a lot of time practicing what we are going to do for our lesson each week.  All of these are admirable uses of time, but how foolish would it be to spend all that time getting ready and never ask anyone how it turned out?  Take advantage of volunteers in your ministry and other people in your church.  Ask them what they thought of the lesson.  Ask them for input on things that you are doing well and things that you could do better.  Ask them for any ideas they have to improve the children’s ministry.  Involve them in planning and decision making.  If you don’t have a team of other people who you can seek input from, ask a trusted friend to come into your room and observe on a regular basis.  Then, meet with that person and give them permission to speak the truth and evaluate what you are doing.  Talk to other large group leaders and ask them to evaluate how you are doing.  No matter how hard you try or how much you plan, there is always room for improvement, and an unbiased opinion is invaluable in that process.

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#51 – Learn From Your Failures (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 wrote an article last year called 8 Questions to Determine How Proud You Are.  The fact of the matter is that there is no room for pride for in any ministry, especially in Children’s Ministry.  Our job is to teach kids about our Creator and Savior.  Our ego stands in the way of, and has no place in, that mission.  When we make a mistake, we must be willing to admit it and learn from it.  When that great idea you had to get the kids involved in your lesson strikes out, we have to admit the failure and either improve on the idea or pitch it.

Albert Einstein once said that insanity is:

“…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

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#50 – The Power of Sound (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.

When you’re watching a movie, oftentimes the background score and many of the sound effects go unnoticed.  But, have you ever watched a movie without sound effects and the background score?  It is a completely different experience.  There are specialists in Hollywood who do nothing but record background music and sound effects for motion pictures, and there work makes all the difference in the world.  Sound, subtle though it may be, creates the atmosphere and tugs at your emotions.  The sound creates a sense of doom or excitement or joyfulness depending on the scene, the music and the effects.

You can use these same techniques with your children’s ministry large group.  With a minimal amount of funds, you can create the same effects that make a movie or television show stand out during your large group teaching.  With an Ipod and a simple adaptor, I can use sound effects and play background music to create the atmosphere in the classroom that matches the story that is being told.  Whether it’s game show music for a game show, storm sound effects for the story of Jesus calming the storm, or suspenseful music to play while telling the story of the crucifixion, sound adds a whole new element to your large group teaching.  And don’t forget, louder is better!

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#49 – Two Are Better Than One (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.

One effective method for breaking up your lessons in Children’s Ministry is to use a “team teaching” technique.  When the kids are forced to physically shift their focus from one individual to another, this forces them to play closer attention.  Furthermore, if more than one person is capable of, and comfortable with, presenting a lesson to your large groups, it is lot easier when one person has to be gone.

Team teaching can be as simple as having one person teach the beginning of a lesson and another person teach the end.  Or, one person can serve as the host doing the introduction and conclusion while the other person can do the storytelling.  In you are lucky enough to have more than two people to help with your large group, you can try all kinds of different things.  Position people in different parts of the room so that as you shift teaching from one person to the next, the kids have to physically shift their attention.  Another technique I’ve read about but never had the opportunity to use combines a dark room and team teaching.  In this approach, the room is pitch black.  Various teachers are positioned around the room.  As that person’s turn to speak comes up, a spotlight is shone on them.  If you don’t have spotlights (like me) you can use a desk lamp or flashlight to illuminate the teachers.  The point is that visually the only person the kids can see is the one teaching.  This helps to further focus their attention.  Done right, this technique can be very dramatic and is a great way to tell a story with a narrator and various characters.

There is an old saying, which is supported by Biblical truth, that two are better than one.  This is true in life, and it’s true in teaching as well.

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