Pre-Conference: Creative Teaching (Johnny Rogers)


This is the first in a series of live blogs from the 2013 CM Leaders Conference. In this session Johnny Rogers from World Outreach Church discusses effective storytelling in children’s ministry.

4 Questions Every Ki Asks

1. What’s the point?

A singular statement that anchors your story.
What do you want your kids to know as a result of this Bible story?

2. Why Should I Care?

This heightens the level of engagement for your audience?
We’ve got to wrestle with this question, because we have to help kids understand why they should be concerned.

3. How Does That Apply To Me?

4. What Does It Look Like?

How will I know when I get it right?

Impact of Technology on Kids vs. Storytelling

Biggest challenge for next generation is distraction. Church is wedged in as just another option.

“Telling stories may have enhanced survival by promoting social cohesion among our ancestors.” – Jeffrey Zacks

Story is the key to cultural sustainability

Our brains are hardwired for storytelling

Morris Lessmore – Vimeo (

Elements of Storytelling

1. Character (What’s the point?)

What does your character want?
Want to grab kids with the very first moment with your character.

How to get kids attention (Story starter points):

  • Start with character in danger.
  • Sympathetic – feel sorry for character for being object of undeserved misfortune
  • Make the character likeable – helping someone else in need
  • Show your character being skilled – displaying a skill (advanced ability)
  • Show their humanity

If you’re going to be a storyteller, you have to address the humanity of the Biblical characters. There is some speculation you’re going to have to do, but it’s good to go there.

You need to tell both sides of the human story (despair and hopefulness).

We do our kids a disservice when we don’t tell them about the realities of life.

2. Conflict

Conflict is part of our everyday world.

Sometimes external. Sometimes internal.

Conflict makes your story connect with the real world.

3. Culture

Biblical culture and building a bridge to modern day culture.

4. Context

How will I know when I get it right.

This investigates the Why question.

Great opportunity to contextualize things by telling your own stories.

What is something from my life that exemplifies this?

5. Connection

Commission our kids to go out and do something.

When you unearth the why behind an action, that’s where your biblical theology comes in.

How do you apply idea of storytelling into leadership

1. Affirm

Know what your culture needs to look like.

Your mission should excite you.

In order affirm in staff and volunteers, you need to know you mission

– Know what you value most in ministry culture
– Catch people doing something right
– For others specifically utilizing their story

The most powerful moment a leader spends with someone if the last minute you speak to them. That is what is going to resonate with them!

2. Clarify

– Why people are indispensable rather than useful
– Your ministry’s purpose and how people fit
– Clarify with stories of life change

Raise the awareness of kids of God in a distracted world.

3. Train

– Best time to equip people is right before they attempt a task
– Embed the value in your own life first.
– Cultivate attentive leadership.

For over twenty years, Johnny’s passion for connecting kids with God’s word has fined tuned his unique, humorous and energetic teaching style in a wide range of children’s ministry & media experiences. Johnny is Children’s Pastor at World Outreach Church in Mufreesboro, TN, and lives in neighboring Spring Hill with his wife and four kids.

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