2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

#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.

In terms of large group teaching, it’s great to be able to engage the kids in things that they are already interested in.  Play off of the things they already know to teach them the truths of the Bible.  You never know when you might see a relevant story you can use as a parable on the Disney channel or Nickelodeon.  And, if you don’t know what Nickelodeon is or that Disney even has a television station – you have a lot of work to do!  You better get crackin’!

Return to the Tips for Large Group Teaching in Children’s Ministry index page.