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...

#13 – It’s All About Jesus (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.

Here are some things that Children’s Ministry should never be about.

  • It is not about you and how good or fulfilled or powerful or influential it makes you feel to teach a bunch of kids.
  • It is not about rote memorization of verses and stories and names and events.
  • It is not about behavior modification or moral guidance or a set of rules.

All of these may, at some points, be part of your work in Children’s Ministry, but there is only one thing, one person, that it’s really all about.  It’s all about Jesus! Every story, every lesson, every song, and every game – it should be, is and must be all about Jesus.  It’s about a plan hatched before the creation of the world.  It’s about our God who took on human flesh and came and lived amongst the filth of his creation.  It’s about a birth in a manager, a crucifixion on a cross and an empty tomb.  It’s about a resurrection and an ascension and a second coming.  It’s about victory over sin and death.  It’s about eternal life in the presence of our Maker.  At its very core, Children’s Ministry is all about Jesus, and that’s the way it must be!

I believe that everything in the Bible is either about Jesus, points to Jesus, or emanates from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus is the sum and substance of the Bible.  Every time you prepare a lesson, you should prepare it with a critical eye towards where Jesus shows up in the story.  At every turn, you must ask yourself, where is Jesus in this story?  In the story of Cain and Abel, figure out where Jesus is and make sure you convey that (Jesus was the ultimate brother’s keeper).  In the story of Ruth, you must ask yourself, what does this have to do with Jesus (God’s providence in the family line of Jesus)?  When you teach the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, remember who the fourth person in the fiery flame was.  And, the list goes on and on.

When we lose sight of Jesus in teaching kids, we miss our principal objective.  This results in several potential outcomes – none of which are good.  One potential outcome is that we end up teaching kids a whole bunch of stories that they receive similar to those they see on the cartoon network or in Saturday morning cartoons.  The Bible ends up being reduced from the very Word of God to a child’s fable in their minds.  Another potential outcome is that your lessons end up teaching kids a set of good rules for moral living and miss the grace of God.  Working with children is not about changing behaviors, it’s about changing lives!  In order to be effective both in life and in Children’s Ministry, we must strive to never lose sight of Jesus!

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