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...

#24 – Always Be a Source of Encouragement (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 will be the first one to tell you that I don’t buy into the whole “every kids is the same / equal results / everyone gets a trophy” mentality that is so prevalent in our society today.  Every kid is different and each is better at certain things than other kids.  That is the way God made them, and we should rejoice in that.  That said, Children’s Ministry should be a place where every child feels encouraged.  Every child should leave your classroom feeling like they are of the utmost importance to you and to your ministry, because they are each vitally important to God.

When you ask questions, remember that even though you don’t get the answer you might have been looking for, that doesn’t make it wrong.  The beauty of open-ended questions (as we discussed in the last installment) is that they don’t generally have a right answer.  Encourage the kids to come up with and express their own ideas.  Give them opportunities to brain storm with one another in response to questions.

Encourage their answers.  When you ask a question about David and they answer something about Daniel, tell them how impressed you are that they know the story of Daniel, before you tell them that that wasn’t exactly the answer you were looking for.  Encourage them to shout out answers.  Help them to feel reassured enough to answer any questions without fearing that they will be made fun of or ridiculed.  Remember that while we should always be willing to laugh with them, we should never laugh at them.

No matter the circumstance, we must keep God’s view of these kids in mind as we minister to them.  They are his children, and like Jesus with his disciples, we must give them encouragement, show them patience and point them towards God.  Our role is to encourage them on their spiritual journey and help them along the way.  God forbid that we would ever discourage them on their spiritual journey with God.  In the words of Jesus:

“…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” [Matthew 18:6 ESV]

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