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...

#35 – Get the Kids Involved (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.

Some kids will be perfectly fine sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, those kids are few and far between.  In order to keep the interest of most kids, you’ll need to find some way to mix it up from week to week.  We’ve talked about several ways of doing that thus far in this series, and there are several more to come.  One of the ways that I’ve found to be most effective for me is to simply get the kids involved in the large group teaching.  Get them up off their rear ends and make them part of the story.  Unlike other methods we have and will discuss, this one doesn’t tend to get “old” as quickly.  I think that’s because each week the kids are acting out something differently.

One of my favorite moments thus far was when I was recounting the story of Solomon and the two prostitutes for a lesson on wisdom.  When I got to the part where Solomon raised his sword to cut the baby in half, the young boy who was playing Solomon asked, eagerly, if he really got to cut the baby in half – priceless!

In addition to getting the kids moving, this technique gives them a vested interest in the story.  Rather than simply sitting there and listening to you drone on and on, the Bible comes to life for them as they step into the story.  It makes it more fun in the moment and more memorable after your time with them is done.  If they just sit there and listen to you, when their parents ask what they learned about, the kids might not even remember.  If you’ve gotten them involved in the teaching, the kids will likely be chomping at the bit to tell their parents what they got to do that morning.

Of course, there are more ways than just having the kids act out the story to get them involved.  When we were teaching about the parts of the body, I had the kids demonstrate their unique talents involving their body parts, and it turned out to be a learning experience for me.  I had always been told that it was impossible to lick your elbow, but low and behold, one of the little girls in our class was able to do it.

If you’re teaching about Jesus calming the storm, pick some kids to make the sound effects for you.  You’ll be amazed how good they are at this.  Make human walls of Jericho.  Turn them into Gideon’s army lapping water at the creek.  Turn them into Jesus’ apostles or an angry Roman mob.  I find that there is something they can do for almost every lesson.

It doesn’t always work out, but I try to get at least one kid involved in the lesson every single week, and the more kids I can get involved the better.  Some of my favorite lessons are those where every single child becomes part of the story and there is no one just sitting and listening without participating!

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



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