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...

#44 – Read To Them (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.

Many people think of reading stories to kids as something you do in the nursery or preschool classes.  They reject it as an effective means for teaching elementary aged kids.  The fact of the matter is that most kids like stories, and they like to be read to.  I wouldn’t want to read them a book every weekend, but it is an effective means to break up your lessons a little bit by mixing in a week every now and then where you pull up a chair or sit on the floor and just read them a story.

There are some great books out there that I turn to from time to time for use in children’s ministry.  One of my favorites is The Jesus Storybook Bible which made #2 in my list of the Top Ten Christian Books for Kids.  Combining great storytelling with compelling images, this book is perfect for captivating kids and will be a great resource for your children’s minsitry.  The biggest problem I have when I use it is that I find the kids crowding in trying to take in every picture and every word.  I read it to my kids at home (ranging from age 2 to almost 9), and they all love it.  Of course, there are also other great kids’ storybook bibles out there that you can read from.

Of course, the classic book that you should read from every week is the Bible.  Frankly, this one should be a bit of a “no brainer.”  Our lessons should be taken directly from God’s Word, so why not read the verses you are teaching from to the kids you are teaching?  Don’t just tell them what’s in the book, read it to them so they can see it for themselves.  Reading from the Bible, in addition to whatever else you do in your lesson, should build excitement about God’s Word in their hearts.

If you do choose to read, it is important that you read well.  Simply reading to your kids in a monotone voice without ever looking up from the book will not  inject excitement into your room.  As a storyteller, it is your job to make the story come alive.  Let your inner thespian shine through.  I am far from dramatic, but when I read a story I use voice inflection, different voices, and different tones of voice and different reading speeds to help make the story come alive.  Oftentimes, I will move around the room as I read the story to assume the parts of different characters.

Earlier in this series we discussed why you should never read your entire lesson to the kids, but you should never be afraid to read them a story!

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