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What is DOCTRINE?

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...

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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...

Six Ways to Persevere Through the Sluggish Times in Ministry

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know the kind – where you really aren’t “in to” what you’re doing and you feel like you rather be doing just about anything else.  What do you do when those times correspond to your time in ministry. I wrote this...

A New Definition of Family

If we are going to effectively work with and understand kids today, we have to understand what a family is. Family, after all, is a defining characteristic for all us - some for the better and some for the worse. It seems like an...

Photos: 2021-02-20 Basketball (at Harvest Prep)

    Today was kind of a bittersweet day as Lyndsey finished up her high school basketball career. While losing 48-36 in the is not the way she would have wanted to finish, she led her team in scoring again this afternoon with 13 points and well over 10 rebounds...

Photos: 2021-02-12 Basketball (at Heath)

  After two games getting cancelled earlier this week for "Covid concerns," the Lady Vikings finished up their regular season on Friday, February 12, 2021, at the Heath Bulldogs. The Vikings came up short with Heath prevailing 50-24. Lyndsey Stocks 16 of the teams 24...

#6 – Where Everybody Knows Your Name (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.

This was a line from the popular show Cheers in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.  It extols the comfort that comes from knowing that there is somewhere in this world where everyone knows who you are.  In the real world, that’s what our Children’s Ministries should be like!  There’s just something a lot more personal about calling a child by his/her name rather than just “you.”  Even in a large group setting, using a child’s name helps to build personal rapport.

Knowing every kid’s name is a lot easier in a small group setting where you only have 8-10 names to remember.  It’s a whole lot harder when you have 20 or 30 or 50 or more kids to try to remember all their names.

I use our check in list each week to keep track of who is and isn’t there.  I also make a conscious effort to study it every week to try to memorize the kids’ names.  I make notes about any distinctive characteristic a child might have, who is related to who, and anything else I can think of that will help me to remember their names.  I try to either great the kids every week as they get dropped off or be the one to wish them well and say goodbye as their parents pick them up.  This helps to further reinforce memorizing their names.  When all else fails, name tags are great!  I’m getting better and better every week at seeing a 1 inch by 4 four inch name tag from twenty feet away!

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

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