Last summer, I started teaching the large group portion of our lesson to the kindergarten and first graders at my church on Sunday morning. Before I dive into my list of tips for large groups, let me give you some background on exactly where I am coming from. In our church, we use a curriculum which includes both small groups and a large group component. I had worked with small groups of kids for a while, and I absolutely love doing that. I like the discipleship aspect of small groups and the opportunity it affords us to really get to know kids and invest in their lives. So, when our Children’s Ministry Director asked me to take over teaching the large group for the K-1 room, I took it as an opportunity for God to stretch me beyond what I was comfortable with for the purposes of his kingdom. Thus far, I have enjoyed every moment of it, and God is working through it to teach me more and more every day.
In terms of dynamics, we have a great bunch of small group leaders who love the kids in our classroom. That said, when it comes to the large group teaching, that is more-or-less just me (to clarify, if it’s done right it’s actually all GOD, but hopefully working through me). In addition to picking up teaching responsibilities on the weekend, I also took over as Games Director for the Wednesday night AWANA program at our church this fall. I went from dealing weekly with a small group of about six three to four year olds to running games for over 200 kids from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. This has afforded me another opportunity to work on my large group skills! I am not an expert in this area, but I have noticed what does and does not work. I hope that gives you some idea of where most of these observations are coming from!
Several months back, I posted an article called 30 Ways to Get Connected with Your Kids which is still one of the most popular posts on this site. This is a follow-up to that post on working with large groups. Each article offers one tip or piece of advice on working with larger groups of kids.
I originally wrote this article as one post with all 40+ points in one article, and I will probably post the comprehensive list at the end. That said, I’ve decided to post each idea as a separate entry for two reasons. First, it gives me the opportunity to expand on each idea a little more without making the final product so long that no one will ever read it. Second, to be honest, I need a break. I love writing this blog, but with everything else going on, sometimes it is hard to keep up. Given the numbers of sections in this series, that should amount to a little more than two months. I will interject with other articles when I feel led, but this series will give me plenty of time to rest up, save up some ideas for future articles, and get refreshed. Rest assured, if something comes up in the meantime, I will make certain to interrupt this series. So, starting tomorrow, we will begin the longest series in the history of this blog.