by Kelly Presson/ November 10, 2020
This blog is a continuation of the concept "9 Keys to Effectively Teaching Kids". To read the first in the series, click here.
Kids love to have a good time, and we should plan accordingly. However, the most important thing that can happen in the life of every child is for them to experience the greatness of God. Our ultimate goal is to introduce kids each and every week to the person and presence of God.
Everything else that we do in a kids service is done to set the stage for kids to know Him. It is important that we always keep the spiritual goal in focus each and every time we have the opportunity to minister to children.
I want the children in my ministry to have a relationship with Jesus that is personal. This means that sharing the word of God is vital. Creating an atmosphere where kids worship from their hearts and experience the presence of the Holy Spirit is critical. And providing adequate altar or response time is indespensable.
Remember, a child’s attention span is fairly short. Reportedly one minute for each year old, although I have serious doubts that those numbers continue to hold true.
From a very early age, our kids are being conditioned to experiencing quick, ever-changing, stimulation as they are being entertained by digital content.
I highly recommend breaking your large group ministry or lesson plan into several 3-5 minute segments, with a variety of leaders involved on stage. This means that every 3-5 minutes, something or someone in the presentation changes which causes your kids to refocus their attention, enhancing their ability to capture and retain more of what you are teaching.
Even if there are only two leaders available, take turns teaching individual segments of each lesson for a greater impact. This allows you to have a longer 5-8 minute Bible Lesson segment, because you have kept the attention span of your young students in mind throughout the other parts of your service.
Although Kids ministry needs to be fun, and Key #3 was to “add some silly”, kids need moments in every service that conveys the truth of God’s Word in a serious manner. Kids deal with serious issues, serious temptations, and serious opposition to a Biblical Worldview.
There simply must be those moments in each service where we remember that we are “pastoring” kids, not entertaining them. Our mindset must remain focused on helping lay a spiritual foundation that is strong enough to last.
Making age appropriate, serious points through an object lesson, etc., is a critical part of Kids Ministry. Worship and Response/Altar times are also segments of our services where we should strive to lead kids into serious opportunities to hear from and respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit.