by Mark Entzminger/ December 11, 2015
The Sunday morning experience is the primary focus of almost every childrens’ ministry leader. Most of your time, energy, and effort is spent trying to maximize the one or two hours you have each week to share the Gospel and help kids grow as spirit-filled disciples.
Earlier this week, I outlined why it’s important to maintain both a practical and spiritual perspective when planning your lesson each week, Healthy Kidmin Lessons. Today, I want to unpack several ways you can apply those ideas each week.
3 Ways to Balance a Practical and Spiritual Approach to Planning
Here are three ways you can balance a practical and spiritual approach to evaluating curriculum and planning a lesson each week:
● Think about curriculum as a springboard, not set in stone. Kids’ ministry curriculum can be an invaluable resource to help you reach kids. Most are written by people who know exactly what kids need to hear in order to help them grow. At the same time, you know the spiritual climate of your kids’ ministry. While your curriculum provides a good framework for helping kids grow, think of it as a springboard rather than something that is set in stone. Instead of sticking to the script and walking through the lesson verbatim, develop a lesson that communicates the ideas and principles in the best way possible for kids in your ministry.
● Pray and prepare. As you’re preparing a lesson, it’s important to be open to the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. However, it’s very unlikely that you can be open to the Holy Spirit if you’re preparing as you drive to church. Pray for the Holy Spirit to shine new truths on the scripture, but make sure you are also preparing in advance.
● Balance your intuition with information. More than likely, you can tell when certain lessons or curriculum resonate with kids. However, kids might be growing spiritually in ways you’re unaware. As kids’ ministry leaders, it’s important that we validate or challenge the ideas we have in our gut with as much information as possible. Evaluate what’s working with your small group leaders. Dig deeper to uncover some of the outcomes-based discipleship indicators that you might miss on the surface.
Is the success of your children’s ministry fully dependent on your lesson? No. However, it does establish a foundation for everything else you do. As you look forward to 2016, my hope is that you will be intentional about applying these principles. I have no doubt you’ll see a difference.
Note: It’s important to consider the steps you should take before making a major change in your curriculum or Sunday morning experience. Here are three essential steps to take before leading your ministry through change that I’ve learned along the way.
What are some other ways you intentionally balance the practical and spiritual aspects of planning your kids’ ministry lesson each week?