Over on Kidology.org there is a discussion about kids leading kids church, as well as one asking for samples of different children’s church services. So, I decided to kill to forum birds with one stone, er, one post!
I’ve led over 1000 children’s church services and all of them have been run by kids. As described in my Kids Church Book (available as a download) I use what I call my K.C. Krew, and they help not only run Kids Church, but plan and prepare as well. In addition to all they do every week, from set up to running sound, acting is skits, doing puppets, taking the offering, leading games, to the take down – at least once a year I would guide them through a process of writing their own lesson.
I’d start with telling them how I come up with topics, how I study the Bible, how I choose the activities and write the various components of the lesson. It is a great opportunity for them to understand what happens even deeper behind the scenes and to be trained to do it themselves.
Well, one year, they BLEW ME AWAY!
After discussion and prayer, we decided to teach on peer pressure. We turned to the Bible to decide how it could help us adddress this need biblically, and while I was rackin’ my brain for a verse on peer pressure, one of the kids (granted, the pastor’s son, Andy) came up with the idea of using the story of Ester, since she had to deal with peer pressure both from her royal family as well as her people and decide to do the right thing.
Then they began to talk about how we could help the children EXPERIENCE the story of Ester, rather than just hear it again. We came up with the most crazy and fun lesson, and the COMPLETE SERVICE is available below as a video download.
In summary: There would be an election, and the kids would actually vote on a Mayor of Kids Town, one who promised to put the “kid back in kids town” and our Puppetume mail man, would be credited as helping him win the election – but then, the mayor would shock everyone by banning all puppets from Kids Town! (The other candidates were Barney the Purple Dinosaur, Darth Vader, and the Kids Town hampster!) The new major didn’t realize that Henry, the mail man, was actually a puppet, and Henry had to choose between his new privileged standing with the mayor, or sticking up for “his people,” the puppets. As you can guess, in the end, he did the right thing and the puppets were saved!
But the ideas my Krew came up with where amazing – a press conference in the back of the room that was projected to the front – a video of all the puppets leaving Kids Town, to a fullly scripted movie of the Story of Ester starring our own main puppets, Gus and Molly. Not to mention, the entire election aspect. It was an amazing Sunday that I am still often talking about and describing in workshops on my K.C. Krew.
So, thanks to some Kidology.org members asking in the forum, here are two items for you:
1) The YouTube video of just the Puppet Eviction video – which was very fun to make, and luckily was done in one take:
2) A download of the entire service in MP4 format, 212MB, so be patient.
Karls Kids Church Lesson on Ester (MP4; 212mb)
Let me encourage you as strongly as I can: DO NOT DO ANYTHING A KID CAN DO! Your job as a teacher is not just to pass on information, it is to make disciples, and kids learn best by DOING. So don’t just let them help you – let them lead! Ask them for input and give them opportunities to serve and lead. We often wonder why many adults don’t have a servant heart and just expect to come to church and watch – maybe its because we trained ’em that way as children!