AIM for EVERYONE

I was reading a discussion over on the Kidology.org forums about how to teach to a wide age range and there were some comments suggesting different age ranges to aim for. Some were suggesting “aiming for the middle” or “targeting the older kids” so as not to bore them, whereas others thought it better to teach to the younger ones so as not to lose them. I’d like to suggest a different approach after having taught over 1,000 children’s church services to first through sixth graders for over fifteen years. It’s a rather simple suggestion: AIM FOR EVERYONE! The key in a large group with a large age range is to shift your focus constantly. The secret is to be highly visual and to be physically moving and animated to keep the younger ones tracking with you (don’t stand still and never sit, meaning you the teacher) and use humor constantly to keep a connection with your audience. Think about it: Senior pastors preach to a wide audience range of age and intelligence and education and world view and learning styles and they can do it! They don’t break their audience into groups! How do they do it? It isn’t…

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Check-in Without Lines?

Imagine computer check-in without computers! Imagine secure check-in without lines. Sound impossible? Not any more. Thanks to the always innovating geniuses at KidCheck, secure check-in is getting even easier. As you can tell by the related links below, I’ve been an avid supporter and promoter of KidCheck for years. I love how they are always innovating to make child security easier and more effective each year. While other systems provide the basics – KidCheck continues to add features and benefits that not only provide a pick-up label, but improve communication between parents, volunteers, and leaders. AND NOW… (wait for it) … They have introduced Express Check-in. That means parents can check-in on their smart phone in the parking lot or while walking it, come to your check-in area, hit “PRINT” and be on their way to dropping off their kiddos without every standing in line or typing into a computer. Learn all about KidCheck Express Check-in Here. As I mentioned on my podcast today, the safety of kids is of the utmost importance to parents. When you have a secure check-in area, you score points with parents who want to have the peace of mind that their child is not…

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Kids Napkin Art

I love sharing great ideas that I notice out and about. If you every visit Colorado Springs, make sure you visit Fargo’s Pizza. It’s an old-time pizza parlor, with player piano and all. I was there recently as a part of the Kidology Coaching Summit. After enjoying some great pizza and fellowship we were on the way out, and as I often do, I checked out the stuff they had for kids. What caught my eye was a framed collage of kid’s art. Here are some of the pictures close up: I think this is a great idea that could be easily incorporated into a children’s ministry. Whether you encourage kids to illustrate the sermon when they are sitting in “Big Church” or pass out a biblical coloring sheet for a coloring contest. You could do a Draw the Pastor contest or My Favorite Bible Story. Look at any parent’s refrigerator and you’ll have no doubt that kids LOVE to see their art displayed. Why not do the same at church where many more will see their art. PLUS, it shows off your children’s ministry to the pastor, parents and others who walk by the wall you have them displayed…

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Make ‘Em Laugh!

Some things never change! Enjoy this great video from 1952 – a great reminder that the best communicators are those who can make their audience laugh! While none of us can do the stunts in this movie (Singin’ in the Rain) – we CAN think of things that will make kids laugh. Physical humor is always effective (walking into things) but so is verbal and visual humor. Whenever you are preparing to teach, ask yourself, “How can I make them laugh?” And you’ll have them eating out of your hands!

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What is your WOW factor?

I dropped by a church this week just to see a friend and drop something off. As is my habit, I took a peek in the kids area and saw these GIANT board games on the wall! I couldn’t help saying, “Wow” out loud and imaging the impact these have on kids on Sunday, especially guests visiting for the first time. They say we love kids! We value kids! We welcome kids! Before you simply react, “How do I get those? Can you buy them? Are there plans?” Ask yourself, “What can we do wow kids? To show parents they are loved, valued and welcome?” Sure, you can copy this idea, but you just might come up with something even better! It all starts with wanting to do something that is extra special, extra cool, and that will make your kids say “Wow!” on Sunday. At the church we are currently attending and serving it, their wow factor for my son started with an ice cream truck outside as we arrived our first Sunday, followed by donuts inside, of course, but then the kicker… Not one, but TWO jumpy houses in the children’s area. And this is a mobile church,…

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