Making Lessons Relational

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Kids learn best when there is a personal connection with those tho teach them. (So do adults, for that matter. It’s no mystery why the #1 reason people leave a church is that they don’t like the pastor.) If we don’t connect with our kids relationally, we reduce our impact. There are lots of way to be a relational teacher. The Kidology Handbook is the book on the topic, but there are many fun ways to do it as well, by personalizing the little things you do every week. Next week we conclude our Armor of God Series – it’s been a LOT of fun. The kids have really enjoyed our Roman Soldier we’ve been bringing through time to learn. (Watch videos of these lessons here.) The kids really enjoy Micah – he is a nut – and willing to do anything to engage the hearts and minds of our kids. (See Capturing Kids Imagination When You Teach.) So when I needed to create an activity for small groups next week, I decided to incorporate Micah into the activity. During the first week of this series, Micah showed up at church in his pajamas – and we ended up talking about …

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Capturing Kids’ Imaginations When You Teach

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We don’t teach to give children facts. We teach to change lives, right? If we want our lessons to impact kids’ lives beyond Sunday, we MUST capture their imagination and bring our lessons to life! Let me share some tips on how to do this using my current series as an example. This month I am starting a new series on the Armor of God. It is one of my favorite series’ to teach, and I do it differently every time. I have a “secret agent” series on Kidology.org that I am loosely following, but anytime I teach, the creative juices get flowing and new ideas are sure to abound! This time around, thanks in large part to my teaching partner, Micah, we are doing something extra crazy! Micah had a complete suit of armor custom built for himself, so we decided to build a TIME MACHINE and bring a real Roman Soldier through time to help explain the functions of armor to the children before I compare them to the items God has equipped us with to fight our spiritual battles. No matter what you are teaching, it is important to capture the imaginations of children! It draws them …

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How to be an AWESOME Small Group Leader

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Many churches today use a Large Group / Small Group format. That simply means all the kids first gather together for a large group teaching that may utilize videos, skits, object lessons, puppets or games, and a gifted teacher who is able to engage a large group of children effectively. Then, the kids break into small groups for discussion, a simple game perhaps, and other activities to help dig a little deeper into the lesson topic. If you are a small group leader, here are FIVE TIPS to make your time as effective as possible: #1 Understand how important you are! Often small group leaders sell themselves short. They may not have the “up front” skills of the Large Group teacher and so they may mistakenly think that they aren’t as important. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Your role is critical. No matter how amazing your large group teacher may be, they are teaching to a LARGE group. They can’t have the relational impact that you can. Notice, Jesus amazed large crowds, but he poured his life into a small group called the disciples. The crowds ran when Jesus was dying, but it was those disciples who carried on …

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Get Results From Being Positive

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Have discipline issues in your class, club or program? How do you train kids to behave? Hopefully no one will take offense at me comparing training kids to training my dog, but house training our Teddy reminded me of the power of positive reinforcement. As first time dog owners, we had to learn to house train our little puppy by trial and error. We listened to people, read articles, and even signed up for doggie training at our local Pet Smart… but the results were discouraging. Months into him joining our family, I was secretly thinking of giving him away because of being weary of cleaning up the unpleasant “gifts” he was leaving around the house. (Though, I knew that wasn’t really an option if I wanted to keep living in house!) Then we had a break through. A friend told me – give up scolding him or correcting him when he messes up. (He can’t understand you anyway.) Instead, when he does do his business outside where you want him to, CELEBRATE it to the MAX! So when he did it right, we jumped up and down, we clapped and cheered yelling “GOOD TEDDY.” Basically, the advice was go overboard …

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Horse Race vs. Locomotive Ministry

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If a train were to race a horse, over the long haul the train would certainly win. The average train cruises along at speeds well over 100 mph, whereas a race horse runs about 35-45mph. But in a short sprint, the race horse would leave the train in it’s dust. Have you ever watched a train start? You might fall asleep! Have you ever watched a horse race start? When the gate opens the horses burst out and the race is on! Which describes your ministry programming? VS. When it comes to children’s ministry, we certainly are in the business of long term results, but when it comes to a Sunday morning – we don’t have a lot of time. We MUST gain kids attention and fast so that we can lead them into a life-changing learning experience. Slowly picking up speed from a dead stand still is a formula for boring kids and disengaging their active minds. Your children’s ministry programming, whether it is Kid’s Church or a midweek club – needs to START promptly and be off and running as soon as the “gate” opens. I’ve been saying it for years, “You don’t demand kid’s attention – you …

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