Horse Race vs. Locomotive Ministry

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?


2locomotiveWhen 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 capture their attention.”

Never walk up and announce that you are starting – just start. Don’t ask kids to be quiet before you can start – just start. What you DO will determine whether they are quiet or loud – simply lead and kids will follow.

Ask yourself, “Do we start like a locomotive? Or do we start like a horse race?” While I don’t bet on horse races, I’d be happy to bet that if you start out like a horse race, your program will be a winner!

If you’ve been trying to get a train going and it feels like it takes five to ten (or more!) minutes to get your program “up to speed” it is time to figure out what you can do “out of the gate” to capture kids and start with a bang. The kids will follow and you’ll have their attention for the entire time. This principle is true even in the middle and end of your program. Whether it is music, a game or a skit – it’s doesn’t matter – don’t announce it, just do it. Maybe Nike was on to something with their slogan, embrace it as your own. nikelogo

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