There is only one post on social media that annoys me every time I see it. I’m taking a risk telling you, as I fear one of my readers may have posted it! If so, I hope your toes will recover – my intention isn’t to step on them, but to encourage you. But you aren’t alone. I see the same post from different people, regularly, every few months. If you have posted this, take comfort in knowing I have no memory of who it was, so you remain anonymous to me. OK, here it goes. The post is something to this effect: “What are some of your best/favorite time-fillers for when the service goes over?”
Why does this bug me? Mostly because it suggests that a service going over is a negative thing and/or that extra time is a crisis rather than an opportunity. Boy, oh Boy! I LOVE when the service goes over. If I could BRIBE my pastor to go over every Sunday, I would! There is a little sadness in my heart the moment the first parents show up. I love every moment I get to pour into the kids entrusted to me and my team. Time-filler? What in the world is that? I get so precious little time with the children that I want every minute to count. There is not one thing in my service that is a time-filler. Every activity is strategic; even things that may appear as play time or non-teaching have a purpose. Everything.
Why? Today’s kids are inundated with influences from a world that is fighting against our Christian values. Screen time from multiple devices, often unsupervised, between social media, video games, and streaming services, are now competing and often beating the hours spent in school. According to Pew Research, 40% of today’s kids are spending up to 30 hours a week on their phone – that’s nearly two days a week. Church attendance, on the other hand, is declining.
Get the picture? So, if I have “extra time,” why would I want to merely “fill it?” That is precious valuable time that I want to capture and use strategically to make it count for eternity! That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and engaging. That doesn’t mean it has to be heavy and serious. But it does mean we must always have a plan and be ready to make every moment matter.
The secret is to over-plan with some optional items following the lesson summary, life application, and closing prayer. Have more planned than you can ever get to.
If you don’t have a plan for the kids, they’ll have a plan for you. The kid’s plan is to have fun, right? I like to say, they will have fun either way – whether you are prepared or not. So, they can either have fun under your direction, or at your expense. So plan the fun, strategically – fun with a purpose – and you’ll make the most of every minute they are entrusted to you and you’ll never need a “time-filler.” You can use a review game, a Bible-drill, a life-application story, an additional appropriate worship song, or something that will further your lesson or add a challenge that will impact their week.
Never fill time; fill hearts with God’s Truth!
[If your curriculum is leaving you needing “time-fillers” you need to check out it Bible Curriculum]
For more Kidology Theorems, visit the Kidology Theorems Zone on Kidology