Expect Much, Get Much!

Children typically only rise as far as you expect them to. Rarely does a student exceed the expectations of the leaders in their life. I’ve learned, “Expect Little, Get Little; Expect Much, Get Much.” Many children have a low opinion of themselves, but if you think more of them than they think of themselves, you can have the power to help lift them to the next level on their Christian journey! As a young boy, one of my teachers, Helen Reed, gave me a passion for Scripture memory. I still remember hearing, “I think you can do it,” whispered in my ear as I worked to memorize the Bible verses she provided. Her consistent encouragement pushed me to accomplish much! I would have never memorized all of those verses, nor would I have the grasp of Scripture I have today, if it wasn’t for her faithful challenging. When it came to Scripture memory, I knew that was an area of strength, so did I no longer need challenging? Far from it! We moved and I got a new church teacher. Mr. Ralph could have just complimented me on my knowledge of Scripture, but instead he commented, “I’ll be impressed when…

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STOP, DROP and ROLL!

As teachers, we have an agenda. We have a lesson plan we are trying to teach, a game we are trying to lead, a craft we are trying to complete, or some other activity that we prayed about, planned, prepared and now are trying to pull off. But often our children have other ideas about how the time in the classroom is going to be spent. There is an old children’s ministry saying that goes, “If you don’t have a plan for the kids, they’ll have a plan for you!” What do you do when you are trying to lead young children in one direction and they are moving in an entirely different direction? We usually tell them to stop what they are doing and to do what we tell them to do. Does this work? Not usually. Someone once defined insanity as taking something that doesn’t work and working harder at it. When children don’t respond well to our request to stop and obey, we have a conflict. In the classroom we are dealing with other peoples’ children, so we lack the authority and leverage we’d normally have over our own children, so we feel rather powerless. We try…

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Help Your Kids Honor Jesus This Christmas

Last Christmas I learned about a new tool for helping my family focus on Jesus from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas – and it is VERY cool! It is called Cradle for the King – and the concept is simple. As your family notices the fruit of the Spirit in each other, the manger is created and prepared for Jesus at Christmas. STARTING AT THANKSGIVING is ideal, but you can start any time before Christmas to get the focus of the season where it belongs – on Jesus and the impact He should be having on our lives. Through the book included in the set, children witness a family who joyfully exhibits the spiritual gifts in Galatians chapter five and “prepare the way” for Jesus who finally appears in the cradle on Christmas morning. While it is ideal for families, you can also get a set to give out at church. Check out the Cradle for the King 12-pack. Our family is using this fun tool this season, and I invite you to join us as we prepare for season with a reason! LEARN MORE AT: Cradle for a King available on Kidology.org

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How to be an AWESOME Small Group Leader

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

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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