Growing Up vs. Growing Old

There are so many things we can learn from kids. While growing up, adults tend to leave behind many traits of children that they would be wise to embrace. We can’t help growing older, but we can help growing up. Keeping a childlike heart and approach to life is not only healthy but also the secret to effective relational ministry. But when do we take it too far? Unfortunately, becoming more like kids can have a negative effect on adult relationships if we aren’t wise in how far we go to be more like children. Here are some things I have learned to help keep the balance and help prevent childlikeness from appearing as immaturity. Explain Your Philosophy of Ministry Every Chance You Get. Every chance I get, both in large groups and in one-on-one conversations, I explain why I am immersed in the world of children. If an adult comments on my Minecraft t-shirt, I explain, “Kids today love this game! By joining them in this interest I am able to build relationships and even make spiritual applications from Minecraft to the Christian life.” I’ll often say, “Don’t be fooled by all the fun and silliness you see. I…

Continue reading

Discover the Power of “Imaginative Conversation”

Years ago when I was invited to speak at a church to train volunteers, I got picked up by a pastor who brought along his two boys who wanted to meet the man behind Toybox Tales. (ToyboxTales.com) The airport was several hours from the church, so we had lots of time to chat on the drive. At one point, we saw along the side of the road a Target store that was still under construction. The odd thing was, while the parking lot was complete with stripes and lights, and the store’s sign was up and brightly lit, the building itself still had no roof, and through the holes where windows and doors would go, we could see the floor was still dirt! These boys and I enjoyed a fun-filled conversation imagining what would happen if they stocked the store and opened but forget to put a floor down or a roof on. Space here does not allow the hysterical scenarios we described! The next day, after the training was done, the pastor told me that he owed me an apology. I was surprised. He explained that during our long conversation about the roof-less Target store he was frustrated and…

Continue reading

The post that bugs me the most.

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.…

Continue reading

Connecting with Today’s Digital Kids!

It’s no secret we live in a digital age! Take home papers are no longer the most effective ways to reach kids between Sundays. So how DO you connect with today’s digital kids? Pastor Karl Bastian, founder of Kidology.org talks about his three favorite ways to connect with kids in today’s digital world. Paper take-home handouts are no longer the best tool. You’ll love these modern options! See complete show notes and iTunes link at: Kidology.org/kidmintalk155

Continue reading

When Teaching a Large Age Range

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 twenty-five 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…

Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...