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.…

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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

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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…

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BREAK THE MOLD!

I often say there are Sundays that you just need to “break the mold,” and make the experience completely different for the kids. As soon as your lesson format is predictable, it is time to do something different! I often use 5th Sundays to do this, or when there is a holiday that doesn’t fit nicely with the curriculum schedule. This year is a perfect example! Easter is the 2nd Sunday of April, meaning that a 4 week Easter series needs to be started on the 2nd Sunday of March in order to end on the first week of April. This year, I’ve got two FUN “Mold Breaking” Sundays planned for the kids. For the first Sunday of January, before we kick off Secrets of the Ancient Scrolls, we are doing BIBLE-O-RAMA! Every year I tweak and improve them, and I love when users of it Bible Curriculum make their own additions! This year, Pastor Doug Olson added a really cool new feature designed to keep kids moving and encourage them to visit every station. It’s a Bible-O-Rama Passport! The kids get a sticker as they visit each station and a special prize if they complete each activity. If you…

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Hidden Messages

  I just created a FUN on screen word puzzle to get kids talking about biblical phrases. Put the phrases on screen and see if the kids can figure them out. You can download high resolution 16:9 images or a PDF version to print. An answer key is also provided. Here are a few SAMPLES: See them all and download at: Kidology.org/hiddenmessages

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