9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
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Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
Grace all the way
Wed May 15, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
3 Quick Wins for Kids' Ministry
In our culture education reform has become a hot topic.
Debates over what makes a teacher successful have splashed the covers of publications nationwide; researchers have stalked the classrooms of the most effective teachers hunting for a formula to teach like a champion. While we may be inclined to wave away the frenzy over excellence in education in favor of a truth we know changes hearts, we would miss an opportunity for fruitfulness in our children’s ministries if we didn’t take pause.
Let’s hit 3 quick wins from the traditional classroom that we can use to proclaim Jesus, praying that as many kids as possible will know him.
1. I do, we do, you do.
Kids internalize concepts through gradual release: a teacher models a concept or skill while kids observe (“I do”); kids engage with the concept or skill with lots of teacher support (“we do”); kids give it a shot on their own (“you do”). Too often in children’s ministry, though, we throw a one-two punch of a story and a memory verse and think we’ve delivered a knock-out. While the Holy Spirit can certainly use a mediocre delivery of God’s story to change hearts, when we fail to gradually release big ideas to our kids, we’ve failed to teach them more deeply about Jesus.
Kids retain concepts when they are repeated. Whatever the takeaway for the day’s lesson, repeat it—this means both multiple times and in multiple ways. Explicitly hit your takeaway in each section of your lesson (I do, we do, and you do), and incorporate multiple learning styles: call and response, kinesthetics, rhythm, writing, and more. The more times and the more ways a child encounters an idea, the more that idea will stick.
Never miss a chance to tell the gospel to kids who might not have heard it.
3. The gospel in every at-bat.
Curriculums try to do a lot. With the best intentions, they pack in activities, songs, stories, memorization, and more. But in the real-time of executing a lesson, our gaze can too easily slip from the truth of Jesus Christ to the tasks we want to get through. In children’s ministry, Jesus is always the big idea. Never miss a chance to tell the gospel to kids who might not have heard it, or to reinforce it for those who have. Can you summarize the gospel in 30 seconds? Can you do it for a four-year-old? A fourth-grader? Can your fourth graders tell other fourth graders? If we’re missing this, what are we really teaching?
No quick win can save a soul, but as we prayerfully pursue excellence in children’s ministry, God allows us to be part of the work he performs in our children. And in that, we are compelled to teach by and for the truest of champions.