Children's Ministry Ideas
From My Readers
I'm always so excited to receive children's ministry ideas from the visitors who come to my site and take the time to
, so I've decided to build a page just for those wonderful ideas and input!
I have enjoyed reading and using some of your ideas. Thought I'd share some of my ideas that have worked for me first as a public school teacher and as a children's Sunday School and Children's Church leader for many years. When I first began teaching, I'd say, I know I have a perfect worksheet for that lesson. At that time storage files were file cabinets and remembering the name of the worksheet was often confusing. I began using notebooks and would organize them by chapters of the book Also at this time, copy machines were ditto and mimeograph and keeping originals were very messy. I still use notebooks today and file everything under topics like creation or passages in the Bible. Since we now have a rotating system of teachers for Children's Church, I still prepare the lessons. I'm currently using Through The Bible for lessons and if I don't like an activity, I just go to my notebooks and find something I think the students would learn from and enjoy more. As I make a lesson out for a teacher, I print out a copy for my notebook and I have the entire lesson ready. I don't have a laptop and projector either so I print songs and memory verses on overheads that can quickly be slid into sheet protectors and also placed in notebooks. I HOPE THESE IDEAS ARE OF USE TO SOMEONE.
As a children's ministry worker for almost 30 years, one idea I have utilized is that I have a Junior Church Store. People of the church donate items ranging from candy to toys, which I use to "sell" to the children on one specific day. That day is usually three months after the beginning date of the calculation of the "dollars".
Each Sunday I give the children one dollar for being in Children's Church, one dollar for bringing their Bible, one dollar for quoting their memory verse and two dollars for bringing a visitor. Then at the end of the three months, wegive them "play money" for them to go out into the fellowship hall (where the items are on tables) and they purchase the products. THEY LOVE THIS idea!
One other idea is that I give visitors a little packet when they come the first time into our Children's Church. It consists of three small pieces of individual candies, a church business card, a gospel pencil, a bookmark (for their Bible), and several other little pieces of odds and ends. They love this idea, also. Makes them feel special.
Save coffee cans -- plastic (make less noise) or tin -- and cut a slit in the lid. After the regular offering is collected have several children go into the adult service. They take the cans to the people in the pews for coins to use in the children's ministry. No one can resist those cute faces, and the kids love helping out.
When attention seems to be flagging or to see if the kids are really listening, I taught them to respond to my statement, "You kids are driving me crazy!" Upon hearing this they were to stand up, turn to their chair, and slap it twice with both hands, then turn back forward, completing a circle, then sit down. Without any other comment I would pick up where I had left off and continue with the lesson. I can still say the magic phrase and my two 16 y/o will respond like Pavlov's dogs albeit embarrassed that they are still conditioned to this silly attention-getter. Praise to my sister, Jackie Duvall, for sharing this tip with me(I changed mine just a little bit from hers) and Praise to the Lord for your website as I begin a new commission of teaching toddlers/pre-schoolers.
I have a very pushy, talkative girl in my Sunday School class. To get her on the quiet side I have given her the job of secretary. She has to listen carefully so she can get every thing down. Now she feels very special and has become very helpful to the smaller children.
To move Preschoolers around from room to room, we use "Mr. Magic Rope." He holds on to us and makes sure we are safe and all find our way together. Kids LOVE him and all want to grab "him" at once.
We have found that using candy as a reward for good behavior can detract from the message, so we use coupons that can be redeemed at the end of the service.
Props, props, props. Kids love them. Sometimes I use funny hats. I have one with fruit on it and talk about fruit of the spirit. I have funny glasses and teeth and talk about being different, but how we are loved and special to God and treating others good. I use a mega phone to shout the good news of Jesus. Anything different to get a point across. Bible drills, kids love them and even sometimes kids they don't like to read will read them if they find the verse first and are not pushed into reading.
About biting children: I worked in a daycare where a 2 year old child was biting several times a day. I helped him to overcome this over a period of about 1 month. Let's call him Bob. Bob was biting because he wanted a toy, thought someone was gonna take something from him, was going to do his cleanup chore, and other reasons. God let me know that Bob's problem was that he could not voice himself. He didn't know how to handle ANY situation he was facing from minute to minute throughout the whole day! Once I realized this I would watch Bob's mannerisms and try to help him through a situation before he even realized that he might get angry. I knew what things bothered him and I would give him the words to say. Like "You're hurting me.Please stop.That doesn't feel good.I had it first but I will let you play with it next. Can I play with it after you?" and anything else God would direct me to say to Bob. After the first week I saw major improvements even though he was still totally dependent on me giving him his every word. After the second week he had cut biting down more than half and was beginning to say some things for himself. I would also talk to the other kids in the class about not upsetting Bob and listening to what he had to say. I could see Bob's social skill really growing and he did stop biting. It really works! Just give them the kind words and simple words to voice themselves with and never let them bully and put each other down.
This is not an original of mine. I attended an African Methodist Episcopal Church conference in Nashville, TN in April. These were some recommendations under Teaching Aids Tips. These rules are published in the The Journal of Christian Education. We use them with our children's church and they work.
R-is for RIGHT away. This is when you obey.
U-is for UNO this is Spanish for "one". ONLY one person speaks at a time.
L-is for LISTEN, if you are not the person speaking.
E-is for ENJOY-decide that you will have a good time.
S-is for SELF-that is where you keep your hands and feet.
Here is one idea that has worked for me. I was having a bit of trouble with the children behaving in children's church, so I made a reward system. I took some colored paper stock and I printed out fake one dollar bills and I made a reward system where they could earn money by having good behavior, answering review questions and being a good helper. They could also lose money if they didn't behave. Then at the end of the month the kids get to purchase items from the Prize Chest. Then the next month they get to earn the money again.
The Thoughts of the Unborn
Return from Children's Ministry Ideas to Home Page