No matter the curriculum you’re using or how many minutes you have to meet with your group of kids during the week you can incorporate these three things into your time together.
Some kids come from homes where nothing of spiritual significance is taught. Others may have more spiritual direction. Still, every kid can benefit from these three things during the meeting times at church:
Be pray-ers. Pray for things as they come up. Write down prayers and keep track of how God is at work.
Invite kids to pray out loud. As they grow comfortable with this it will serve them well in life. It doesn’t have to be long prayers, but even one word prayers around a circle can be a great start. I have often found that when I call on kids to pray, and just keep the level of expectation as I do so, they respond stronger than I often expect! One tip: don’t ask for a volunteer, just humbly name a child and ask if they would close in prayer. Additionally, don’t attach praying to being the last one to class or the one who was talking when they weren’t supposed to, etc. That creates a sense of prayer being a punishment.
Memorize prayers the whole group can pray together as the group time begins or ends. Doing this each time for a season will help cement the prayers into the hearts of the children.
Here are some ideas:
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Dear Lord, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to look for any reward, save that of knowing that I do your holy will. Amen.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26)
Love God’s word. Find ways to build life on God’s promises. Learn Bible verses. Keep a memorization chart for the month or semester. Make sure kids have Bibles. Help them enjoy looking up verses by creating competition and rewarding them. When kids hide God’s word in their hearts, they are stronger. Here are some ideas for helping kids memorize scripture.
We must discipline ourselves so we can model it well. Teachers should always be on time (at least 15 minutes early) to help welcome and engage kids as they enter the room. We must also model being prepared and ready to lead, teach and serve. Help kids begin to learn that on the other side of good discipline is freedom. There is joy when we live with a desire to please God. When it comes to disciplining children during a kids ministry time slot, there are many issues factors to consider. But one overriding principle is that we discipline out of love for the child.
Here are two things to think about when it comes to helping to create an atmosphere of discipline:
A teacher must spark interest, invite students in, present a problem to overcome, and be in having learned and experienced the lesson himself. (“The Seven Laws of Teaching,” John Gregory, 1884)
A teacher must be well prepared, take careful note of the space, the time limits, the physical comforts and surroundings. (“The Seven Laws of Teaching,” John Gregory, 1884)
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