This is the second part in planning kids ministry sessions, the first part on Planning effectively can be found here.
Generally speaking you have 2 choices if you don’t plan – you can wing it, or hope the just add water style material gives you all the answers. after a couple of weeks of falling short of expectations you’ll come to realise that the planning of a given ministry lesson makes a huge difference.
So assuming you have been realistic in your planning, we now need to define the major aims of a given lesson. Even if you have pre-written material you need to do this. If you don’t know rough answers to these questions you may end up following the form of a given lesson and compromised the content.
The reason we concentrate on these idea’s is because they allows you to discern the best way to teach.
When we define the aims of a lesson we can build the content round them
These 3 areas get progressively more difficult. The first is relatively easy. Most lessons start with either a passage or a key idea. If you are starting with a passage don’t skip this, because sometimes people are so intent of teaching the facts of the passage the child has no way of realising how this could relate to their lives. The moral or key idea is the point the actions scribed in dry ink on dead trees turns into moving hands, feet and hearts. Once you have the idea or moral then build everything on it.
Moving out of theory, the actual is stuff even the kids will see. Get these answers set in stone, if you are reading only part of the passage, look again, is this the best selection for your key idea. Exactly what you want the child to take in, to learn. It may have nothing to do with the set text, and that’s OK, but every session should aim to teach the child, equip them for life and move them forward with their Christian journey. If the session is just about telling a cute story they may as well be at the local library.
The Limits is where many people go wrong. Feedback is a great test of this. Imagine asking an older child what the message of today’s lesson was, was the message clear in all your did? How do they see your time, is the fun factor missing? In the eagerness to teach has ministry become dry school lessons to the children. Or had your fun factor run wild, do the youngsters remember the silly games and daft actions to the songs more than the words and life transforming message. It’s sometimes useful to make a 10 second check of the situation.
This is the YES! check list I use to judge the success of a session.
(It’s available as part of a check list teachers sheet with this months newsletter)
+ Did the child learn physically, emotionally, or spiritually today?
+ Did the leader learn physically, emotionally, or spiritually today?
+ What specific factor disrupted us (if any) – was it out of our control?
+ Was God still in the work we did, and did we reflect that?
+ Were the people in our care safe, not endangered?