This post is the E.X.C.E.L. teaching agenda for Rev. David Morehead, for the PASTORS/ ADMINISTRATORS SESSION Entitled, “CORE MINISTRY VALUES TO REACH TODAY’S KIDS.” This lesson is being taught in Saint John, NB as part of the Atlantic District Sunday School Workshop on 11.5.16.
We will examine 6 core ministry values that should be the foundation of every children’s ministry. These principles are based on Sue Miller’s excellent book, “Making Your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week.” The method of our training will be built upon the E.X.C.E.L. teaching model that you will be able to use for any teaching setting.
ENGAGE – NIFTY NICKNAMES
- Each Leaders will take a wristband and write their name on it with a Nifty Nickname. You must place an adjective with your name using the same letter the starts with your name. EXAMPLE: Efficient Earnest
X-PLORE – ALPHABET BALLOON ACTIVITY
Balloons with a letter of the Alphabet will be on the ground and we will take Sharpie Markers and Write Value that we feel should be a part of Children’s Ministry. For instance, “A is for Active.” After we take some time to write on all of the balloons we will then share out the values we come up with.
COMMUNICATE – THE BIG SIX: Values to Guide Your Ministry
VALUE 1: CHILD-TARGETED
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Are we doing the kinds of things children really enjoy?
- Are we singing the style of songs children want to sing?
- Are we teaching the lessons children will understand?
- Would children invite lost friends here?”
EXCERPT FROM BOOK:
Right now, you might be tempted to think, “We certainly are child-targeted because, duh, we are a children ’s ministry.” Don ’t let yourself off that easy. I have a long list of things I’ve been told we should not do in Promiseland because adults might not like it. Adults? I suspect many children’s ministry leader receive pressure to please adult tastes. My response is, and yours can be too, “We have a place for the adults . . . it ’s called the morning service, and everything in it is for the adults —to minister to them on their terms Promiseland is for kids!
Story of My Mother-In-Law
VALUE 2: SAFETY
EXCERPT FROM BOOK:
We have ramped up our physical security measures. We constantly challenge ourselves to find ways to improve in a variety of processes including tagging/identification systems, establishing “no access” areas, and child protection training. Volunteers who work professionally in security can serve as a great resource for this work.
But physical safety is not enough, which I learned from an experience during my first year as a public school teacher. In the lounge two veteran teachers were discussing a particular child, using cynical remarks such as, “I don’t know how much more of him I can take. Better hope he isn’t in your class next year—you might want to consider early retirement!” I felt sick. We’re supposed to treasure kids like him, not belittle him. Isn’t that why we are in this? I thought to myself. I knew that this teacher’s attitude was sure to be evident in her classroom, maybe very subtle, but it would show
And it taught me a valuable lesson. While physical safety is often process-driven, emotional safety requires an entirely different mindset. Volunteers need to know that they are as likely to achieve emotional safety through tone and attitude as from a list of dos and don’ts.
- PHYSICAL SAFETY
- Check-in System
- Background Check for Leaders
- Secure the Kids space with only one entrance and exit
- Training for Leaders – Risk Management
- EMOTIONAL SAFETY
- SPIRITUAL SAFETY
VALUE 3: TEACHING IS RELEVANT AND APPLICATION-ORIENTED
In Promiseland, we make sure three content questions are answered in every lesson. And (sur-prise!) the answers only count from the perspective of kids. The questions are: 1. Know what? 2. So what? 3. Now what?
1. KNOW WHAT? – This refers to the Bible truth we plan to teach.
2. SO WHAT? – A bridge must be built to show that biblical truth applies to specific circumstances kids face.
3. NOW WHAT? refers to what kids are asked to do. Is there a clear and actionable application of this lesson in their lives? A “Call to action.”
VALUE 4: WE WILL TEACH THE BIBLE CREATIVELY
We want to teach the Bible first, and do it creatively second. However, they are not mutually exclusive—we can do both. Rev. Darrell Johns preaches an amazing message entitled, “This and That.” We CAN be relevant AND Bibliocentric at the same time!!!!
JONAH IN THE WHALE – STAN RUSSELL
- Light rain – Rubbing Hands Together
- Harder Rain – Snapping Fingers
- Terrible Rain – Slapping Hands on Knees
- 3D Rain – Have people with misters spray the crowd
TEACHING WITH NOVELTY
- Story Time
- Object Lesson
- Children’s Book
VALUE 5: WE WILL INTENTIONALLY SHEPHERD OUR CHILDREN
To model effectively, these shepherds have a four-part responsibility to show up.
1. They must show up excited to be with kids – Happy disposition.
2. Shepherds must show up ready to listen well – Teachers must BE PRESENT.
3. Leaders must physically show up every week – Responsibility.
4. Shepherds must show up with an expectant spirit – Optimism.
VALUE 6: WE WILL BE FUN!
The reason for this value is quite simple—kids won’t come back willingly if it’s not fun. And they certainly won’t invite their friends. An absence of fun will result in an absence of kids.
A final thought about fun. When Promiseland gets this value right, kids start referring to the ministry as their own. And when I hear children describing what they do in Promiseland using the words “My church,” my heart fills with affirmation that I am not crazy for what I do. I’m just having fun.
Participants will take an index card and create a list of their own 6 Children Ministry values. You my use any of the values in this lesson. You can change out any values for other values. You may add additional values.
LAUNCH – I AM A TEACHER PLEDGE – Jon Gordon
I pledge to be a positive teacher and positive influence
on my fellow educators, students and school.
I promise to be positively contagious and share more smiles, laughter, encouragement and joy with those around me. I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.
When I am surrounded by pessimism I will choose optimism. When I feel fear I will choose faith.
When I want to hate I will choose love.
When I want to be bitter I will choose to get better.
When I experience a challenge I will look for opportunity to learn and grow and help others grow. When faced with adversity I will find strength.
When I experience a set-back I will be resilient.
When I meet failure I will fail forward and create a future success.
With vision, hope, and faith, I will never give up
and will always find ways to make a difference.
I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.
I believe I’m here for a reason and my purpose is greater than my challenges.
I believe that being positive not only makes me better, it makes my students better. So today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on my students, school and the world.