Our volunteer team is working through several sessions of training focusing on effectively teaching large groups of children. In our first session we talked about how we must ENGAGE the kids we lead. I made up a pretty cheesy acronym to help remember what that looks like:
1. Exciting. Kids are repelled by boring. If we want kids to retain anything we have to say, excitement has to be a top priority in our presentation. Boring and monotone cause kids to tune out immediately. We are exciting through our tone of voice, through our body language, and through our presence on the stage.
2. New. We have the great challenge of making every Scripture we present feel new to the children. This is a challenge because you have kids who have heard Jonah and the whale 5 million times. Their first reaction is to chalk it up as “been there, done that”. But Scripture is living and active, and God can have a new message every time kids hear His word. It is our responsibility as teachers to present His truth in new and fresh ways to help kids continue to process the truths.
3. Gospel-centered. Everything must point back to what Jesus did to us. We can not allow our teaching to lean towards helping kids think the Bible is focused on them. The Bible is focused on God’s redemption story. If we teach and don’t point kids towards Jesus, we are missing it.
4. All in. Our goal has to be to get every kid involved and engaged in the lesson. Granted, this won’t always happen, but that has to remain our goal. A win is when we draw everyone in.
5. Glorifying. Exciting games and cool object lessons are great. But if kids leave and only remember the games and glitter without remembering the truth about Jesus that you taught, it was a teaching fail. We must make sure that we glorify God and not teaching methods, tricks, and fun.
6. End Result. We are not teaching for the sake of information or head knowledge. We are teaching for life