Today I responded to some questions about what we do in our children’s areas at the church. Thought I would post them for the record. (And because it took me 10 minutes to do it.)
* How much ‘text’ do you give volunteers? Using Elevate curriculum, I usually select 1, maybe 2 activities and distribute the appropriate scripts, discussion questions, and/or activities
* How different is your Preschool small group material from your Elementary small group material? Right now it’s in a transition, which is to say that the Preschool area is more traditional in teaching nature. No Preschool ‘Small Groups.’
* What is the MAIN THING you are focusing on for your ’small group time?’ Relationship building and applications for the kids to make use of what was learned in the large group teaching.
* How long is your ’small group time?’ 10-20 minutes
* What new ideas, formats or processes have you tried & been successful? We have moved all prayer time, offering, and some special music into the small group areas.
* What works for you? Still figuring that out. Small groups have allowed us to improve the the safety and security aspects of our ministry; eliminating the ‘get lost’ factor we find in large groups.
* Do you use video? How much? Again, we use the Elevate curriculum. But we do the live performances with the video that runs in the background. Some series have been much better than others.
* Do your kids enjoy video? When it’s not the ‘Main Thing’; they really get into it.
* How long is your ‘production’ time? 25-30 minutes
* Do you use volunteers on stage? YES!
* Do you teach the Bible Story on stage? How? I rotate with some trained volunteers, using the Elevate ‘Performance’ videos that back up the teaching on the screen. It’s really a cool way to teach. (Not all Elevate series work this way, though.)
* Do you have fun Large Group games you do on stage? What are some examples? We do games at times, but they tend to take up to much time, and don’t get everyone involved. We usually reserve game times for small groups.
* Do you do a new Memory Verse each week or every ‘X’ number of weeks? New verse every week.
* Do you use a ‘Main Point’ or ‘Key Phrase’ each week to help the kids see a ‘main idea?’ New Main point and Key point every week, however they are all related for 8 weeks of teaching.
* Do you use motions with your kids to help them remember Main Points & Memory Verses? Always motions with at least one of them each week.
* Are their other teaching tricks you might have tried that help the lesson stick? Anything that brings all the lights down, except those lights on the stage with the teacher. Anything with sound effects keeps the volume down in my audience; and of course the bigger and messier the stage the more memorable it will be. My big challenge is keeping it fresh every week, and not letting it bog down into the same formula every week.
* Do you use ‘Parent Letters’ that go home with the kids? Are they successful? I like them, but the work involved isn’t worth the reward. Parents simply didn’t miss them when I stopped doing it.
Please forgive my grammar and spelling errors. Thank You!