Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 10: Teach with Purpose

If the principal activity of Children’s Ministry is teaching, then this essential work must be tied to our overall goals for children.  Teaching with passion is useless if you don’t know WHY you are teaching or have in mind WHAT outcome you desire.  To put it another way, teaching that doesn’t elicit true learning ends…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 9: Teach with Passion

In a Christ-centered, gospel-driven children’s ministry, teaching is the fundamental activity.  Unfortunately, the educational element of ministry to children has gradually receded into the background over the past decades, as more entertainment-styled programming has been thrust into the foreground.  Correspondingly, teachers in the local church aren’t typically trained to be effective and productive, since knowledge and wisdom aren’t valued…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 8: Choose the Courses

In our last lesson, we discussed the general principles for choosing curriculum.  Since curriculum is the “totality of student experiences in the educational process,” we refer to its components as “courses.”  Think about it this way: A college curriculum is comprised of dozens of courses that must be taken before the student can graduate.  So, what are the…

Children’s Ministry 101. Lesson 7: Choose the Curriculum

Curriculum (n): The totality of student experiences in the educational process.  This important term originates from the Latin “the course of a race,” which helps us to understand what choosing curriculum is truly all about.  In children’s ministry, we have the high responsibility of “setting the course” on which our children will run.  Prayerfully, the chosen curriculum…

Know All the Answers? Now Do Them!

Recently, a parent surprised me with her criticism of our children’s Sunday School curriculum.  I was caught off-guard, not because I haven’t received other critiques (I certainly  have), but because of the nature of her concern.  Her problem was that her children already know all the answers to all the stories that are taught in Sunday…

The Highlights are not Enough

I’ve been a big NCAA March Madness fan ever since the 1979 match up of Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans vs. Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores.  I have watched many a basketball game since then, and filled out a ton of brackets (even before it was cool).  Now, my wife would rightly point out that…

What’s in a Name? (part 2)

You don’t have to read very far in the Old Testament to learn the importance of names.  Adam’s name for his wife certainly summed up her role as the “mother of all the living.” Jacob’s name captured a theme of much of his life, until God graciously changed it to Israel.  And, most importantly, the…