We live in a “microwavable world.” Most everyone wants everything instantly — and free — if possible. Enter kids leaders in the local church. Do we think differently in the world of Christian education? Unfortunately, the answer would be “no” in many cases.
Many are heard to request, “I want a curriculum that requires no preparation!” Really? I personally don’t think that is best. Understanding that kids learn best through discovery and participation, a wise teacher concludes very quickly that because of the way God has wired kids to learn, kids need prepared teachers who prepare activities that involve discovery. Leaders are needed who involve kids in the learning process and do not simply buy into the “You sit still while I instill” method of learning.
Do we want teachers of adults in our churches who do not prepare? Absolutely not! Do we want student ministry teachers who do not prepare? Certainly not. Then why do kids deserve any less? Kids are not just to be tolerated. They have a dramatic need to be loved, led and taught through relationships with teachers. They need teachers who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure that kids are in an exciting environment that shares with them the gospel and involves them in the discovery process of uncovering truths in God’s Word.
In fact, the best teachers are those who not only prepare for the allotted time of teaching and learning, but always have a “little more” in their hip pocket or in the classroom cabinet just in case Plan A does not go exactly as thought.
Trust me, if you as teachers of kids do not have a plan … the kids do! Immediately upon finding out that you do not have a plan … the kids’ plan goes into effect. Many, if not most, of behavior challenges are directly related to unprepared teachers. Kids in an environment with plenty of things to explore and learn seldom cause discipline problems.
In a nutshell, here’s an effective recipe for teacher success:
Watch God work in their lives!