Whether you’re a kids volunteer or a kids minister, communicating with a group of children is vital to effectively sharing bible stories, biblical truth, and the gospel. Great children’s messages focus on making just one point and helping kids understand how it applies to their life. Here are three tips for doing that well.
1. Introduce the Point.
The introduction is possibly the most important part of your message, because you want to grab their attention from the start. They will decide in the first seven seconds if they like you. So come up with something clever, shocking, or interesting right at the very beginning. Here are some possible techniques to use:
- Be dramatic
- Tell a joke or funny story
- Tell a story
- Pose a question
2. Make the Point.
As you prepare, use an outline. Outlining your message will ensure a flow that makes sense and that kids don\’t get lost.
When you begin, invite kids to open their Bible (Bible skills reinforced). Read the Scripture. Tell the story in your own words. Explain parts of the story without going deep into biblical backgrounds or history. Explain the life application truth.
When you’re making the point, remember:
- Children like more action and plot while adults enjoy more humor and interaction between characters.
- Children like more dynamic gestures than adults. If you are talking about canoeing, climb into the canoe, push off, kneel down and paddle.
- Visual aids are not always necessary, but they are good to include if they help you get your point across. The key is to make sure that they add to your message or create interest.
- Provide variety. Object lessons, discussion, an interview, question & answer, games, case studies, a role model, puzzles/codes, art, weird science, biblical characters in costume (monologue) can all help bring the point.
3. Apply the Point.
Clearly communicate the point and its application.
- Illustrate the application. Use a kid friendly and culturally familiar scenario to illustrate the point. (i.e. school, family, friends, celebrities, music, etc.)
- Sum up everything for kids in a few concise sentences. Never ask rhetorical questions and avoid sarcasm. Kids don’t get it and when you ask questions you get answers (long answers).
- Project your voice. A speaker’s voice might get softer when making a point. Children will have listening fatigue near the end. Don’t make it harder to listen.
Mark Jones is a Lifeway Kid’s Ministry Field Specialist. More helps are available at Mr. Marks Classroom.