Happy last couple days of July!
Anyone planning any Back-to-School events with your kiddos? I'd love to hear about them! Feel free to share below or in my Facebook group. :D
Earlier today, when I was studying for Children's Church on Sunday, I was so blessed to be using a specific Bible that I LOVE! As my "purpose" with this Bible came to light in my study (have to see my Facebook Group LIVE I did a little bit ago, on that one. LOL), I decided THIS is what I wanted to share with you today!
As Children's Ministers, we are usually scheduled on Sundays or mid-week services. But then...there's that one time that you suddenly have to fill in for someone...OR...adult service takes WAY longer than expected. What do you do then? Do you have "dead time" in your class or kid's service? I pray not! :D That is one of my major pet peeves. LOL As I'm training my staff, I am ALWAYS saying, "Make sure there is no dead time!".
Dead time is when you lose the kid's attention, they forget the main point, they get rowdy, they get bored...yeah... it is NOT good!
This list of 5 things will help you combat the "dead time blues". :-P So, let's dive in!
#1 WIDE MARGIN BIBLE
Now, this won't necessarily help you with the "dead time" mentioned above, but it's the first step of being prepared.
I suggest a "wide margin" Bible because when you are doing your personal study, you can write in the margins things you may want to teach at a later time. (Again, see my FB Live in my group.) This has been such a blessing to me, since I first heard it because I write down everything I learn and the Lord shows me...then, at a later time, I go back and see those notes. I even write object lesson ideas, points I want to teach the children, etc.
Personally, I use the She Reads Truth Bible. There is also a "He Reads Truth Bible". These are the Christian Standard Bible version, with lots of study helps, articles, artist drawings of verses, and more. Each book is prefaced by the origin of the writer, when it was written, and the context of the book. This is very helpful when studying!
HERE is a link for the one I have, but it does come in different colors and cover materials.
Also, HERE is the link for the He Reads Truth. Again, there are different options for this one as well.
#2 ULTRA FINE PENS
If you are using a wide margin Bible, you will want good pens to write with, otherwise, they may bleed through the thin pages and cause you great grief! Here are the PENS that I use and LOVE! They are perfect! But, I'm sure there are many options, if these don't appeal to you.
#3 ORGANIZATION SYSTEM
We all love to organize, right?! NOT!!!! Some of us do, and some of us try but are not good at it. :D But regardless of your style or abilities, you need to organize somehow. In this section, I had in mind a system for organizing your lessons/messages/sermons/notes...whatever you do and teach.
For me, I actually am now moving things over to an e-ink tablet called the Remarkable 2. I LOVE it!!!! You can hand write your notes, organize in notebooks, which are then organized in files for the different categories...all right on the same device.
For instance, I have files for Children's Ministry, Christian School, Health Journey, Home Business...and then different notebooks, planners, calendars within each of those. It's an amazing device! (And NO, I don't sell these...so this isn't a plug! LOL) If you want to check it out though, you can go HERE.
However, you can also use your digital tablet (iPad, Note, etc.) if you have one of those. Come up with a system to KEEP your messages and notes for future use. Don't think that you won't ever need them again! I remember coming across something I taught years ago at a different church...I then used it again at another, and at our own. Just like Pastor's share and repurpose messages...God's Word is Living! It will never grow stale or out of date.
Next, if you are a paper and pen type of person, and don't want to try e-ink, make sure you file your messages and notes. You can file by date, topic, type of lesson/message, etc.
The main thing is to come up with a system that works FOR YOU! Not what everyone else tells you to do. :D Find what works and stick with it. Some day, you will be happy you did.
#4 LIST OF EXTRA GAMES/FILLERS
This is so important to kill that "dead time" I was talking about. Somewhere, on your phone, iPad, hanging on the back of the door, in the sound booth...wherever it is...you need to have a list of extra games, activities, and time fillers that you can whip up in a matter of seconds. Also, be sure that you have all the supplies on hand to accomplish this (check out my older post The Top 10 MUST HAVES for Children's Ministry). These activities should take no longer than opening your box of supplies and pulling out the ping pong balls and plastic cups. Get the point? :D Simple, quick....and FUN!
#5 GAME MUSIC PLAYLIST
Lastly, it's important to create the atmosphere of your space with music. Now this can even be worship music for altar calls, or quiet portions of your lesson. But here, I am focusing on breaking up "dead time" and boredom. Create a playlist on your favorite source, using your phone, your iPad, your laptop, sound booth computer, or even making a CD! You can use YouTube, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music...so many different options. If you have teen staff (or even if they aren't staff), this is a great job to delegate to teenagers. Give them a list of what you want, artists you like, etc. and let them go at it!
We use "game" music when children are entering before service begins, during transition times between activities, during bathroom break, and of course during games and activities, etc. This helps to keep the atmosphere exciting and upbeat at all times.
Well, those are my top 5 things that are so important for each of you...at least my top 5 for today. LOL It could change by tomorrow! :-P
I hope it was helpful for you. And if you have something not on my list, please share! I'd love to hear what your top 5 items are.
Have a great weekend, and until next time...
Sara Vojtasek & Joel's Vision Ministries
P.S. Don't forget to join us over on Facebook, where we can chat and discuss things all week. :-) See you there!