Dear Mr. Mark
We need help immediately in organizing and finding ways to control children to how to more effectively reach out. We have at least 50 children 1-6 grades on wed. nights. We have a Family Life Center which helps greatly. HELP HELP!
Dear Pastor Panic,
I think it is wonderful to have a Family Life Center for your kids but I found when I have all the kids in a large open space, they just run wild. I presently use a large open room and I have tried to have a fun opening time only to learn I could not talk over them. The microphone was not helpful either. Seems like the only thing to get their attention and keep them from running or shouting was a video playing when they entered.
I also dimmed the lights and placed chairs in rows for them to sit on. This way the running space was reduced and the video really captured their attention. Many of my good kid min friends might disagree about the short videos but this really works for us each week. My teachers are arriving from work or the meal downstairs and trying to set up their classrooms quickly. Kids are arriving early (as much as 30 minutes). Children eat quickly and then they are ready to go so parents just send them to us. I guess you can say, we are expected to entertain them before classes begin. No one would ever say that but it is what it is.
I use videos they enjoyed from curriculum previously used. Where you obtain videos is up to you. I am just using what is on hand. When it is time for class, we turn the lights on bright, make some announcements, maybe cheer or sing a song then I dismiss the kids by grades. They follow their teacher to their small group classrooms.
The kids move to classroom space and in fewer number. Guiding behavior gets much easier now. We teach Bible Skills, Drills and Thrills. We also add a mission stop. That means we have four 20 minute stops (Bible Story, Recreation, Missions and Bible Skills). Teachers prepare 20 minutes of material and teach it four times. This is much easier to accomplish for Wednesdays. Kids keep moving to different classes and doing new activities. Our attendance numbers continue to grow and kids are being discipled with Bible Skills they will need all their life.
In short, move kids to smaller areas that don’t encourage them to run like wild monkeys, keep them moving with different experiences and be sure every class is not a “sit-down and listen” only class. Kids want to move and stretch so add that into the learning time. Hands-on learning where they create something is also very enjoyable and they retain much more of the biblical content when they are involved.
What would you recommend for Pastor Panic?