How To Keep Kids On the Edge Of Their Seats
Keep kids on the edge of their seats in your kid church with these 10 important tips.
1. Set your room up to encourage focus. This is a no brainer for all you kidmin pros out there, so lets just get #1 out of the way. Have a stage. Light it up. Make it colorful. Point your chairs or floor markers toward it. Boom. You are on your way to keeping kids on the edge of their seats!
2. Create an atmosphere of anticipation. Do you have places on your stage for hiding things? Hide your object lesson. Hide prizes. Hide communion if you want! Definitely hide the offering bucket or bag in a new place every week. When you reach for something that is randomly moved around week to week, you keep those kids on the edge of their seats.
3. Get everyone onboard before you take off. My 4 favorite words are “I Need A Volunteer”. Use them often. They’re the only words in kidmin you can’t exhaust. Say them and watch kids move to the edge of their seats. However, grown ups cringe at this word. Don’t use it too often with the tall, stuffy humans.
4. Use few words and make them count. Don’t be a fan of your own voice. If you have something to say, make it a question a kid in the crowd can answer. Occasionally bring that kid to the stage to answer, but keep him moving fast and send him back to his seat fast. In other words, it’s all fast, always moving.
5. Make everything (almost everything) interactive. Games, stories, worship, communion. It can all be interactive. Randomly select kids for different roles in each activity just before you do them. Ushers, spontaneous air-guitar band member, “players” to be the characters of your story. No rehearsals necessary. Just direct the action and keep it moving. Fast. Always move fast.
-Did you catch the hint about moving fast? Fast is key to all 10 of these tips.
6. Employ competition to motivate. Competition without “boo”ing is a great involvement tool. Those rowdy boys in your class? They just need competition and lots of it. Read Wild at Heart
7. Reward! Use small rewards and lots of them. Did I say lots? I mean, every single chance you get. When you take the stage you should have overflowing pockets of small prizes that kids know are meant for them. Be generous! God is! He keeps us on the edge of our seats waiting for that next blessing.
8. Be predictably unpredictable. Kids should NEVER be able to guess what will happen next. Predictability is the kiss of death! If you stay predictably unpredictable, kids won’t be able to look away for fear of missing something.
9. Tell stories in a style that relates and use kids as your “actors” as often as you can. If kids come on stage to be the people in your stories, you can easily interact with 10 kids for 1 story. Keep the story moving with a new kid volunteer to play one character every few sentences.
10. Invite God to do the impossible. He will. It’s His specialty.
Out of my inaugural year in children’s ministry, I learned these key ideas and they led to developing Kidz Blitz Live. With a sky’s-the-limit approach to interaction and creativity a minister can only find inside a Children’s Ministry room, Kidz Blitz Live was born to bring parents and kids together for one big shared experience. God is an interactive God by nature!