I’ve had the privilege this week to attend CM Connect Conference in Corydon, IN. During this conference, I have heard a lot of great speakers and will do my best to post my thoughts on what they taught. However, I encourage you to check out CM Connect’s website and get recordings of the different session for yourself.
Glitter, Play-dough, & Theology – For Preschool
If you’re in kids ministry each one of those could mean very different things to you. That’s why when I saw the title of the session Heidi Hensley was teaching at CM Connect I was intrigued. Now there is a lot to be said from what Heidi spoke about, but these are the main points that I’d like to share.
Theology- When it comes to kidmin, Heidi encourages a “teach within reach” approach. Instead of taking a curriculum and building upon it for the kids she starts a level above their head. The thought behind this is to give them something to look up to and reach for. It allows kids to relate and connect to the content, while still keeping them reaching for more. Heidi emphasized that lessons should be age appropriate and true, but at the same time, you never want to sacrifice the context of scripture to win an audience. She was quick to add that, “with kids there needs to be fun and frolic… (and) there needs to be the depth and theology of the bible”. Personally, I couldn’t agree more with her on this train of thought. We can reach kids for Christ while having fun and teaching them theology. It is a “both and” not an “either or”.
Play-dough- When you teach kids, especially Preschool, you need to make the lesson an experience. “Kids remember and talk about their experience- they don’t talk about what you told them”. You need to teach in a manner that reinforces the lesson while creating an experience. To do this you need to design activities with intentionality. Heidi shared; “if the goal is to build community great keep it, but if the goal is to prepare for the lesson make sure it relates to the lesson”. Never do anything just because you have been doing it, instead do things because it relates to the lesson and builds upon what they are learning.
Glitter- Personally I am still convinced glitter might be of the devil. So when Heidi started this section by saying, “Messy always wins the award in my ministry” I was a little nervous. Her main point here was this; “To the kids, it’s not just a craft, they are going on and on about what the (craft) meant to them”. It’s never just a craft. It’s really easy to cut a craft when it comes to Sunday morning activities. To us, it’s just one more thing. To them, it’s not. Make your take home something that is memorable for the child and not just something that is random. That way when the kids go home they know the theology, they’ve had the experience, and then they have the glitter to show it.
At the end of the day, this is what kidmin is about. It’s about helping the kids of all ages grow in their relationship with Christ. Then connecting it with their lives, so that they can take it home to impact how they live.