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Often one of the hardest things for a novice preacher to do is find opportunities to use their burgeoning gifts for effective ministry. One place they may want to consider: children’s ministry.
Lot - Men - Ministry - Desire - Somehow
Not a lot of men seem to enjoy preschool ministry, especially those who have a desire to preach. Though never voiced, some see it as somehow being beneath them…which it’s not. It just lacks the perception of glamour that comes with preaching in the wider service. But children’s ministry has a great deal to teach us about pulpit ministry, and make us more effective as a result.
For the last few years, I’ve been teaching in our children’s worship service, usually once a month (sometimes more, sometimes less). I started out teaching the kids between 5 and 8 years old, but now primarily focus on the older kids (ages 9-10-ish). My experience with both age groups has been extremely helpful. Here are three things I’ve been reminded through it:
1. Teaching children requires you to focus.
Whenever you’re teaching kids, it’s important to remember one thing: You have almost no time to get your message across. Teachers in our program are allotted around 20 minutes.
I aim for 10. And sometimes, I even hit it (I average between 10-15 minutes).
This is not a lot of time, and because kids often have short attention spans, it means I really have to focus. I need to make sure the message is easy to follow, the points are clear, and the application is super-concrete.
Which - Way - Adults - Adults - Need
Which, by the way, is what we should be shooting for when preaching to adults, too. Adults need just as much clarity of thought and focus as children. There’s nothing worse than listening to (or preaching for that matter) a scattered, rambly sermon—one that has great content, but you can’t follow the flow...
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