object lessons

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564736_597514190259187_754582564_nIllustrating the Word of God for kids is a good thing.

I have often heard the argument:

“…if we, as children’s leaders use unique and entertaining methods, that children will remember the methods and not the message.”

It’s sad, really. It’s sad because I have watched effective Children’s Ministry communicators shy away from taking advantage of great and creative methods in their presentations because of that statement alone.

I was teaching several workshops on creative teaching methods at a children’s ministry conference where I overheard several criticize me and other workshop leaders for placing an unhealthy emphasis on the methods.

Guess what? I can agree with the statement:

“…if we, as children’s leaders use unique and entertaining methods, that children will remember the methods and not the message.”

However, I can only agree with that statement with the following addendum:

“…as long as most of the time, energy and emphasis is placed on the method and very little time, energy and emphasis is spent on the message.”

Unfortunately, the aforementioned addendum is rarely heard… thus holding back the children’s ministry specialist from embracing the effective methods that are available to him/her.

And all of that is worked out in the planning stages of the message. 

In the next few posts I want to explain a few things that should be happening BEFORE the presentation starts… and hopefully, you, the children’s ministry leader – a teacher of God’s Word, can find freedom to “Marry” the message and the method so you can bring your messages to life.

Stay tuned…

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You are a creative person – that’s how God made you. Put it to work as you consider the resources you already have on hand for little to no money. You’ll be surprised how much God has already blessed you with if you’ll just do a little extra work, investigation and have enough humility to ASK. Here you go:

  • The church craft/supply closet
  • The internet
  • The church kitchen
  • Your garage
  • Free stuff on craigslist
  • Relationships with other KidMins
  • Your own children’s toy-boxes and closets
  • The local library
  • That retired Sunday School teacher in your church
  • Your external hard-drive and/or the hard-drive on your computer
  • Local businesses (They’re always giving stuff away)
  • Business owners in your church (They’re looking for a tax write-off)
  • Family members

For a little cash:

  • Garage sale
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Pawn shops
  • Second hand stores
  • Dollar-type-stores
  • The internet
  • Craigslist
  • Surplus stores
  • Going out of business sales (everything from their merchandise to the store fixtures)
  • Churches closing (sad but true)
  • The dollar sections and clearance sections of larger retail/dept. stores
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Fine Tune Your Ability to Create the Experiences

Whether you choose to use Gospel Magic or not, there are some things you should be doing in any creative presentation method that will help you to create an experience with your class or audience:

Self Evaluation

As you tweak your routines or put the finishing touches on a prop; ask yourself:

  • How am I creating an experience for my audience?
  • What else can I do to add that little extra ‘whoa’ in the moments that I’m with them?
  • What will these kids talk about when they leave?
  • What am I doing to advance my skills as a performer/presenter and ‘experience creator’ so my program stands out?  And not just from others… but, from the last ‘experience’?

Be Willing To Face Evaluation From Others

These are vital questions – and they need to be answered if you plan on succeeding as a performer/presenter.  No question about it, you’re going to have to subject yourself to criticism and evaluation.  Find a coach or several coaches whom you will allow to freely comment on your presentation.  Record yourself on video and invite those who are already successful in the realm of children’s ministry presentation to view your presentation(s)… they can help you.  Invite also, those who are trained and seasoned in drama and theater to view your presentations and get their insight.

You Have The Potential To Be Amazing

If you love what you do… kids will love you, you will feel very fulfilled at what you’re doing.  Put that all together and you’ll be at your best as a presenter.  And when you’re at your best – it will show up in your presentations- therefore, it will help you to create a stronger experience.

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That’s right, I’m having a ONE day sale starting TODAYFriday, November 19, 2010.

Here’s the deal.  You’ll get 7 of my ebooks for only $14.00. READ THAT AGAIN!

If you were to buy these seperately from my online bookstore, you’d pay $50.00

Why in the world would I do this? I’m a generous guy I guess… but here’s the deal:  The sale ends at midnight tonight (Mountain Standard Time -USA)

The Titles include:

  • Adding Flash To Your Lessons Vol. 1 & 2
  • Incredible Object Lesons
  • MORE Incredible Object Lessons
  • EVEN MORE Incredible Object Lessons
  • Teaching Kids To Give Vol. 1
  • Teaching Kids To Give Vol. 2

So, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Use paypal.com and send $14.00 (USD) to the e-mail address: pastorjamiedoyle@gmail.com
  2. In the “E-mail the Recipient ” section, put ebook deal in the Subject Line
  3. Put your e-mail address in the Message field
  4. When I see you’re funds have been sent, I’ll send you an e-mail with a link along with a password to download each book. (once you reeceive the link and password, you’ll have until Thanksgiving to download the books.  After that, the links will be inactive)

You can go to my online bookstore to read descriptions and even see samples of each book – BUT REMEMBER – this deal is NOT AVAILABLE at my online bookstore.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

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Stop Using that Rubber Chicken!

These kids are bored, sometimes, because, they keep seeing the same props over and over and over again. Sure, you bought that rubber chicken because you knew the kids would laugh when you pulled it out of your briefcase. And I commed you. Every #kidmin leader needs a rubber chicken! But ever since, that thing had shown up every time you need to illustrate the concept of fear, or anytime a character needed a funny prop to display. Maybe for you, it’s not a rubber chicken. Maybe its a flaming Bible, a fake brain, a decorated gift box or any other oddity or novelty item that has adorned your children’s ministry supply closet.

It seems easy to pull these props – it’s our default setting. “I need something extra here… hmm… ah ha! I’ll use this pair of jumbo sunglasses!” But are your kids seeing those jumbo sunglasses too often? Are kids already anticipating what your are going to use to illustrate a point? When you pull out that prop, are they saying “Oh, that again…”?

Look over your service planning sheets for the last year and count the number of times your commonly used props have been used. Is it time to store that away? Give it away? THROW IT AWAY?

I’m preaching to my self here, I know. But let’s all take stock of what we have. Be a good steward of it. Evaluate. Make changes.

Be blessed.

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Yes my #kidmin friends, it’s true: I have posted a free Easter object lesson over at the online bookstore.  It’s a chemical-science-amazing-fun kinda thing. The lesson is from my book “More Incredible Object Lessons”.  And all I am asking is that you take the free lesson and consider purchasing something else at the bookstore.  Are you assuming that this is a shameless plug for my resources?  Yes! It’s a shameless plug for my resources.  I don’t do it very often – this is why I feel no shame.

You can get to the online bookstore here – thanks for your support!

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