10 Kidmin Habits to Break


Habits  (noun) are acquired behavior patterns regularly followed until they’ve become almost involuntary; a settled or regular tendency or practice, esp. one that is hard to give up; repeated actions that are holding your ministry back.

I had a church leader tell me a story about a husband and wife. The couple were preparing for dinner. The wife cut the end off a ham and placed it on a roasting pan. The husband asked why she cut the end off, and the wife, unsure, explained that her mother always did it that way. She called her mom to ask why she cut the end of the ham off, and the mother explained thathermother always cut the end off as well. The two then called the grandmother to ask why they cut the ends off hams. The grandmother explained, “I don’t know why you two cut the ends off, but my roasting pan was too small.”

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Sometimes we have habits that come from years of tradition and don’t even remember why we did it that way to begin with. It’s just been the way we always did it. Other times, we form habits because it makes life easier for us. Whatever the case, there are some habits it’s time to break. What are some kidmin habits we need to stop? What’s holding us back from being the best we can be? Here’s our list of habits to put a stop to:

1. Stop answering your own questions before you give your kids a chance to think about it.

2. Speaking of questions, stop asking recall questions. Get to the heart of the message.

3. Stop using rewards.

4. Stop focusing on bad behavior. Make your lessons more interactive, focus on good behavior, and if problems continue, work with parents to find the cause.

5. And speaking of bad behavior, here’s one from Gordon and Becki West (KidZ at Heart International)… “Don’t make rules based on what annoys you-and especially what’s annoying you right now.” Before correcting a child, ask yourself if a rule’s truly been broken or if it’s just something that’s getting on your nerves.

6. Stop saying “should.

7. Stop looking at other departments in your church as “us vs. them” when it comes to funds, time, space…work as a team.

8. Stop begging for volunteers during announcement time in church. Ask people one-on-one and appeal to their specific skills.

9. Stop saying “Bible story.

10. Stop thinking bigger is better. Most large churches will say they work hard to give a small-church feel to their Sunday school.

What habits would you add to this list? Let us know using the comment section below.

10 Kidmin Habits to Break
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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor. He is now serving in the church again! Our loss is kids' gain!


  1. Children's Ministry Magazine

    Barb, thank you for reading!

    It would depend on the circumstance…but something easy would be saying, "Instead of saying, "In our Bible story today," you could say, "In the Bible today." Instead of Bible Story time, you just have Bible time.

    If you'd like, you can click #9's sentence above to get more information.

  2. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I say Bible event. I make an effort to communicate that the Bible is real. I am also clear when the scripture is a story being told (example: parables).

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