We recently came across a new poll that showed 35 percent of American parents allow their daughters to wear make-up before they reach age 10. Lip balm was the most frequent type of make-up allowed. After a lengthy discussion with my co-workers as to whether or not lip balm should qualify as make-up, we got on the topic of age-appropriateness in this and other areas of kids’ lives.
Parents are constantly dealing with this issue: When to let their kids wear make-up, have their own cell phone, go out with friends, and the list goes on. Children’s ministers must deal with this issue as well. Making sure our material and strategies are age-appropriate is key if we want to successfully reach kids of any age. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you make your ministry effective for all age ranges.
- The Bible Uncensored. This fantastic article by Lauren Hunter is a great read, especially for times when you are creating your own lessons. Events in the Bible are not always G-rated, but they all hold truths that kids need to hear. We need to cover the Bible without using language that will confuse or distract from the point. Check out this chart that shows how to tell the account of David and Bathsheba in ways to best suit several different age levels.
- Prayer for the Ages. Preschoolers and preteens don’t communicate in the same way, so it would make sense that they would pray in a way that suits them best. This article gives you ideas to help kids of any age talk to God, even kids as young as toddlers.
- The Preteen Zone. Having worked with all ages, preteens are my favorite age-group to lead. They can also be the hardest. Because there’s so much changing in their world, it can be hard to connect with them. If you’re leading this age group, make sure to check out this article. It will help you understand what makes preteens tick and what they need out of a ministry that’s just for them.
How do you keep your ministry age-appropriate? Do you separate kids by age level? How do you handle touchy subjects with young kids? Share your opinion in the comment section below.