Sensational ways to "wow" kids in your
Stop for a moment and close your eyes. Think about a time-in
ministry, in school, in your life -- when someone or something
truly took your breath away. For me, it was a college psychology
class when, on the very first day, the professor took roll. No big
deal, except that he already knew everyone's names and birthdates
-- and for almost all 50 of us, it was the first time we'd ever
laid eyes on him. Maybe it was a "slight of hand" trick -- but
whatever it was, I still remember it and the feeling of awe it gave
me. It was a "wow" experience.
Have you ever looked around your ministry and wondered what
affect you're having on kids? How do you wow kids? You can infuse
your ministry with awe by tapping kids' senses -- and their
sensibilities. Read on for wow success -- from the very smallest to
the very largest experience your kids will have in your
Step By Step
Step into your kids' shoes and take a walk through your classroom
and ministry. Think minute-by-minute. What do kids experience each
moment? Now that you've taken the tour, use the following
"sense-sational" recipe to create awe-inspiring experiences for
Images produce some of our most profound impressions. So what do
kids see when they enter your classroom? your ministry? Besides the
obvious -- a clean, fun, inviting, and kid-friendly environment --
how can you wow kids through their eyes?
Here are ways to create a visual sensation that'll stick with kids
long after they leave your classroom.
• You and Me -- Make poster-size digital images of your
kids and display them around your classroom.
• Gotta See -- Create a focal point in your classroom
that draws kids. Whether it's an interactive prayer tree or a Bible
times village house kids can play in, make your focal point
attractive and high-quality.
• Get Hip -- Bring kids' culture into your classroom with
tech tools, cool furnishings, and hot décor.
• Ask a Question -- Use your décor to challenge kids to
think. Imagine a WWJD? wall painted top to bottom. Or a wall with
21 questions that'll help kids know God better when answered.
"I've challenged myself recently to see ways our church can
improve, and to look at ourselves through 'new' eyes," says one
anonymous church member. "My 'new' eyes were dramatically opened
last Sunday when I saw a little boy walking through the hallways
holding his nose. He's right -- our church building has an
Adults may overlook things such as a stale-smelling room or
auditorium -- but kids won't. They'll react in ways only kids can.
Generally speaking, unpleasant odors can be eliminated. But
challenge yourself to go beyond the antiseptic smell of air
deodorizers. What are your favorite smells from childhood? How
would kids react if they entered your room to the delicious smell
of bubble gum -- or chocolate chip cookies?
How about incorporating smells into your lessons? How much more
would letting kids smell the unforgettable scent of nard bring John 12:3 to life for kids?
If you use smells to:
• entice kids,
• arouse curiosity, and
• make kids feel welcome and relaxed,
they're more likely to want to stay.
Even overpowering or offensive smells can be used for specific
purposes, as long as they're kid-appropriate and applicable to what
you're teaching. A great example: One teacher brought seaweed in a
plastic container to give her landlocked kids a whiff of a
fisherman's life when they studied Matthew 4:18-19.
You already know that most kids are bottomless pits when it comes
to food. So tap into their tastebuds to give them experiences
they'll never forget. Snacks are common -- your task is to make
them uncommonly cool.
• Eat What? -- Bring food kids don't normally associate
with snacks. Chocolate-covered "bugs" are a surefire way to get a
• For Thought -- Serve food samples related to what
you're studying. Wheat, grapes, olives, olive oil, bread, fish, and
more all have direct ties to Scripture. As always, be cautious with
foods that can present allergy concerns.
• Mm, Mm -- Do blindfolded taste tests. Choose foods that
look alike and have similar textures to challenge kids and drive
home Bible points. For instance, did you know it's nearly
impossible to tell the difference between small slices of apple,
potato, and onion when blindfolded?
• Old Habits -- Follow ancient customs when serving food.
For example, have kids wash their hands before and after eating, as
was a Bible-times custom.
• This and That -- Compare kids' favorite foods today
with favorite foods from biblical times. Give them a taste of
barley, figs, and pomegranates.