Remember looking at your elementary school progress report? Sometimes it was exciting…other times nerve-racking—but it was almost always an honest reflection of your work. Today as communicators of the most important message in all of history, we can evaluate ourselves and rethink how we’re presenting God’s message to kids.
Take a moment for honest reflection and complete this self-test. This tool will help you evaluate yourself in seven different areas as you seek to help kids develop a relationship with God. Just pick the answer that most closely fits.
The questions in this quiz focused on seven key areas of children’s ministry. We each have different strengths and weaknesses, but all seven areas matter.
Why Organization Matters—Organization means being prepared, thinking ahead, and visualizing what kids and volunteers will need. Organization takes time in advance but frees you up to connect with kids instead of worrying about supplies and logistics.
Why Creativity Matters—Think back to your favorite teacher. Did that person go strictly by the textbook, or was he or she a risk-taker who tried crazy things to help you internalize a concept in a new and different way? Don’t be afraid to teach God’s timeless truths in unusual ways. Using a new approach engages kids’ long-term memory and creates an experience they won’t forget.
Why Enthusiasm Matters—Your enthusiasm and energy have a direct impact on the kids you teach. When a teacher’s excitement meets with a child’s enthusiasm, a synergy develops that encourages kids to participate and be more attentive.
Why Environment Matters—Kids notice if you take time to create an environment that suits them. A vibrant environment can spark kids’ imagination and communicate the message that we care. Provide alternate seating for those who’d rather work on the floor. Make your environment look less like school and more like a place that draws kids in to “hang out.” In a flexible, child-friendly environment, kids feel free to open up and express themselves.
Why Technology Matters—For kids to see the Bible’s relevance, they must be able to hear truth spoken in the midst of their technology-saturated lives. We can demonstrate how kids can use technology to gain a greater understanding of God. Leverage the power of text messaging to send weekly Scriptures to your kids’ (or their parents’) phones. Allow kids to read the Bible from an app on your smart phone or tablet. Post questions from weekly take-home sheets on a Facebook group page so older kids can keep the discussion going online.
Why Connecting Matters—Kids want to know that you hear them. They want to know someone’s interested in their opinions and experiences. Many teachers and parents are so busy downloading information and skills that kids don’t get time to speak and contribute. Allow your ministry to be a place where kids are free to talk and express themselves.
Why Enjoyment Matters—If you’re not crazy about kids, they’ll know. There’s a big difference between tolerance, like, and love. No one wants to feel tolerated—we all desire to be loved. Love accepts kids for who God created them to be. Love realizes that kids aren’t mature enough to behave all the time. Love patiently explains the main idea of the lesson three different times in three different ways with the hopes that it’ll stick. Love comes back next week and the week after that and the week after that…
So how did you do? You’ll never be a perfect teacher, but by taking time to honestly evaluate yourself and improve the way you relate to kids, you’ll increase the chance of impressing God’s love on the hearts of the children you serve.
If you’re looking to grow as a leader in children’s ministry, you have to check out Sunday School That Works: The Complete Guide to Maximize Your Children’s Ministry Impact. It will give you fresh insight on all things Sunday school.
And be sure to leave us a note in the comment section below telling us in which of the areas you are strongest and in which areas we can pray for your growth.