3 Easy Children’s Ministry Teacher Training Meetings
Published: October 3, 2022
Looking for teacher training meetings your teachers will enjoy and come back to? Use these three easy-to-prepare training meetings!
Teacher Training Meeting #1: Know the Goal
Unite your children’s ministry volunteer team with a shared vision.
1. Frustration, Anyone?
- mini marshmallows
Say: Help yourself to these toothpicks and marshmallows, and do whatever you’d like with them. You’ve got three minutes.
If teachers press you to be more specific, shrug your shoulders. Make an excuse to step out of the room and stay away for at least three minutes. When you return, ask: What did you accomplish while I was gone? What did you think of the instructions I gave you?
Form groups of four. Say: For the next three minutes, work with your group to build the tallest tower of marshmallows and toothpicks you can build.
Call time after three minutes, and ask: Which experience was more enjoyable? Why? How was the first experience like or unlike what can happen in our classrooms? How can lack of a clear purpose harm our efforts with kids?
2. Name That Goal
- small sticky notes
Say: Each of us approaches a class with different hopes and expectations. On separate notes, write five goals that are important to you as a teacher.
Call time after three minutes. Say: Decide which of your goals is the most important. Stick that note to your forehead. Place goals two and three on your cheeks and goals four and five on your shoulders. Take a couple of minutes to look at each other’s goals.
Allow teachers to mingle. Then ask:
- What did you learn about other teachers’ goals?
- What other discoveries did you make?
3. Goal Seekers
Say: For our children’s ministry to be effective, we all need to be working toward the same goal. And that goal needs to be based in Scripture.
Form four groups and assign each group one of the following passages: Psalm 78:1-8; Matthew 18:1-6; Matthew 18:10-14; and 1 Thessalonians 2:3-8.
Have each group write a simple goal for children’s ministry based on their passage. Work together to synthesize the four goals into one goal for your ministry.
4. Roll With the Goal
- sticky notes
Draw a large set of goal posts on newsprint. Above the goal posts, write your group goal from the previous activity. List on separate notes all the programs and activities planned for the year. Consider each item in light of your goal. If it fulfills your goal, place the note between the goal posts. If it doesn’t, decide whether to modify or delete it.
Close with prayer asking for God’s help in accomplishing your goal.
Teacher Training Meeting #2: Interactive Learning
Help teachers discover the benefits and delights of interactive learning.
1. Dough It Alone
- peanut butter (Allergy Alert!)
- powdered sugar
- waxed paper
Before this meeting, mix equal amounts of peanut butter and powdered sugar until you have a smooth dough. Give each participant a small lump of dough on a sheet of waxed paper.
Say: Use your dough to sculpt something that represents an important event in your life.
Allow a couple of minutes for sculpting, then say: You may eat your creation.
2. Dough It Together
- peanut butter
- powdered sugar
- waxed paper
- mixing spoons
- small mixing bowls
Say: Let’s try a different approach to this activity. Form trios and stand around a mixing bowl. Work together to mix equal amounts of peanut butter and powdered sugar to make a smooth dough. You’ll need to cooperate, help each other, and share the ingredients with other trios.
When each group has made dough, say: Sit with your trio. Each of you take a lump of dough and sculpt something that represents an important event in your life. When you’ve finished, tell each other about your sculptures. Then eat.
After groups have shared, ask: Which experience was more enjoyable — the first or second one? How would your kids benefit from an experience like the second one?
3. Triple Tally
Before this meeting, write the following lists of verses on three separate 3X5 cards. Place Bibles and the cards in different corners.
- Card 1: John 13:34; Romans 12:10; Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:12-13; Hebrews 10:24-25; and 1 Peter 5:5
- Card 2: Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1-3; and Colossians 3:16
- Card 3: John 13:14; Romans 15:7; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:32; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; and 1 Peter 3:8
Say: Send each person in your trio to a different corner. Look up and discuss the verses on the cards. Then return to your trios and report what you’ve learned about our responsibilities to one another.
After trios have re-formed and discussed the verses, ask:
- How can interactive learning help us accomplish these commands?
- What other benefits can you see to interactive learning?
Say: Interactive learning gets kids working and learning together. It’s a perfect picture of Christ’s body — the church.
Close by asking God to help kids grow as they work and learn together.
Teacher Training Meeting #3: Assessment
Give teachers tools to see the difference they’re making in kids’ lives.
1. The Right Questions
Say: Let’s begin with a little quiz. What was the name of the giant David faced? What weapons did the king offer David? Which weapons did David choose? Did David kill the giant?
Say: These are examples of closed-ended questions. Form trios and think of three open-ended questions about this story-questions that require deeper thought. Open-ended questions can’t be answered with short answers.
Call time after three minutes and have groups share their questions. Say: Here are two questions that’ll always get kids thinking and allow you to see what they’ve learned. What did you learn today? And how will that affect your life this week?
2. Faith Hits the Road
Say: Real learning takes place when we see head knowledge become heart knowledge — when light bulbs go on and attitudes change.
Read aloud Romans 15:7. Ask:
- How would you know that your kids had gained head knowledge of this verse?
- How would you know that they had gained heart knowledge?
Say: Show me with your actions that you understand Jesus’ command to love one another.
Have a volunteer read aloud James 1:22. Say: When we allow kids to become doers of the word in class, we can see growth take place before our very eyes!
- small sticky notes
Say: Other than asking open-ended questions and observing kids being doers of the Word, what are ways we can measure kids’ growth?
As teachers name ways, write each way on a sticky note and attach it to the yardstick. Teachers may say to ask the child, ask a parent, or use a faith journal.
4. Know Your Kids
- gingerbread patterns
Before this meeting, outline a gingerbread boy cookie cutter onto paper and make photocopies of the pattern.
Say: To see growth in our kids, we need to know them well. Take one gingerbread boy shape for each child in your class. Write each child’s name on a form; then jot down things you know about that child’s faith life.
After three minutes, say: You can finish these later. Add comments and use them as you pray for your kids.
Close by asking God to help teachers see the fruit of their labor in children’s’ lives.
Lois Keffer is author of the popular series: All-in-One Sunday School and All Together Now.
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