The Importance of Children’s Church
Most of us would love to open a box or binder and have our Children’s Church service completely done for us. Wouldn’t it be great to have the whole thing prepared and everything we need included? How good would it be just to read the instructions and then do the program? Well, we can dream, can’t we? Even with lessons we like, we still have to add-to, change, delete, redo, and modify much of the material.
Plus, we have the rising cost of curriculum to contend with as we plan our Children’s Church program. For example, one supplier’s 13 week curriculum is $299 and another’s one-year program is $595. Now both are excellent – they include puppets, music and just about everything you need but no matter how good the curriculum might be, most churches simply couldn’t afford the cost.
You also have the concern of the content – most curriculums look great with all the bells and whistles, but it is very shallow when it comes to Bible truth. Since most lessons are written to be used by many denominations, the suppliers have to be careful not to include something that cannot be used by any church. The results are that you rarely get beyond “the goodness of God” and “Jesus loves you.” Since most of us want more meaningful lessons to challenge and help our children grow spiritually, we have a difficult time finding a curriculum that meets our needs.
If these problems are ones you face, you might want to consider developing your own Children’s Church program. OK, I know you’re laughing at this point, but it’s really not as difficult as you might think. Once you understand the basics and get a few lessons under your belt, you’ll find it’s really a painless process that anyone can do.
The Five Steps to Putting Together a Children’s Church Program
* Step 1 – Start with a Central Theme. This will be the main subject of your lesson. Everything in the Children’s Church service will be built around this one theme.
* Step 2 – Develop an Objective for the Central Theme. Your objective is what you want the children to learn from the lesson – what you want them to leave with and apply to their lives.
* Step 3 – Choose an Appropriate Bible Story and Bible Verse for the Central Theme and Objective.
* Step 4 – List What Resources You Have to Support the Central Theme and Objective. Do you have a puppet skit that would fit, a Gospel trick that would work, an object lesson that would back up your theme? This is why building up a supply of material is important. It takes time but the more resources you have, the more choices you will have to use in your program.
* Step 5 – Plan Your Schedule and Write It Down. Remember that you will have many things that you’ll do every week in your program. You’ll want to teach the Bible verse, sing, play a review game, etc. The important thing is to do things a little differently each week and change things up so it’s not “the same old thing in the same old way.”
Now, let’s put together a Children’s Church program using the above steps.
* Step 1 – Our Central Theme will be “Prayer.” (We could even decide to have a several week series on prayer.)
* Step 2 – Our Objective will be “God hears and answers our prayers – we should pray daily.”
* Step 3 – We will use the story of Hezekiah, from II Kings 20:1-11 and our Bible verse will be 1 John 5:14, “…if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
* Step 4 – We have the following resources to support our theme and objective: the puppets are going to “sing” the song, “Still Haven’t Got What I’m Praying For,” from the RPM 5 CD, a dress-up character, Billy the Baker, is going to bring an object lesson, “Pretzels and Prayers” from the book, 50 Magic Object Lessons You Can Do, and a white board picture story called “Prayer,” from the book Dewey’s Gospel Cartoon Fun.
* Step 5 – Our Schedule:
o Two Songs (One fun and silly song as we get started and an upbeat song with a Bible truth)
o Welcome and Behavior Rules
o Memory Verse 1 John 5:14 (Disappearing verse on the white board)
o Puppets Sing “Still Haven’t Got What I’m Praying For,”
o Two Songs
o Object Lesson “Pretzels and Prayers” with Dress-up Character, Billy the Baker
o Two Songs
o Bible Story (Introduce with white board story “Prayer”)
o Review Game (“Peanut Butter and Jelly” from the book Mouse on a Mission) Announcements
You have the basics now for developing a Children’s Church program, but remember it takes prayer, practice and preparation to do it well. You can do it – give it a try!
This article “The Importance of Children’s Church” by Terry Weiscomber was excerpted from: www.christianeducator.com website. January 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”