Ministry for Kids by Kids – part 3

Let’s look at another children’s ministry technique that we can actively involve kids in…storytelling.

Storytelling is such an important part of children’s ministry, as it should be.  After all, we want to get kids to focus on God’s word, is there any greater collection of stories than that?  But even when you have great material to work from, we adults aren’t always the best storytellers.  Adults are far too conscious of looking silly.  I remember I had a public speaking class in high school where a partner and I were supposed to read a children’s book to the class.  But we weren’t supposed to just read the book, we were supposed to play the characters and be creative in our presentation.  We did Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss, and I have to say it was pathetic.  I had no expression in my voice as I played Yertle, and the extent of my creativity in portraying the story was to sit on the back of a chair rather than on the seat itself to show Yertle atop his stack of turtles.  Like I said, it was pathetic.  I was way too afraid of looking silly.

But kids, when they tell stories they are into it!  It’s a multimedia presentation.  They do voices, they do sound effects, they leap around the room as they act things out.  It’s amazing, and it’s something we should allow them to express as they tell Bible stories.  Now I’ve seen many curriculums that will have lessons where it says to have a group of kids come up and act out the story as you read it.  I’ve always had mixed results with this technique.  Half the time, the kids just stand in front of the group looking awkward while I read the story…it’s not very effective.  But if we are thinking a few weeks in advance (uh-oh) and give kids a chance to prepare and become more familiar with the story they are telling, they can create a great presentation.  Even just giving them a short chance to prepare can make a world of difference.  Just a few weeks ago, our children’s church lesson had the kids getting into their small groups and figuring out how to act out the story of Zacchaeus.  The kids only had about 10-15 minutes to put it together, but it was enough time for them to plan it out and rehearse a few times.  That made all the difference.  By the time they did their plays for the rest of the class, they spoke loud, clear, and with confidence.  I believe that was because they had a chance to become more familiar with their material.  It didn’t hurt that they had their small group leaders directing either.

Even when it comes to reading the stories straight from the scripture, kids can inject amazing creativity…if we give them the chance.  Have you ever noticed that if you call a child up to read the scripture in children’s church on the spur of the moment that they tend to stumble through it in a monotone voice?  It’s because it’s the first time they’ve read the passage yet.  But what if we gave them more time?  Maybe three kids are chosen to do the scripture reading for a lesson a few weeks away, with a small group leader to help direct them.  The more times they read through the scripture, the more confident they will become in their delivery.  Then they will begin to get more creative and their reading will have a greater impact on the rest of the class.

Hopefully, as kids play the role of Bible storytellers in children’s church they will become more comfortable with idea of sharing scriptural truths in other settings as they grow…whether just in a conversation with a friend or in front of their own congregation sometime in the future.

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One Response to “Ministry for Kids by Kids – part 3”

  1. The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol (April 2010) « Dad in the Middle Says:

    […] Part 3 […]

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