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  Children's Ministry Today    

Today's Featured Article

Four Ideas On Discipline From Children's Ministry Leaders

                 These ideas were originally posted in The Vault area of our website.             

Caught Being Good
by Jackie Lindsey

As children's pastors and parents my husband I agree too many times children are caught doing something they shouldn't so we decided it was time to use positive reinforcement to "catch them being good". We found some great plastic coins the size of a quarter that say " I was caught being good" from Oriental Trades catalog. We made a treasure chest filled with stickers, balls, bubbles, & other fun stuff the kids would want. Each week the kids get coins for coming to class, listening, & participating, etc. Every time 5 coins are earned they get into the treasure chest! They love it and so do we!

Fun Kids Discipline Chart
by Joanne Allsup

We divided our kids into color groups (Red, Green, Purple, Blue) then drew large dogs outlined in those colors. As the children from each group say memory verses, make appropriate choices, answer question etc., they earn "spots" for their group color dogs. The first team to fill their "Dog" with "Spots" wins a prize or special activity. Teams are highly motivated to have a very spotted dog!

Thinking Outside The Box With Bus Ministry Discipline
by Randy Christensen

While in Bismarck, ND we found that non-churched bus kids lived in a totally different culture than our churched kids. During worship, the bus kids would spit on the church kids who were entering into worship, etc.

We finally realized that we were trying to shove square pegs into round holes. We needed to create a square space for those bus kids. We stopped busing on Sundays and began a bus kids service on Saturday. Immediately, we saw our numbers increase and the tension level lower. Our bus ministry Saturday grew to be a higher attendance than our Sunday morning church service for kids. Hundreds of children generally accepted Christ as their savior on Saturdays, and Sunday became an effective equipping and edifying time for our regularly attending families. It was simply the difference between evangelism outreach and intensive discipleship. Different people are at different levels, and we need to make the adjustments to meet them where they are at.

I have heard of another church that simply ran a bus kids service during the same time as a church kids service (but in different locations in the facility.) 

I think either way is effective. As a veteran, I'd say that you cannot force two cultures to synthesize in the short amount of time that you have with those children on a weekly basis. It's time to find a way to divide and conquer.

Clothes Pins With Purpose
by Nita Watson, Biblena

One thing that I learned from, a Children's Pastor who trained me up, Pastor Joe Bruce, was to number clothes pins (1-10 in purple, 1-10 in green, etc...). Give every child one clothespin. Make up a spinning wheel of the same colors and numbers. Now have 4 Secret Prize bags on hand, you could put in baseball cards but I use Bible cards available at Wal-Mart, candy, pencils, and such. If the child misbehaves they loose their clothes pin, loosing out on any chance they have to win that prize at the end of the day. The first time you use the pins give the children 2 chances to correct themselves, and on the second chance pull the clothes pin. When they see their friends winning great prizes, they'll start to behave. It usually only takes a few weeks for them to improve.

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