Dead Space or Down Time
1. The more structured a service, the
less dead space or down time there will be in between segments, and
thus, the less discipline problems you'll have. Each person should
be ready to immediately start his/her segment the moment the
previous person is done.
Structure For Discipline
2. Have a structure for
discipline and stick to it. This is an example of a typical
discipline structure. Usually, a child gets one warning for
disrupting. The second time he is corrected, he is moved to another
seat away from his friends. If he disrupts a third time, he is sat
in a chair in the back of the room chair away from the group, but
not out of the view of the workers. After this point, the parent who
picks up the child is briefly informed that the child had to be
moved from his/her regular seat for disrupting during service. If
you don't consistently follow through with the specific steps of
your discipline plan, such as giving many warnings without acting,
the kids will recognize that you are not keeping your own words.
This lessens their respect for you and often brings out the aspect
of a child’s nature to keep breaking the rules to see how far he
can get before you act.
See What I Mean?
3.The more visual segments with which
you can use to teach, the more you'll keep kids' attention. For
example, use a ballooning or trick cartooning to tell a Bible story
(or a biblical concept) instead of just telling the Bible story. Use
Rebus graphics for teaching scripture instead of just teaching
verses by rote memorization. Rebus also adds audience involvement as
it becomes like a game to solve the individual words of the verse.
Mop & Broom Puppetry is great having many visual aspects as well
as audience involvement. Every person in the room is involved in the
story at one time. Gospel magic is a good visual as well. You can
find more detailed information on numerous types of visual teaching
methods in other sections of the online school.
4. Having a small prize to give away at
the end of a service increases attention. For example, when we do
cartooning or ballooning, we announce that we will give that item
away at the end of service to someone who participated and was well
behaved. You can also get small prizes, such as party favors, and
pick a seat number at random before each service as a Quiet Seat
prize. Announce at the beginning of the service that a seat was
chosen at random and if the person in that seat has
participated/behaved well, he/she will get a prize after service.
Likewise, if the person in the Quiet Seat disrupts service, the
prize is forfeited. Mop & Broom Puppetry also can increase
attention in that, after it has been seen once, you can announce at
the beginning of the service that you will be looking for
well-behaved people to run the puppets.
Feeling Disoriented Again?
5. Stick to a similar format so that
kids don't feel disoriented. In other words, the order of service
should stay pretty much the same each week, but not necessarily the
teaching methods used. If your order is: songs, offering, memory
verse, sermon segments, altar, review game, keep that same order
each week. However, don't use the same method (such as ballooning or
cartooning) every week for teaching the Bible story or the same
method every week for teaching the verse, etc.
© by Alisa
Children’s Ministry Today