Did you ever have that ultra boring college professor that chose to lecture for three hours every week in that same monotone voice? When I look back through my old college notes I may not remember the professor very well but I can tell you how boring the course was based on the drawings and doodles all over my page. No one likes a boring class or lecture The younger the audience, the more difficult it is to make things interesting– I know first hand from multiple years of teaching and kids ministry.
If we get bored with that monotone lecture, why do we sometimes assume that kids will love what we say and hang on our every word? With media and technology, kids have a much shorter attention span than I did as a kid, and gone forever are the days when Beaver Cleaver sat quietly and respectfully, paying close attention.
So knowing this, what can we do to help kids pay attention? At the end of the day, one measurable ‘win’ is that kids learn. We want them to learn, but we need to be intentional about the methods we use. While I am not an expert, I can tell you some things that work for me. Please remember that there are several different learning styles (visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, solitary). We often teach the way we learn best. It will be difficult, if not impossible to implement every single learning style into every lesson, but the more of the different learning styles we can use in a given lesson, the more kids you will reach.
Learning Styles in Kids Ministry
Music (aural): We use a combination of CD and DVD music for our song and worship time. We typically do three songs, but we do not do them all at the same time. The faster songs are an opportunity for the kids to sing, clap, jump or otherwise move around. The worship time is also a time to move, but in a quieter worshipful way.
Acting (physical, visual, social): Sometimes it is fun to get the kids involved, rather than just read a Bible story. Why not have some kids act it out as you read? Provide a few props and instructions and the kids will be able to watch as Jesus heals a blind man or Lazarus come back from the dead.
Tell a story (aural, verbal): A dramatic reading of your passage will be much more effective than just normal reading. (click here for tips to better story telling)