Children’s Talks – What We’re Aiming AtAugust 31, 2007
At a recent meeting, some members of our pastoral team had a stimulating discussion about what makes an effective children’s talk. I thought it would be worth sharing the crux of what emerged. I apologise that this may not be relevant to some of you who don’t have such things in services – maybe its mainly a Scottish thing!
So children’s talks should be…
1. Scriptural – This may be the obvious point but our goal is to teach God’s Word. Even if we only teach one verse at a time, every children’s talk should refer directly to the bible.
2. Stimulating – The children’s talk should be interesting (please note: for the children). This doesn’t mean that we resort to endless gimmicks but it does require some creativity on our part about how to grab the children’s attention. A good test of how the talk is going is simple: are the children ‘engaged’?
3. Short – The children’s talk is nothing more nor less than a thought to take away and ponder. The children’s talk is not extensive bible teaching for children. That happens in Junior Church. It is rather a brief children’s focus which should be short, sharp and punchy. Really, each kids talk should be one significant idea and no more. Once that thought has been made clear, its time to sing!
4. Simple – Sentences should be short. Big words should be avoided or at least explained. Children at the lower end of the age spectrum (5-7) should ‘get it.’ This doesn’t mean that concepts should be dummed down (‘no difficult subjects’) but rather that what is said will be pitched at the children’s level.