Our last week on the road was jamb packed with children’s ministry. After finishing a family program in south-east Minnesota, we traveled to Minneapolis/St. Paul area. There we taught at two Christian schools for 2 hrs at each location. That in itself is unusual; normally the schools will only let you have 30-45 minutes during their chapel time.
However, I had taught an hour at one of the schools last year, and they were amazed how attentive the students were for the whole talk. They invited us back and allowed us 2 hours this time. Not only that, but they recommended us to another Christian school, which also let us teach for two hours. A kindergarten teacher, who had not seen me teach last year, brought her students in for the first talk about dinosaurs. Before I began she warned, “We will only be in here for 10 minutes … that is maximum attention span for these children.” I assured her that would be fine, but that she might be surprised to find they probably would not want to leave. I was right … not only were the kids sitting on the edge of their seats as I taught about dinosaurs and the Bible, but the teacher too!
That night at an Awana program for 230 kids and their parents, an Awana leader shared that he has a hard time keeping his 6 boys attention for even 5 minutes. He said, “Wow, I couldn’t believe it … they were glued to your talk for the whole hour and a half!” On Sunday we taught for 5 hours and were getting the same response.
How are we able to keep kids attention beyond the “norm”? It is definitely a God thing! He has provided us with wonderful subjects to teach about, given us great power point presentations with eye-catching art work, Eugene the puppet, and a heart for children and families. It is really amazing how many times we hear, “I didn’t know that …” or “Thank you so much for coming. You answered a lot of questions we have been having.”
A children’s pastor sent me this letter that she received after an Awana program we did for her church last week:
When we were on our way to the seminar, my 9 year old son was not excited about sitting for over an hour listening to teaching, after all, he had already gone to school that day. However, during the course of the evening I could see him being attentive and laughing quite often throughout. On our way home, I said, “It wasn’t so bad after all, was it?” He got a huge smile on his face and agreed, admitting that he really liked it. He enjoyed all the pictures and learning about God’s creation, including the dinosaurs.
Later, I told my husband that our son really enjoyed it, but I didn’t think our 6 year old daughter picked up on too much because she was quite pre-occupied with her friend. She heard my comment and proceeded to tell her dad just about every single fact and creature that had been talked about that evening. (Really! I think she talked for over 30 minutes about it. We pity the science teacher that tries to teach her something other than creation).
I have to say that even before I knew how much my children learned I was very impressed with the quality and presentation.