If there's one thing that I've learned in my 20 years of children's ministry, it's this:Telling is not teaching and listening is not learning. Think about it. You could spend an entire Sunday morning service telling kids about the Bible without really teaching them a thing. How often do kids (or adults for that matter) walk away from church without learning Scripture in a way they can comprehend or retain, in a way that truly impacts their lives? Too often. And more times than not, the culprit is the same:The talking head. At some point, if you don't give kids the "microphone" for a moment, they'll tune you out. Their eyes will roll into the back of their head from boredom. The ones with self-control will nod politely. The ones without will cause mischief and mayhem. Benjamin Franklin famously said, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
That's more than just a witty quote! According to educational research, it's the truth! There are numerous benefits to interactive learning. Here are just a few: 1. It sharpens critical thinking skills.
2. It aids in the retention of information.
3. It teaches how to think and work in groups.
4. It engages kids in a fun way. On one hand, you might be standing on your chair (caution: be sure it's not a rolling chair) and shouting in agreement, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" On the other hand, you might be scratching your head and asking, "But how?" How do you involve kids in the learning process on a Sunday morning? How do you relinquish control of the "microphone"? How do you invite kids into an inclusive experience?
Wow! You've got great questions! Over the next few weeks, I'll have some (hopefully great) answers for you. But let me start with this...
I've spent the last 4 years developing the most interactive curriculum around. It's called GO! The interactive teaching methods I'll be telling you about can be applied to ANY curriculum, but if you're a fan of saving time and energy, give GO! a try. Specifically, I've spent endless hours developing interactive storytelling methods. If you want to make your lessons on Sunday morning interactive, the Biblical storytelling is the best place to begin. So that's where I'm going to begin. (Yay!!) In my next blog. (Boo!!) In the meantime, you can get a sneak peek at some of the GO! interactive storytelling methods on our Join the Story page. You'll find ideas for both elementary and preschool kids. Every weekend we teach kids about an exciting, interactive God who invites us to be a part of His story. So together, let's figure out how to teach kids about God in an exciting, interactive way.