Home Children's Ministry Leaders Articles for Children's Ministry Leaders A GREAT Teaching Idea: The Video Self-Interview

A GREAT Teaching Idea: The Video Self-Interview

Kids are the best critics because they haven’t learned the subtle art of not offending others—they are brutally honest. When you are boring, they will call you on it. I remember one time I thought the lesson was going well. The kids were a bit non-responsive. I figured they were tired … until one of the kids I was teaching stood up, cupped his mouth with his hands, and said, “This is BOR-ING!” Ouch.

It’s these moments that have forced me as someone who has communicated with kids for the 18 years to always be looking for creative ways to communicate to kids. To give them truth in ways they aren’t always expecting. To keep the “This is boring” kids on the edge of their seats.

One of the ways we have done this over the years is called the “Self-Interview.” Basically you write a script and play both parts, one of which is on video. The kids love this because they are on to your game; they feel like they know something you don’t. They feel like they have insider info and pay closer attention.

Here is how it works.

  1. Write a script and include both parts of the conversation.
  2. Read one-half of the conversation out-loud while being videoed. (During recording, read the rest of the lines in your head to allow for response time.)
  3. Edit video with an interesting accent (see below).
  4. To set up the video, explain that we have a special guest via satellite. Interact with the video to sell the authenticity of the footage.
  5. Wrap up with the kids and remind them of what they just learned.

The tools I used for this video:

  1. My camera phone
  2. Whoohoo! to create authentic dialogue. Type in the script, and it translates it into Scottish, Irish, Cockney or various other dialects. It doesn’t do Pirate, but this site does: SpeakPirate.com.
  3. A friend of mine did edited it for me in Final Cut Pro.

Here is how I set it up for the kids:

“Kids, today to help us with our memory verse my fourth cousin Thomas, who is actually an English explorer to the South Pole. He is coming to us live via satellite so hopefully the transmission will be clear.

Me: Hello, Thomas! Are you there? Come in, Thomas.

Thomas: Well, I say, oh ‘eaars thanking yourselves greatly on is here … On is here paarky as all mustah out, but one is here. Goodness me!

Me: You seem quite cold. I had an idea: What if you brought us our memory verse today?

Thomas: What that? You one’s old bean, seem to be breaking up. Absolutely top hole, I have to say.

Me: Uh. Can you help us with the memory verse?

Thomas: I’m terribly sorry but that sounds splendid. It would be one’s honour.

Me: Excellent, let’s get to it.

Thomas: Ezekiel 37:27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.

Thomas: Well, have to jolly well go, my communications com is powering down.

Me: Thank you, Thomas. Kids, let’s go over that passage one more time.

“Wow, the satellite coverage in the South Pole is spotty. He cut out at exactly the wrong time. Can anyone fill in the words Thomas left out? Let’s go over the verse he was trying to teach us.”

(Here is the video of me as Thomas)  

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Sam Luce has been the children’s pastor at Redeemer Church in Utica, New York for the past 14 years. Currently he serves as the Utica campus pastor and the Global family pastor. A prolific blogger and popular children's conference speaker, Sam has worked in children's ministry for over 23 years and is also a contributing editor to K! magazine.