The Secret Sauce Of KidMin

My good friend Roger Fields wrote a great post on his blog yesterday. It corresponds with his ideas about how we ought to interact with kids in our ministries (which I agree with!). I thought it was so good that I asked if I could repost it here on KidMin360!

By the way, Kidz Blitz is now available NATIONWIDE! I’m having a blast doing this event all over the Western region. It is an awesome tool for outreach, families, special events or just for offering an incredibly engaging evening of FUN for kids! I would highly recommend you consider bringing an event (Kidz Blitz LIVE! or F/X LIVE!) to your church! Visit the Kidz Blitz website for details.

Finally, be sure to check out Roger’s blog and his new site, The Rog Report, to keep up with all the action!

the Secret Sauce of KidMin?

What is the most vital thing I learned in 15 years of intense children’s/family ministry? What is THE one thing?

Kidz Blitz events have been the most sought-after, successful kidmin/fammin events for most of the fifteen years since it began. That’s not hype. It is fact.

We have conducted family/kids events in hundreds and hundreds of churches in every denomination. I have personally conducted events in front of live audiences totaling several hundred thousand people.

Thousands of churches have used our curriculum. Every denomination. Every demographic. What have I learned?

There must be some lesson, some secret. What was it? What is it?

The Secret

There is a secret and this is it…

Kids and adults learn best by DOING?  And…they (kids especially) would rather DO than listen or watch.

The art of participation is the secret sauce. Participation connects you with kids. Participation sparks learning. It gets your attention. Good participation is what gets inside someone’s head and starts kicking grey matter. It wakes you up. It blows out the cobwebs. It rattles your bones.

When someone plays, acts, shouts, moves, dances and sings; they are engaged. When someone sits, listens and watches; they zone out. They look engaged. They are not.

The Jesus Style

Jesus seldom ever sat the disciples down to teach them life lessons. They learned by doing. He taught them as they traveled and ministered to people. The disciples rode in the road, walked down the roads, distributed food, went up to the mountain top, went into town and answered Jesus’ questions (or tried).

Jesus regularly used participation BEFORE people were healed. “Go show yourselves to the priest.” “Take up your bed.” “Wash it off.” “Get up.” “Stretch out your hand.” Jesus didn’t just use participation; He required it.

Lecture Model Myth

For a while I let the classroom lecture model fool me. I didn’t feel like I was teaching unless I was lecturing to kids. Unless they were sitting up straight in beige metal chairs, I didn’t feel like a teacher. That was the model stuck in my head. I thought because I was teaching, they were learning. I thought because I felt like a teacher, they must be getting something out of what I was saying. I was wrong.

Teaching does NOT equal learning. You can teach the Bible with every breath in you and that does not mean anyone is going to learn anything.

The Art of Participation

More than just playing a game. More than fun. More than shouting a phrase.

Participation is an art. It is about drawing kids into an environment where they instinctively know that they are part of what is happening. They feel it. They feel like more than a spectator.

The Chinese proverb got it right: “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.” No one can apply what they don’t understand. Understanding happens when people participate. It is then that they “get it.”

For kids participation is a magnet that draws them into a place of understanding. Kids are hard-wired that way. They are built to do, not listen, not watch, but do.

It’s not the art of the performance; it’s the art of the participation.

It is the secret sauce.

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Greg Baird
Greg Baird is a Children’s Ministry veteran with over 20 years ministry experience. Greg has had the privilege of serving in four San Diego area churches, including under the leadership of both John Maxwell and David Jeremiah. He continues to fulfill his life calling through the ministry of ChildrensMinistryLeader.com, offering an experienced voice in equipping and connecting Children’s Ministry leaders around the country and around the world.