Archive | Ministering to Student Families

Great Tip For Encouraging Parents to Extend Children’s Bible Class Learning at Home

Recently, a friend shared something the children’s minister in her congregation was doing to encourage parents to continue their child’s Sunday morning Bible lessons at home. I thought it was such an awesome idea, I wanted to share it with you.

At Teach One Reach One one of the things we promote is informing parents about what happened in class each time and give them at least one idea for a way they can continue teaching at home. It’s a great way to mentor parents by giving them practical ideas of ways they can teach their kids about God at home. Our primary suggestion is to send a parent letter or email home each week. The letter/email should include the scripture references for the lesson, at least one main application point  and at least one activity they can do at home in addition to reviewing the scripture and discussing the application.

My friend’s congregation took it up a notch. They realize not all families attend Bible classes. Or maybe they have found their parents don’t read emails or letters. For whatever the reason, they have decided to share the same basic information on the front of the sheet given to worshippers when they arrive. They break it down by age group and include a memory verse instead of an activity, but the theory is the same.

So whether you choose to send letters, emails and/or print it on the front of your worship sheet, give the parents of your students the tools they need to extend your lesson at home. It will improve student retention and understanding. It will make parents feel more engaged in your class. It’s a great way to encourage parents to teach their kids Bible at home. Frankly, there really is no downside! So start communicating with the parents of your students today!

Tips for Training Summer Interns In Children’s and Youth Ministry

Tips for Training Summer Interns In Children's and Youth Ministry - Teach One Reach One

My Intern Training Tub

Summer interns are great. If your program can afford one or more summer interns, they can add a lot of energy and enthusiasm to your ministry. It’s important to remember though, that no matter how well-educated they may be, they still lack a great deal of experience. Some may even be majoring in topics having little if anything to do with education or ministry. They may have a heart to impact lives for God, energy to do anything you ask and enthusiasm that rekindles yours.

Without training though, they may not reach their godly potential to serve your ministry this summer. In extreme cases, they may even accidentally do your ministry and the young people it serves more harm than good. If your intern orientation resembles more of a tour, a long to-do list and a free lunch, you are leaving your intern, your ministry and the children it serves vulnerable.

Take the extra time this summer to develop a more formal training program. Use the first couple of days to make sure your interns are ready to take on the responsibilities you will give them. You can include planning for events as part of the process, but make sure even interns majoring in education and ministry are taught the basics by you or someone on your team. It’s really the only way you can be sure, your interns will follow the standards you have set for your ministry.

What are some of the things you may want to include in your intern training? There are probably a lot of options, but these are some we have found interns have most appreciated.

Continue Reading →

Do You Actually Like the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class?

Do You Actually Like the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class - Teach One Reach OneJohn Maxwell – a leadership expert – wrote “How can you lead people when you don’t like or respect them?”  (Winning With People p. 21) As you know, Teach One Reach One strongly believes every volunteer who works with children or teens is a leader. So my question for you is “Do you actually like the kids or teens you teach?”

Your students don’t all wear the same shoes.  They were created by God to be individuals. Their environments and experiences also make them different. Even identical twins are not exactly alike. Some of those differences will naturally create an emotional distance between you and some of your students.

If you have a student who misbehaves or is disrespectful or even reminds you of someone (possibly yourself) you don’t like, you may bristle every time you see him or her.

Yet to really effectively point your students to God, you absolutely must find a way to like each one of them. For some, that will be easy. For others, you may always struggle with liking them. Yet, try you absolutely must. As John Maxwell might say – they can tell if you don’t like them and they won’t want to hear what you have to say – even if you are quoting God.

If you find yourself struggling to like a student, you might want to try some of these tips to help.

Continue Reading →

Are You Really Listening to the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class?

Are You Really Listening to Your Students - Teach One Reach One

Want to make a difference in the lives of your students? Want to help them reach their godly potential? Want to give them the tools they will need to be productive Christians? Want to help them through tough times?

To be able to effectively do those things, you have to know what is going on in the hearts and minds of your students. Most young people have learned to protect themselves by giving out as little of that information as possible – especially to teachers. So how can you find out how to best minister to your students?

One of the skills many highly impactful teachers have learned is how to listen to their students on multiple levels. The information gathered from this more intense form of listening gives them clues as to the questions and actions they need to pursue next with their students. So what levels of listening do they use?

Continue Reading →

Teaching the Bible to Kids and Teens with Special Needs

Teaching the Bible to Kids and Teens With Special Needs - Teach One Reach OneI recently read the book No Greatness without Goodness by Randy Lewis. In it, Lewis tells the story of how he convinced Walgreens to employee large numbers of people with special needs, while also giving them regular salaries and benefits. (If you have a child with special needs or work with children who have special needs, I think you will find it to be extremely encouraging.)

Here is my most important take away from the book. I believe the church needs to revolutionize the way we teach kids and teens with special needs in Bible classes. Lewis and his team took the attitude that failure was not an option. If regular methods to motivate employees or have them complete a task weren’t working, they found a way to make it work.

So many times in churches we unknowingly communicate the message that children and teens with special needs are somehow “less than”. We discourage parents from bringing them to Bible class. We give the children coloring sheets, while other students are engaged in more hands-on, meaningful activities. We don’t ask them questions. We don’t ask parents how to help them learn. We don’t ask the child with special needs what he or she needs to make learning easier. We assume they don’t want to become a Christian and rarely even bring up or study baptism with them. We may even look the other way or ignore the children and their families. On rare occasions, families have even been asked to find somewhere else to worship.

Continue Reading →