Tag Archives: Jesus

Small Groups

Ministry is most effective  within relationships. And the easiest way for us to build relationships with our children in Sunday School is through Small Groups. Jesus modelled this for us. He had his own Small Group of twelve disciples. Small Groups are the perfect setting for building relationships. One teacher and up to twelve kids see each other every week (or every two weeks), talk about how to live their lives for Jesus, share their experiences, and hold each other accountable; that is the perfect setting to cultivate relationships and to see children grow spiritually. Week after week the teacher shows the children that he cares about them, that he remembers the details of previous conversations, that he takes them seriously and that loves to have fun with them. Can you see it? It is so beautiful. As the relationships grow, the teacher gains the right to speak into the lives of the kids, and he gets to be ministered to by the children, too.


Building relationships takes time and effort and it does not happen overnight. You must be willing to invest, just like Jesus invested in his disciples. In order to facilitate this, I always keep the rule that volunteers must come every week or every two weeks. No exceptions. When I started in Children’s Ministry, I volunteered once a month and real relationships simply did not develop. It just doesn’t work. If a child doesn’t come the week that you are there, you won’t see that child for two months! If you are serious about reaching kids, volunteering every 2 weeks is no big deal at all, and it will actually make it much, much more rewarding for everyone involved.img_6092

Kids are desperate for adults who will invest in them in this way. I have seen it happen so many times; suddenly kids start to share very personal stories, or they ask questions that have been on their minds for a long time. They are waiting for an opportunity to share with someone – someone they can trust, someone who will actually listen, someone who genuinely cares and who will pray for them. Sadly, often kids don’t have many adults in their lives who are really there for them. If you are willing to invest your time, you can be the person for them. The kids are waiting to have this barrier broken in their lives – the barrier of not really knowing people in their church, people in Children’s Ministry. And this barrier keeps them from getting closer to Jesus. They are waiting for someone. Will you be that person for them?

So what do you do in a Small Group? Check out some of our lesson samples to get some ideas!

Joseph - Living for God Sample Lesson


Acts Sample Lesson


He Loves Me sample lesson


For more on the importance of building relationships, read Barrier #1: No Relationships, or read the series starting at From Barriers to Values.

You can also download the full document From Barriers to Values.


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Acts Curriculum – Available now!

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acts cover

Downloadable Children’s Ministry Curriculum.

So after Jesus went to heaven, what happened? Here’s a resource to help you teach your kids in creative, fun, engaging ways!

There are so many powerful, beautiful and encouraging stories in the book of Acts. They show us so many things, like how God wants to use us and encourage us, how we can tell others about Jesus, how we need to serve Jesus with a pure heart, how we can be guided by the Holy Spirit, and how we can praise Jesus no matter what our circumstances are. And so much more!

Download a free lesson sample here:  Acts Sample Lesson

Download a brief overview of the lessons here:  Acts Summary

Purchase the full curriculum or go to the Resource Shop


Find out what others are saying about Reach Out Kids Children’s Ministry Curriculum.

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Barrier #2: Church is Boring

When I was a kid, our church was boring. Was it ever boring. It didn’t matter if we were in church with the adults, or if we went to the kids program. It was just plain boring. I remember this one day that I went to Sunday School, and this guy showed up whom I had never seen before. He sat down, put his feet on the table, leaned a bit more to the back and said, ‘So… what do you guys wanna do? I don’t have anything prepared. I was just told to go here. The person who was supposed to be here never showed up. So they told me to go and keep you guys here, in this room. What do you guys normally do? Do you want to color or something?’ The rest of the 20 minutes in that room were pretty rowdy. Kids were running around and playing with the curtains on the stage, inventing a new version of tag. You see, we didn’t want to be bored, but it was terribly boring. So because the adult was not doing anything to make it less boring, we took matters into our own hands, and we came up with things to do that made the boredom go away. If we needed to choose between boredom and misbehaving, we’d choose misbehaving. Every time. Guaranteed. I truly believed that this guy did not care. He didn’t care about us and he didn’t care about what we thought of church. So why would we listen to him?

I believe that many behavioural problems in children’s ministry settings have much to do with the fact that the program is actually boring. Kids don’t like to be bored, so if they are, they’ll find a way not-to-be-bored, and they’ll misbehave or become disruptive if that is what it takes.

It’s actually really sad that Children’s Ministry programs can be quite boring. I do not believe for a second that the disciples were ever bored when they were with Jesus – ever. Something seems to have gone wrong in how we approach this thing called Children’s Ministry, and much of it has to do with how we see this ministry and how we see the kids. As you could tell from my story, the people in my church did not take Children’s Ministry seriously at all. They saw it as a babysitting service, and the only people benefiting were the parents, because they could listen to the sermon without wiggly kids around. And the kids did wiggle if they sat with them, because – you guessed it- they were bored. So how do we change this? How do we move away from having a boring ministry? What should we be seeing?

Strategy 2: Value This Opportunity
I strongly believe that if our eyes can be opened to the opportunity God has placed before us, the passion that then grows in our hearts will be so strong that we cannot ever and will not ever allow ourselves to have a boring program for our kids. Ever! THIS is our opportunity. THESE one or two hours per week are our opportunity to reach the hearts and lives of these kids. An hour or two, that’s hardly anything! So grab hold of it! Don’t let anyone take this opportunity away from you!! It is your chance to show the kids God’s incredible love for them. We are the ones to tell them that God has a plan for their lives. That He longs to have the coolest, most amazing relationship with them. That Jesus died on the cross for them to forgive their sins, and that His resurrection power is available to them! They can live their lives for Him! They can serve the Most High God! They can experience His presence and His gentle love in their lives! He wants to transform them and make them grow strong and loving and kind so that they can reach out to those around them. God has adventures in store for them. There is so much… and then so much more… THIS is our opportunity!

Coming up next – Strategy 3: Value Fun


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