A few years back one of my nearest and dearest and I decided to have a silent takeover of the Sunday School department…we sort of wriggled our way in to being in charge of stuff. It was really sneaky, all we had to do was not say no when people begged for help. ; P
So we happened to have some say when the Sunday School rooms for the new building were being planned, and more importantly we had input when the budget was being spent. I enjoy Home Depot with other people’s money.
Near-and-Dear-Friend and I only really disagreed when it came to technology. She wanted some; I didn’t.
In the end less tight-waddy minds held the day and we got technology.
Now we can pop in a music dvd and have words and graphics jumping around on the wall in front of us during song time. The kids like it.
When Near-and-Dear-Friend, who is also our Children’s Ministry Director now, uses the wheelie-cart-of-technology to lead song time, it is a total blast. She is an engaging and entertaining song leader with a heart for kids (hence a perfect CMD!)
But I maintain that the things that make the song time worthwhile to the kids have nothing to do with the wires and cords and bulbs and monitors and mixers and whatever other crazy stuff is on the wheelie-cart.
The recipe for a meaningful song time is simple:
and a Smile.
If you can get the children’s bodies involved in a song it will stick a little deeper into their memory and have a deeper impact on their lives. The memory thing is science. The impact thing is when those praises that are embedded deep in their minds come to them through out their lives, helping them draw closer to Jesus.
If you have a projector and a screen, that is where they will look. Okay. That’s fine. As I said, my friend does an amazing job leading them with it!
If you don’t have a bunch of cartoon craziness on the wall, the eyes of the children are on you. This is where you use eye contact and a smile.
Have you ever stood in front of a group of wiggly little people, caught the eye of one of them while you were singing, and watched their face light up? Priceless.
Giving the children a smile that is just from you to them when they could feel like they are invisible in the crowd, is one of the many ways a Sunday School teacher (or Children’s Church leader, AWANA Leader, School Teacher, you get the picture) can love them with Jesus’ love.
When it comes to love, the little things add up. A word of praise, making eye contact, picking every child once for a special job, these little things tell the kids that we love them so that when we say “Jesus loves you” they know what it means.
I took over song time for my Near-and Dear-Friend. We alternate our song time techniques. Sometimes my husband brings his mandolin and leads the songs. Sometimes we use the wheelie-cart. Usually we just use our voices and our hand motions. But no matter what things we use to jazz up the singing, my buddy teachers and I all use motions, eye contact, and smiles. : )