How many times have the children in your ministry heard the stories of Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the fish, and Samson? Chances are, there are at least several Bible stories that the kids in your ministry have heard numerous times. What do you do if you want to teach a story that part of your audience has heard before? Here are a couple ideas to help you:
1. Act out the story! How many times have your kids heard the story of Esther? If you act out the story, they will definitely pay more attention this time! This also gives your staff a chance to be more involved in teaching the lesson. Want to switch it up? Give several children the opportunity to act out the story! To do this, you need to give them the costumes and usually say their lines for them (have them repeat the lines after you, it will be funny!). Some of the kids will learn more by actually “being” a part of the story!
2. Try doing a dramatic reading of a story. To do this successfully, you (or another staff member) need to really get into the reading of the story. Take the story of Jonah, for example. When Jonah gets angry at God, make it sound like Jonah is angry! When the Ninevites repent, make them sound repentful. The key to doing a good dramatic reading is including the character’s emotions in the reading.
3. Here is a classic method: Small groups. Many children’s ministries use small groups, but not all of them use small groups to their fullest potential. Do you have a story that might bring up a lot of questions? Teaching the Bible lesson in a small group helps the children get the interaction they need to better understand the story. Suppose you want to tell the story of Elijah and Mount Carmel. The kids will undoubtedly have many questions! In fact, you might not have time to answer all of the questions. Give your leaders a good small group sheet to help them teach the lesson, then let the kids ask questions in their small group. You will find that this method will be just as effective, and in some cases, even more effective than the “large group teaching.” Just don’t forget to prepare your small group leaders!