The children’s feature is a vital part of the Sabbath worship experience. It lets the younger members know they are an important part of the church family. But what a challenge it can be to come up with fresh ideas, and to present them in ways that are effective and enjoyable. Here are a few tips that have helped me:
1. If possible, make the message of your story tie in with the sermon. If you speak with the pastor about his topic, you can often get great ideas for an object lesson.
2. Look to the little nuggets in scripture for ideas. Right now I’m working on, "you are the salt of the earth. . ." Think of what salt is used for and what it does when we eat it. The kids will never forget the lessons you illustrate from these simple texts.
3. Keep it short! Include only details that make it interesting and complete the "picture." This will help you keep your audience.
4. My story-telling receives the most positive responses when I use object lessons, demonstrations, or a skit. Almost four years ago I used fruit and vegetables to illustrate a story and I’m still having kids and adults tell me how they remember it.
5. If possible, include the children. Ask them questions and let them answer. Have them hold things, or include them in a skit. Having the Junior through Youth members take part is also super! This way all ages feel included and important.
6. Most important, whether it is a story or object lesson you are presenting, Jesus must be the central focus.
7. Make your story an object of prayer. Ask God to give you ideas and place the presentation in His hands. Allow Him to speak the message. I could tell about many times when I had "zip" to share until I prayed and offered myself to be used by God.
Irmgart Mitchell, a wife and mother who loves children, lives in Moorpark, California.