Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"Look Me In The Eyes"

Today's Topic: Tools and Techniques

With Summer Celebration happening this week, I've been thinking frequently about communicating the truth of the gospel to kids. We are called as parents and as churches to train our children about Biblical truth. How can we do that most effectively?

In a teaching I recently heard on disciplining children, Kenneth Maresco was encouraging parents at Covenant Life to make sure to have their kids look them in the eyes as they talk. This can take patience and persistence.

Here's a statement I'm sure I will say many times in the near future:

"Meg, look me in they eyes... No, you must look daddy in the eyes... Please look me in the eyes..."

Even the best kids have short attention spans. At a kids church service, when there are dozens of them all together, they face so many distractions. And in that context, the person on the stage can't engage individually with each child, saying "Look me in the eyes." That would get nowhere fast!

So, how do we keep children "looking in our eyes" when we try to communicate truth to them in groups?

I think the answer comes from an examination of a child's heart...

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child." -- Proverbs 22:15

Yep, kids are drawn to foolishness. I don't know any parent who would disagree with that. Why are they drawn? Ultimately it's because they are sinners who rebel against parental direction. More specifically, though, I think that they are drawn to foolishness because they love fun. Think about it: what motivates kids, if it isn't fun-ness? Kids love to have fun, they live to have fun, and they despise boredom. And foolishness sure seems fun sometimes!

To keep the eyes of a child, then, I think we should be making efforts to do at least two things in kids church:
  • Remove as many temptations to foolishness as possible.
  • Make church a place filled with fun.
And I think this is where media and technology folks can come alongside pastors and Sunday school teachers to make the gospel truth effective. Media are fun for kids. When absolutely nothing else can make her happy, my seven-month old will still calm down when plopped in front of the movie our good friend Nemo.

So, let's use technology to make church fun, not to simply entertain, but so that we can keep our children's eyes and hearts and minds focused on the truths of the gospel.

More Posts on Tools and Techniques
Tags :|: Kids :|: Media :|: Eyes :|: Communication :|: Fun :|: Folly

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