Kidmin Bad Habits

Here are some bad habits that I’ve noticed over the years in kidmin:

  • Offending attention spans
    • The general rule of thumb is 1 minute per age of child. Anything longer than that and kids can shut us off. The mind can only process what the rear can endure.
  •  Not being prepared to teach
    • When we aren’t ready to share the message because we didn’t prepare, it shows in our confidence and delivery.
  • No teaching  on the correct level
    • If your presentation of the gospel is on a level that is too shallow or too deep for the kids they won’t receive it. You can’t give a baby a steak and you wouldn’t feed a teenage baby food. Know the level and tailor the message to your audience.
  • Saying things we shouldn’t say
    • Shoot, crap, dang, darn, God’s name in vain, heck, sexy, sexy, inappropriate stories, etc, Yes, I’ve heard all those things in kids over the years.
  • Trying to do it alone
    • Some of the biggest issues I’ve had over the years came from trying to do it all by myself. Sure no one can do it like me but unless I want to do it that way by myself forever I have to let someone else help. Plus, I couldn’t always do it that way anyhow.
  • Recruiting the wrong way
    • Emotional pleas don’t usually work. Getting in the pulpit and begging never works. Your pastor shouldn’t have to do all the recruiting for you. There is no shortcut to recruiting volunteers. A friend said it this way: “recruiting is like doing the laundry; no one likes doing it and you’re never outgrow doing it”. It takes personal invites and work to make recruiting work.

I’m sure I’ve made many more mistakes and errors than these. How about you?


Dumb Things I’ve Done in Kidmin – Left Behind

I feel like when I blog about leadership or creativity that I’m just ripping someone else off. That’s not to say that we all don’t do that somewhat but I’ve decided to just share some of my stories with you. Some have a lesson, some just will make you laugh or at least shake your head.

I remember when I was at the first church I served on staff at. We loved to have long banquets for everything it seemed.

It’s Valentines day coming up … Let’s have a banquet.
Hey it’s Christmas… Let’s have a banquet.
We want to build a new building…. Let’s have a banquet.
It’s time to share this years banquet vision… Let’s have a banquet.
We loved banquets! Nom Nom Nom

And of course we couldn’t have a banquet without having a kids banquet aka childcare too. Of course these banquets seemed to go on and on. We’d pay people to work them but I always made sure things went smoothly. Often we even “programmed” these banquets because 100 kids need something to do for three hours.

The year was 2000. I’m. It sure which banquet it was but it was held offsite and parents dropped off their kids before getting their banquet on. I decided that I wouldn’t program this one and instead I’d show the latest DVD release, Left Behind. What could go wrong showing elementary kids a movie that was inspired by biblical events? Nothing, I thought.

Well I was wrong. Most of the kids watched intently because it wasn’t the usual Veggie Tales movie. After the rapture scene a few kids started getting scared. Two specifically started getting hysterical.

“I think my mom and dad might have been raptured.”

I thought I’d like to say “As bad as I am, God wouldn’t rapture your terrible parents and leave me here with you.” But instead I comforted them and let them know that the rapture had not happened.

They persisted on and eventually started crying. Several other kids also worked themselves into hysteria until I had to turn it off. The kids who were into it were made, they hysterical kids were worked up and I had no plan to keep these kids enetrtained. I struggled through it and survived the night.

Needless to say, the letters and emails I received from parents were a good indicator that I probably shouldn’t have done that. I retired the future releases from the banquet programming and went back to the drawing board.

How about you, has your content ever made kids cry?