Several years ago, I had to fill in on my Wednesday night Kinder Church Class. Something came up at the last minute and the lead teacher couldn’t be there. So I grabbed the lesson (at about 3pm in the afternoon). When I saw the lesson, I breathed a big sigh. The Helmet of Salvation, this will go fine, I thought.
So when church started, I grabbed my props and began. But I quickly realized my class of 4-year olds and 5-year olds were not with me. You might know how it goes, rolling on the floor, hitting the kid next to them, picking their nose….
Hmmmm. What do I do now? What is going on? Why don’t they get this? This was supposed to be an easy lesson?
Well, I took a deep breath and backed up. I backed up, not in the room, but with the lesson. I had to quickly look for common ground. What did they know, what did they understand?
I have had to learn to develop an internal thermometer or gauge to determine, “Are they getting it?” When ministering to adults or children, it is important to know this one thing, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” (Just so you know, I am thinking of Rush Hour with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan – can’t help it.)
Matthew 13:19, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”
I work very hard and I know you do too. Your whole team does. So, it is important that we develop a way to internally know and gauge that what we are teaching is being understood. Asking ourselves these questions: Can we go forward and cover new ground, or do we need to back up and review?
Asking Questions Is Your Thermometer
When you ask your kids questions you are able to determine and measure their depth of understanding. If, while you are teaching, your kids begin getting up, being restless, or talking, you have lost them – they are cold. That means you have to change what you are doing. You need to engage them. Get them back.
I realized that when I began talking about the Helmet of Salvation, that is when the blank stares started. So, I backed up by asking them questions and realized they were stumped because, well, we don’t use big, giant words like SALVATION in the preschool class. So, once I realized where the disconnect was, I was able to elaborate and then move on.
Matthew 13:23, “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Did you know we have a part to play in how much our kids receive. We are planting the seed of the Word of God, but if we do not make sure they understand what we are teaching, the very Word of God we are teaching and preaching will be snatched from them simply because they don’t understand it. Or they may not understand how it applies to them, or how to use it in their life. So learn to develop your internal thermometer along with your great program.
How To Develop An Internal Thermometer:
- Start with review.
- Introduce new topic.
- Are they with you? (Can they repeat bottom line or are they fidgety?)
- If they are with you, then you can review new topic and move on.
- If they are not with you, ask questions to determine the last point they understood and then move forward from there.
Do you have a story about a time when your thermometer was working and your class was not getting it? What did you do?