Popular culture can’t seem to get enough of monsters. From television shows about finding Bigfoot to creature features, our world is permeated with images of monsters. Kids sure don’t need these visual aids to believe in the “boogeyman,” their imaginations make it easy to believe something is under the bed or in the closet. (Incidentally, as a child I believed in all those things too.) As a children’s minister, I often find myself leading kids in prayer to overcome all these types of fears, don’t you? It’s not enough to say, “You’re just imagining things.” I think we should tackle the subject of monsters by first knowing what the bible says and relaying this information to our kids.
To get you started, I’ve come up with some Do’s and Don’ts that might help!
Monster Talk Don’ts
Don’t belittle fears about monsters. I’m sure you would never do that but just in case your new to children’s ministry, please don’t. It’s true that these feelings might be just a child’s imagination but it might also be evidence of some situation happening in the child’s life that you aren’t aware of. Take the fear of monster seriously.
Don’t agree with the child’s fears. It’s okay to tell stories about your own struggles but don’t make that the focus on the conversation. Tell that story only to tell how God helped or is helping you overcome fear. Acknowledge that he or she fears monsters (or whatever it might be) and then move the talk to solutions.
Don’t let a group conversation get out of control. Kids tend to “ping” off each other. Maintain the lead in the conversation. Ask kids to raise their hands and let them know the limits. For kids who just want to go on and on, tell them you’ll talk privately later.
Now What You Should Do
Do assure kids that everything is subject to the name of Jesus. When battling fear, you can’t do much better than Philippians 2:9-11, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” That’s everything–real or imagined!
Do teach kids how to pray. Kids have to know how to confront these fears in prayer. Teach them how!
Teach kids fear triggers. Philippians 4:8 says “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
God bless you for your ministry to His little ones!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.