How to Stay Inspired in Children’s Ministry — When a Groove Becomes a Rut

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funny-childrens-ministry Anyone who works with children understands that they do not easily tire—of anything. How many times have we re-played “Frozen” and yet it doesn’t seem to ever get old? How long does a toddler play “peek-a-boo” with the same enthusiasm and apparent surprise? Kids appreciate routine and like the stability of predictability. We all feel this way in some aspects, and that can make it easy to adopt and maintain patterns in our teaching. We may follow the same order of activities, sing the same songs, and serve the same Dixie cup of goldfish crackers. This can be simple and enjoyable; however, keeping up the same habits week after week also brings the danger of developing an attitude of mundane complacency. We may or may not grow weary of our routine, but too easily we slip into apathy and take for granted the amazing opportunity we have to do God’s work. Now and then it is helpful to step back and take stock of our intentions and motives in our work with kids, and if necessary adjust how we do things. How do we do this??
Attitude Inventory…why am I doing this again?
You may be falling into a rut if you find yourself…

  • Maintaining a routine you could perform in your sleep, whether or not it works.
  • Doing things the same way because that’s just how they have always been done.
  • Feeling a lack of motivation and enthusiasm.
  • Dreading activities or lessons.
  • Reciting the same songs or prayers mindlessly.
  • Failing to notice the paint/ink/play-do caked beneath your fingernails.

Choosing to Re-Boot…Freshening the routine
If you think your teaching has become a bit lifeless, throw some color back into it!

  • Pray that God reveals to you amazing new aspects of Himself that provide inspiration
  • Pray for each student in your group, focusing on them as individuals and as God’s precious creation. In class, be deliberate about using the names of your kids. It’s amazing how far tiny actions can make a huge difference, both for you and for those you teach.
  • Mix up the routine in your teaching. Maybe you can perform activities in a different order, or you do something completely different like hold class outside!
  • Introduce a new craft, game, or song to your group.
  • Re-visit the purpose in your teaching. The stories may be familiar to you, but they are powerful and true lessons about God that the kids you lead might have never before heard!

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