7 Tips for Speaking to Children

Ideas to Keep Children Engaged in a Lesson

The greatest mission field white with harvest is children. In Matthew 18, Jesus said, “The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.” We often do not think about the fact that the immediate context of this verse is in relation to children. Children are important to God, and He desires to save them at a young age before they have tasted the bitter cup a lifetime of sin brings.

Kids are a challenge for some adults to work with, but they will pay attention if the teacher works to keep them interested. I have found the following tips to be helpful when speaking to children:

1. Secure their attention first. Use attention getters—make it interesting.

2. Have your Scriptures memorized. If you ever lose eye contact, you will lose them. That doesn’t mean you can never read a verse out of the Bible, but work to keep eye contact as much as possible. Sometimes you may find it helpful to have a student read the Scripture out loud, allowing you to keep an eye on the class.

3. Keep it animated. Don’t describe the story, act it out! Put yourself into the pages of the Bible. What can be taught can be visualized. Be one of the characters. Be all of the characters. Change your voice. Move around. Get the students involved.

4. Keep it simple. As John Rice said, “Put the jelly on the bottom shelf so everyone can reach it.”

5. Use visual aids—every time. Have an object. Write on a chalkboard. I even use one in my adult Sunday school class.

6. Be enthusiastic. Be fun! Get with it! Be a fool for Jesus! You are competing for attention with TV, computer games, etc.

7. Begin the message with a Bible story—then apply it. The greatest Teacher used corn, parables, or stones. You cannot improve on His teaching.

Here are just a few ideas of stories you can act out:

  • Naaman’s leprosy (toothpaste on face)
  • The Maniac of Gadara
  • Zacchaeus in the Tree
  • Feeding of 5,000
  • Peter Walking on Water
  • How to Get Out of Jail (Paul and Silas singing in the prison)
  • Rahab’s Red Rope
  • Moses’ Rod
  • The Passover
  • The 1st Murder
  • The Brass Serpent
  • The Prodigal Son
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