Quick thought for the night. Having traveled immensely over the past few years and visiting many children’s ministries I have found one thing to differ greatly from one church to the next: discipline. Not the discipline like creating a good habit in your life to become a disciple of Christ, but a “you need to go in time out” kind of discipline.
Yes, children misbehave every now and then but how we react to their misbehavior can change things either for good or for bad.
When a child misbehaves chances are you or another leader in the room will try to address the misbehavior as quickly as possible. But our reaction to the misbehavior must represent Christ at the same time as addressing the issue at hand. Instead of trying to come through with this revolutionary approach of discipline within your Children’s Church here are some things we should avoid:
1. Public Humiliation
While calling out a child in front of his/her peers seems to get their attention it also is a bad idea. Kid’s get embarrassed easily and being reprimanded in a way that is humiliating in front of others their age can make them never want to come back, and their parents may just listen and not take them back to your church (or any church at all).
2. Kicking Children Out of the Service
Sometimes it may seem to be in your best interest to kick the problem causing child out of the service so you can have peace, but that may be the only service where the child may get to hear about Jesus. You are not in control of what happens after they leave and they may never have the opportunity to know Jesus because they were kicked out of the service that could have changed their life!
3. Degrading the Child
Just like humiliating the child, if you insult the child by calling them “stupid” or a “baby” they are not going to like that as well. We tell children not to call each other names so we have to be careful not to use words that degrade the children as well.
4. Physical Contact (unless absolutely necessary)
Unless a child is physically hitting another child it is in your best interest to not touch the child. When a child is angry they can easily be unpredictable. Picking a child up for no reason can result in a lawsuit that nobody wants to be apart of. Not to mention that one simple little action can result in the end of your ministry.
What are other tips that you find useful when dealing with a misbehaved children in Children’s Church?