Ministry to children can be one of the most fulfilling and exciting moments of your week! But I find it amazing how quickly that a slip of a tongue or a few seconds of not being conscious about what’s coming out of your mouth can change the attitude of the children and the leaders in the room. What you say to adults in church and even teenagers in church, while nothing is wrong with what you say still contain phrases and words you shouldn’t use when speaking to children, especially through a microphone. Here are a few of the most common microphone slip-ups and a different way that it can be avoided.
Do Not degrade a child in front of his/her peers. This can include calling something a boy does “girly” or even laughing when the child does something he may consider embarrassing, chances are he may already have been embarrased before the laughter from leaders began.
Do praise a child for his/her good efforts and encourage them to continue to give them their all. This will fill the child with additional motivation and desire to give more in everything.
Do Not criticize another team member (high school volunteer, sound man, Sunday School Teacher, etc…They’re all on your team) over the microphone. Kids recognize this as disunity and mistrust within the team. Every child will respond to this differently, but it’s not worth it! Plus you may have to do damage control for offending your volunteers later. And typically the child will reflect that behavior towards that volunteer degrading them in their own way because it was modeled for them.
Do build up your team in front of the children! Ask them questions such as, “Isn’t Mrs. (Volunteer) doing such a great job with point’s today?”. It doesn’t have to be points, it can be any volunteer doing anything they are doing! This gives a confidence boost to to the volunteer while showing children it is important to point out the awesome things that people do!
Do Not say anything that you didn’t like about the service. Remember you want this to be a positive experience but if we’re constantly pointing out the negatives we are training children to find the bad things in service instead of finding Jesus.
Do ask children what they learned and get excited when they remember something, no matter how small! They will want to pay more attention the next time seeing how excited you were for something that seemed so insignificant.
Do Not use partial swear words. These are the words that are popping up more and more and are considered socially acceptable, just as much as swear words are. But imagine what happens if you say, “Cr_p” (you thought I was going to say it didn’t you?). You wouldn’t want a kindergartener going home and saying that in the car! Mom may (or may not) come back and throw a fit that her child learned to use a word like that in your children’s church! Again, it’s not worth the hassle.
Do use kid and uplifting words that you want kids to repeat at home. Then the parents will be not only happy with their child, they will also love bringing them back each Sunday to learn more about God through you.
This was just four do’s and don’ts of microphone etiquete and they are not the only four! I’d love to hear what other rules you follow and set for yourself when you pick up a mic.