The world is in constant motion. Yes, I know the earth is revolving and rotating but I’m talking about social motion, cognitive motion, and educational motion. The techniques used today in many classrooms across America are greatly different than that from 10 years ago. The technology revolution has brought about a lot of this change with the introduction of Smart Boards, Wireless Networks, tablets, etc (the list can go on and on). With this constant plunge forward in schools and even the workplace it is easy to get caught up in the craze when ministering to children. But the next best idea may just be the old idea of yesterday.
It is so easy for our mind to think about the teaching methods and even entertaining methods from previous decades as effective tools THIS decade. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a bunch of lights, constant high energy, be the best entertainer in the world, but if God can’t trust us to use what we have and reach His children that way why would he want to give us more things to distract children (and even us) from His work?
When working with a good friend of mine, I pulled up my template for my Order of Service (I’m a huge fan of logistics) and he noticed that I had a section on there for puppets. He looked at me and said something along the lines of “Puppets?! You’re kidding, right?”.
I grew up with puppets in church, many of you may have too. My parent’s even grew up with puppets in church! The idea just seems so old! Here’s the thing though: what is old to us is still new to children. If you’re talented in puppetry, use it! Kids are so young that they won’t think “Wow. My parent’s had this when they were little. This is too retro for me”. You can pull out a flannel-graph and the experience can be both new and exciting to children as YOU bring the story to life.
Think about something that you had experienced as a child in church that you don’t use in your ministry today. Are any of those methods not being used because it’s “too old”? I want to issue a challenge to try an “old” method with your ministry and see how it goes. You know the children in your ministry the best, but when you want to do something you haven’t done before and are failing to come up with something new try something old.