Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ping Pong Words

How come children can’t sit still in church? “My children did, why can’t today’s children do the same?’

I hear that often from the older generation. And I smile inside wondering just how still their children did sit and what the parents did do to keep their children quiet and occupied.

We’re learned a lot about children since the 1950’s when children were expected to sit still. We’ve finally admitted that for some preschool children, sitting still for thirty minutes is no more possible than for it to snow when it’s 90 degrees outside. Forget it. It’s not going to happen.

There’s another reason children easily get bored in church. As Marti Suddarth describes in her new boo, “
Ping Pong Words and 30 More Children’s Sermons,” children often listen with more than their ears. They learn with their whole body. They want to see, to touch, to taste, to move, often so deep in concentration, they aren’t even aware that they are standing or dancing as they learn.

If we’re going to reach our children effectively, we need to include all five senses in our teaching material. Marti has done this in her children’s sermon book. Marti presents time honored Bible concepts in a fun, visual format that will make kids stand up, move around and listen. From using ping pong balls to teach how our words can hurt others to potatoes to teach different ways to serve God, Marti includes an assortment of props to teach God’s truths.

Children’s sermons are a great idea and can be used anywhere you have a group of kids. They’re useful for the small church who doesn’t have the volunteers necessary to staff a children’s church to include in the adult worship. Who knows? The adults might wake up and learn something too! They also can be used in the children’s church setting as well as VBS, midweek youth meetings, even in your home schooling.

Hurrah for Marti for reminding us to use every available resource to reach the children we serve. If you would like a copy of Marti’s book, you can order “Ping Pong Words”

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