Preaching to children can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling things but it can also be one of the most challenging. I’ve heard many times over that if you can keep the attention of a child, you can keep the attention of anyone! As kids communicators we have a lot of hard work to do but at the same time, if the rest of the leaders in the room are not fulfilling their role, then hours of preparations can be wasted simply due to a child that is distracting the entire room or pretending to be a monkey just for laughs…don’t pretend this has never happened in your kids ministry!
In order to assist in effective up front ministry, we need to practice ‘leading from the floor’ and help those on stage successfully communicate to our kids.
1. SCATTER NO CHATTER
Rather than having all the children sit in a group in front of the stage and every leader stand around the back of the group watching on, why not try to get every single leaders to sit, scattered in amongst the children. This way if a child is misbehaving they can quickly and quietly be redirected back to the front while at the same time the leaders are positioned to encourage those doing the right thing through positive reinforcement.
2. OWN YOUR SPACE
With all our leaders scattered, the goal of each leader is to own the space around them. In Australia we say, “own your 1 metre” and encourage every team member to take personal responsibility for the atmosphere of the space in which they are sitting. Practically this means that if another leaders is within your space than you need to scatter more.
3. BE THE CULTURE YOU WANT
The atmosphere that you as a leader carry will set the maximum atmosphere that the kids will reach. This looks like ensuring you aren’t on your phone but rather you are laughing at the moments that are ‘meant’ to be funny, interacting with anything that is requested from stage, actually worshipping yourself when you are asking the kids to. Take responsibility for the atmosphere of the room with the mindset that it is completely up to you to build it and eventually the kids will follow.
Effective communication takes a lot of hard work from the communicator but is only effective if the leaders on the floor assist and play their part.