Leverage The Distinctive Opportunities of Every Phase
Our mission is simple: Lead kids or teenagers into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ
Part of the strategy to accomplish that mission is how we refine our message.
It’s Just a Phase so Teach Like Love Matters
if you want every kid to walk away one day convinced that God loves them
We don’t want kids to grow up and miss that this is about a relationship.
Jesus demonstrated God’s love for us.
Jesus also taught that Love was the most important idea.
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Everything comes back to LOVE.
So what if our strategy from cradle to adulthood is really this simple—to help kids Love God.
Or expand it to
It’s Just a Phase so Recycle What is Most Important
if you want every kid to remember what you want them to know.
WE HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME
50% of the kids come 50% of the time.
Some kids will spend more time playing video games this week than then will spend in your ministry all year.
So what’s the plan?
CHOOSE WHAT TO SAY / NOT SAY
It’s not really your job to teach everything that’s in the Bible to every kid at every phase. It’s your job to teach the most important things in the phase when they matter most.
What are do you want them to NEVER FORGET?
Scope: A comprehensive plan that prioritizes what you teach
Cycle: Your plan to recycle and reinforce what you teach so it’s effective
It’s Just a Phase so Play to your Audience
if you want kids at every phase to learn how to relate to God
The way a kid relates to God changes at every phase of life.
Your job is not to redefine God at every phase, but to help kids rediscover God in a new way at each phase.
It’s like music. You must nix your message so that it resonates with your audience.
THE 3 DIALS
1. LOVE GOD : Wonder
2. LOVE OTHERS : Passion
3. LOVE LIFE : Discovery
Wonder is like the melody. Discovery is the harmony. Passion is the rhythm.
You turn the dials at different volumes for different phases
At least 8 Ways to Play to Your Audience Weekly
1. Find leaders who will show up every week.
Preschool: Enlist a leader for 5-7 preschoolers for 90 min. a week for one year
(A preschooler needs to know who you are.)
Elemtary: Enlist a leader for 8-12 boys or girls for 90 min. a week for one year
(An elementary age kid needs to know you know who they are.)
Middle School: Enlist a leader for 8-12 boys or girls for 90 minutes a week for multiple years.
High School: Enlist a leader for 8-12 boys or girls for 120+ minutes a week for multiple years.
2. Respond to what matters most.
P: EMBRACE their physical needs by giving them what they need now
E: ENGAGE their interests by being ready and knowing what they like.
MS: AFFIRM their journey by creating a safe place for meaningful dialogue.
HS: MOBILIZE their potential by providing consistent opportunities to serve.
3. Find the right rhythm
* change things up every 5 minutes
P: Keep things moving in predictable and physical ways.
E: Keep mixing things in predictable but flexible ways.
MS: Keep changing things in predictably unpredictable ways.
HS: Keep changing things in thought provoking ways.
4. Tell the best stories
P: Amaze them with stories to capture their imagination about God.
E: Engage them with stories that evoke a response to follow Jesus.
MS: Connect stories and scripture to reflect God’s story of redemption.
HS: Clarify stories and scripture to compel a lifelong adventure to love God and make Christ known.
5. Stick with one idea
P: Reinforce one monthly idea to shapes how they see God.
E: Reinforce one weekly idea to inspire them to follow Jesus and reflect His image.
MS: Reinforce a core truth and key questions that help them redefine their faith.
HS: Reinforce a core truth and key principles that fuel their personal faith and ministry.
6. Keep having fun
P: Keep it messy and give everyone a role.
E: Keep them guessing and let them win something.
MS: Keep it messy and spotlight what they can do as a team.
HS: Keep it alive with humor that incorporates sarcasm, spoofs and sketches.
7. Turn hearts toward others
P: Prompt them to share and help.
E: Rotate kids to serve each other.
MS: Enlist middle schoolers to serve alongside adults and parents
HS: Enlist teenagers to serve weekly to develop a personal ministry inside and outside the church
8. Cue every parent
P: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
Morning time / Drive Time / Bath Time / Cuddle Time
E: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
Morning time / Drive Time / Meal Time / Bed Time
MS: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
Morning time / Drive Time / Meal Time / Bed Time
HS: Cue parents to reinforce key ideas during routine family times.
Morning time / Meal Time / Their Time