Teach with your ears

August 8, 2011

If we are going to have a lasting impact on the children in our lives we must do something few adults do when it comes to kids.  We need to listen.

As a parent that means being at the dinner table, being around when they get home from school, when they go to bed, when they get up in the morning.  As ministers, whether paid or not we need to listen as much as we talk, if not more.   The old saying, “ I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.” is more valid for children’s ministry than almost anywhere else.

Small groups are essential if you minister to more than a dozen kids.  And we need to find a way to listen to each child in our group.  There simply isn’t time to listen to everyone during large group time.  And small group leaders need to make “listening” a higher priority than getting through the lesson.

When I think about important things for volunteers, I would rank listening skills near the top of the list; alongside the ability to lead a child to Christ.  Because if we don’t listen, we won’t lead.  It’s that important.

While we are listening we need to:

      • hear what they think
      • learn what hurts them
      • know what blesses them
      • allow kids to practice their faith somewhere safe

When we listen with hearts and ears toward God and kids we will:

  •  Gain incredible credibility with children
  • Know when they are hurting and be able to speak love into their lives
  • Know when they are happy and rejoice with them
  • Gain insights for helping the child in their relationships
  • Know when to approach them regarding following Jesus or going deeper in their walk with him.

 

We may even learn something.

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