Incorporating the prophetic in your children's ministry has its challenges. The truth is, there are little to no resources, activities, etc to help you with building quality lesson plans! In my 12 years as a Children's Ministry leader, I had to learn a quick thing or two about getting creative and customizing my own resources to fit what we were about as a church. Here's just a few tips to get you started. You can do this! Plus, check out a link (below) to my now downloadable versions of Basics of Prophecy Kids 1 and 2! And don't forget to pick up the quick PDF Teacher's Guide as well.
1. Pace Yourself. You don't have to cover every aspect of the prophetic at once. Work on outcomes and end results first, then focus your curriculum towards that end. Ask yourself, what kind of prophetic know-how do I want my students to walk away with? Then produce a step by step plan for how to get to that end result.
2. Ask questions! And lots of questions, don't hold back. Before you start a prophetic curriculum, do a creative and fun Q&A with your class to find out how much your kids already know. You'll get a more accurate sense of what your lessons should include and emphasize.
3. Line upon line... Your lesson sequences should make good sense! Make sure each main theme easily flows into the next, adding to what they know and understand as they go along. My advice: start basic. Explain prophecy first, then the prophet, the prophetic as a whole, prophetic history, God's plan, etc...
4. "Five-Foldify". A good prophetic curriculum shows prophecy and Gods prophets in relation to His entire kingdom. It focuses on the full scope of the prophetic as an institution and its influence on everything else. Make sure your teachings include: the impact of prophecy, the effect and influence made by God's prophets, the reason it is important to God and more.
5. Get creative and have fun. Use interactive activities, gaming, videos, music and more. It's a big concept that can be more easily understood when presented in creative, inspired ways. Note, you may not find supplemental resources that deal with the prophetic directly, so look for tools that support a related theme to what your teaching prophetically. For example, if you're teaching on Jeremiah's call to be a prophet, you may find a kids video or worksheet that emphasizes something Jeremiah said or did. It will support your class and add to your students understanding.
Get it now: Basic of Prophecy Kids! 1 and 2
Resource Tip: there are a lot of great websites that offer media-focused supplemental resources that you can incorporate into your lessons. Use them! One example is www.worshiphousekids.com.
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"Our kids should experience the love, power and faithfulness of God first-hand."
One of the best gifts we can give our young people, is the power of prayer. We can pray for them and pray with them, but when we teach them to pray we give them a resource that has no limits. The bond they develop with the Lord in prayer creates a relationship they can depend on for years to come. His reach exceeds ours and there are moments when despite our best intentions, we cannot be there for them. In the same way that we have learned to trust in the Lord, listen for His voice and connect with Him, our children need to be encouraged to do the same, on their level. When we show them to how to pray, and see their faith in action, we help them to establish their own record of faithfulness with Him. Praying children become praying adults.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Prov. 22:6
There’s no hard and fast rule for teaching your kids to pray, but here are just a few quick tips I’ve used along the way to helping God’s young giants develop a strong and consistent prayer life.
1. Lead by example
We are the best model of prayer and worship for our kids. If you are passionate about prayer and personal devotion, they will believe that is how they ought to approach their times with the Lord as well. Lead by example, show them the richness of your personal relationship with the Lord, giving them a pattern to follow and aspire to replicate.
2. Establish a routine
When you are helping your kids establish a prayer routine, set a time they can maintain. If your after school schedule is overwhelmed with sports, rehearsals and extra curricular activities, setting their prayer/worship time in the morning or before settling in for the night might be a better bet. You want to help them establish a time with God that they can commit to and not constantly have to reschedule. Teach them that keeping their scheduled times is important.
3. Set prayer goals and expectations
Chart what you are praying for each day. Help them to map out specific prayer goals and to note when God answers their prayers. Teach them to listen for His voice. 1 Samuel 3 is a great chapter to read with your children, or your class if you are teaching in ministry. Ask them often, what is God saying about, or what has the Lord been speaking to you?
4. Challenge them to grow
Challenge your kids to look for opportunities to grow in their prayer life. Praying in the spirit, learning to declare, interceding for others, speaking out what the Lord is showing them, or working on interpreting tongues. It’s a work in progress, but I have found that kids rise to the occasion when they are challenged by people they admire and respect. I remember one service in particular; I was opening in prayer and began to go into the spirit to intercede for the class. Initially, I was apprehensive about praying on that level with them because I did not want to “leave them behind” so to speak, but I was very humbled and pleasantly surprised at how many of the class joined with me, praying in the tongues, worshiping and sincerely engaging in the moment. After that, our prayer times as a class changed dramatically. Don’t be afraid to challenge your kids to go to the next level in their relationship with the Lord.
5. Be Creative!
Prayer can happen anywhere. Teach your kids that God is where they are, so if they have to break out and pray in the bathroom at school for whatever moment they’re going through at the time, so be it. God is there for them in every aspect of their lives. Some moments, they can be listening out for God’s still small voice, and other moments crying out for God to move in their schools or with their family. Incorporate different aspects into their prayer routine, like reading their favorite scriptures or beginning with the worship song that they love and inspire their creativity.
How are you teaching your kids, or your class to pray? I’d love to hear from you! Post your comments below on how you empower your child’s prayer life, or let me know about the challenges you have faced as a teacher, in incorporating prayer in class.
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to empower your youth group teens to reset, refocus and seek God's voice on what He wants to accomplish in their lives over the course of the next twelve months. Plan a dedicated time of prayer and consecration that is specific to them, emphasizing the importance of putting God first! When we teach them the principles of consecration now, we instill in them a practice they will use for years after their youth group days are long gone. Check out my five tips for organizing a teen prayer and consecration time and let me know your thoughts! Plus, for a great resource on the value of consecration, I encourage you to read 'A How-To Guide To Prayer and Consecration' by Dr. Paula Price. A great read and must have on the subject.
My Top 10 Teen Consecration Scripture Go-To's
2 Chronicles 7:14