funny that i would have a blog with that title, huh? it is so the pot calling the kettle black, but i am slowly learning a lesson when it comes to kidmin teaching – we talk too much. go back to the last time you taught and compare your talking time to that of the kids in your class. if you are like me, you win every time. the problem is i am not sure if us saying more words than the kids is actually a win.
this really came to a head recently for me when i was in the middle of our mission smasH event with our 5th graders. (you can read more about that here.) kids received cd clues throughout the night that directed them in teamwork challenges and devotions. (adults are not allowed to help, just keep the kids safe. the clues and children lead this event.) the clue (which is me talking) told them to look up a scripture and pause the cd while a child read it. when the child finished reading they were to un-pause the cd and hear what i had to say about the verse. that is not what happened. several times before pushing play, the 5th graders began discussing what the verse meant and how they would apply it to their world. that was not how i designed it. if i am honest, i admit that my immediate reaction was to stop them and tell them to listen to the debrief i gave them concerning the scripture. for once i kept my mouth shut. what happened when i was silent created a chance for the children to grapple with the scriptures and try to apply them to their lives.
this whole incident had me thinking about all the times i teach and interact with children. so here are my questions for us to consider:
– first, do we even allow time for children to answer questions and discuss the truth they have been taught?
– are we more concerned with getting the lesson elements taught or do we desire for the truth to really be caught?
– when was the last time we waited in uncomfortable silence to allow children a chance to share, ask questions, or discuss?
– are we convinced that the real learning can only come from what we share, or do we believe God can teach a lesson through the words of a child?
– what is the real reason we do all the talking? control? fear? pride?
how do you make sure kids have a chance to talk and share? i would love to hear how God is speaking through children in your ministry.