Do you understand the value of great visuals in children’s ministry? Do you realize that awesome visuals can help make your times of Bible instruction soar to new heights? Here’s a list of several visual ideas that every children’s ministry should have in their “toolbox.”
Over the years, I have definitely learned the value of great visuals in children’s ministry. They have become such an integral part of my ministry that I can’t imagine ever not using at least one great and engaging visual when sharing the Bible with kids. For me, not using visuals in my ministry would be like not getting dressed in the morning. Adding visuals to your home or classroom Bible times is like making sure you put on the right clothing for the day.
Before continuing with the reasons why you should use visuals in your own classrooms, let me show 3 of my favorites:
Props – My garage is FULL of props and visuals meant to engage the kids I minister to. Here is one of my favorites that I love to share with young children – The Bible Story Board. Here’s a sample of a video where I interact with Isaac. He is telling me the story of how his son, Jacob, tricked him.
Puppets – I have always loved puppets! If I could, I’d spend a whole day with Kermit and Miss Piggy! Puppets are great and loved by all ages. Here is a sample of me singing along with my newest puppets, Jack and Jill.
Video Characters – If you have seen one of my programs, you have probably been introduced to one or more of my characters. For the preschoolers, I like to have fun with my cousins Pollyanne and Carmen. But their favorite is Scripture Granny. Here is a video of Scripture Granny singing about how she believes the Bible is true.
For the rest of this article, I want to present you with 3 reasons that share the value of great visuals in children’s ministry. These points are gleaned from one of my favorite children’s evangelists, Ed Dunlop.
Ed Dunlop has contributed many resources to children’s ministry over the past 40 years. I consider anything that Mr. Dunlop has written to be gold in my hands. Click HERE to learn more about one of my favorite books by Mr. Dunlop that should be on the bookshelf of every children’s church.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from Ed Dunlop on the use of visuals:
“Visual aids are powerful teaching tools. The teacher who attempts to teach God’s Word without them is minimizing his own effectiveness, short-changing his students, and actually working harder than he has to! It’s easier to hold the attention of 500 students by using good visuals than it is to try to hold the attention of 15 without them.” (From How Do I Get These Kids to Listen? by Ed Dunlop)
This is so true! I know that in my own ministry, I am able to minister to over 100 kids at a time because I have come ready and prepared to share my great visuals.
Here are the 3 points that share the value of great visuals in children’s ministry:
Reason #1 of the Value of Great Visuals in Children’s Ministry: They can grab the attention of your children.
Today’s American child is saturated with visual stimulation almost every minute of every day. Whether they are watching TV or playing games on their phones or computers, they are being inundated by images. These images are meant to captivate them so that they continue to watch TV or play their games.
As a children’s ministry, you MUST bring in great visuals that will captivate your children’s interest. When you take the time to use a great prop or a great puppet or a great video, you will help engage your children in the message that God has given you to share. You will be grabbing their attention and the Holy Spirit will begin to pour His truth into their hearts and minds.
Reason #2 of the Value of Great Visuals in Children’s Ministry: They can help your children better understand the lesson
It is important to understand that Bible stories come from a culture and time that is very foreign to most of our kids. Therefore, it is essential to show pictures of the story while you are telling it. Your kids will better understand the meanings of such things as the well that Jesus sat at while talking to the woman about living water if you are showing a picture of a biblical well. Or what does it mean that John the Baptist was dressed in clothes of camel hair? Show them a picture to help them understand what John may have looked like.
Reason #3 of the Value of Great Visuals in Children’s Ministry: They can cause your children to remember the lesson.
Do you want your children to simply hear the message you have prepared for them or do you want them to remember the lesson? Of course, we would all say that we want them to remember the lesson and apply the Bible to their lives. Visual aids will help your children retain the information you are sharing because they are not just using their ears to hear the message, but their eyes as well. In fact, using visuals that stimulate all of the 5 senses is a great goal for every Bible teacher.
We don’t need scholars to tell us that using visuals with a lesson will help our children retain the information. We all know that visuals give great value in aiding understanding. Now, you just need to “step up to the plate” and do what it takes to add them into your instruction.
Finally, here is a list of some great visuals you can try in your own children’s ministry:
____Flashcards ____Sand Table
____Charts/Graphs ____Sketch Board
____Maps ____Flip Charts
____Projector ____Bulletin Board
____Marker Board ____Models
____Role Play ____Costumes
____Handouts ____Game Boards
(List taken from How Do I Get These Kids to Listen? by Ed Dunlop)
Try a new visual this week with your kids and as you do you will learn the value of great visuals in children’s ministry!
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