How to Get Kids to Actually Remember What You Say in Church

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Can you identify with this scenario we face all the time at our church? “Alright guys it’s the last week of the month, who can say the verse we’ve been learning the last 3 weeks?” *Silence* “Okay, what is the passage, can anyone tell me the passage?” *More silence* “Alright, well someone at least knows the main idea for the month right?” *1 kids raises her hand and says it* “Good, and what’s our definition of that main idea?” *Silence again*

I mean, seriously, we have 1 main idea with a 1 sentence definition and 1 verse for the whole month and still kids can’t remember.

On a podcast I listened to recently, someone said, “Kid’s will probably forget every word you (ministry leaders/volunteers) say, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”

I agree that kids will never forget how we make them feel, but I disagree that they’ll forget all the words we say…if we’re strategic about what we say.

And the key in that strategy is: repetition.

As a friend of mine always says, “Repetition is the key to learning, repetition is the key to learning, repetition is the key to learning.”

That means you needs something to repeat in your ministry; something that is said over and over again week in and week out, year after year.

At our church we settled on 5 truths we want every kid to have etched in their memories and hearts by the time they move out of the elementary ministry (3 of them we borrowed from the curriculum we use called Orange. And 2 of them we added based on discussion within our team).

Here they are:

  1. I am made in the image of God.
  2. God will always chase after me no matter what.
  3. I can trust God no matter what.
  4. I need to make the wise choice.
  5. I should treat others the way I want to be treated.

We don’t repeat these phrases during 4 weeks in 1 month each year; we say these 5 phrases every single Sunday, every single week from Kindergarten through 6th grade.

If the only words of ours kids remember after 7 years are those 5 phrases, we’ve won with words.

Of course we’re still teaching different lessons each month with scripture and a main idea, but we’re okay if kids can’t recite every verse and main idea from the past 7 years.

Of course we’re still focused on creating an atmosphere where kids feel safe, loved, and cared for; that’s just as (if not more) important.

And of course, we’re still focused on helping kids form habits of memorizing scripture and spending personal time with God daily.

But as far as the words we want kids to carry with them in their minds and hearts for the rest of their lives, those 5 truths are it.

Do you have strategic phrases you want kids to remember (This could be a great discussion for your team)?

What are they? How often do you say them? Leave a comment!

And if this post was helpful to you, please share on FB so others can be helped too.

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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