Here are 10 key principles to follow as you lead the children in your group.

Children need boundaries to feel secure and spark creativity. Set reasonable limits and keep your word when you make a promise.

1. Be Prepared

Being prepared says you care.

Take time to study the lesson material. Being prepared not only helps you fully understand the Bible story and activities, but it helps you lead better.

2. Lead by Doing

Your actions teach far more than your words.

When you’re teaching children, get down at their eye level. Show them love and respect with your actions and words.

3. Speak Positively

Let students know what they can do instead of what they shouldn’t do.

Instead of telling children to stop, turn their focus to a new positive action that will help them get back on track.

4. See Through God’s Eyes

Remember and repeat often that God loves and has good plans for each student in your group.

The most active, the most difficult, and the most withdrawn children have more to their stories than you see when leading them. Be an example of His unconditional love for them.

5. Set Limits

Limits foster a sense of security.

Children need boundaries to feel secure and spark creativity. Set reasonable limits and keep your word when you make a promise.

6. Stay Engaged

Stay nearby to listen, show love, and ask open-ended questions.

Interacting with your group is always important—even when the children are absorbed in an activity. Guide their conversations to help them understand and apply God’s Word.

7. Highlight the Good

Praising children when they make the right choice helps them find attention in the right way.

Look for when children make good choices. Describe what you saw and then thank them for doing something good.

8. Embrace Variety

Have a variety of activities available so students can choose.

Children learn by doing, but they will respond better to different types of activities. Make sure you include variety to help all the children find ways to engage with the lesson.

9. Know Your Audience

Children are not always able to see how their actions affect others.

Know the typical behaviors for the age level you lead. You can save yourself frustration by having realistic expectations. This will help you guide children to more desirable behaviors.

10. Check Your Attitude

Remember that attitude matters.

Remember how easily children absorb your attitude and how they watch your actions and reactions. A bad attitude can interfere with the truth you’re trying to convey. Check it at the door.

Questions for Your Team to Think About:

How can your ministry put these 10 principles into action?

Who in your ministry is a shining example of each principle in practice?

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