I once attended a presentation made by a Disney “Imagineer”*. He gave Mickey’s 10 Commandments when it comes to engaging guests. I’ve modified it a little bit to fit our world of KidMin, so here are 10 principles to help us engage our guests –
Mickey’s Guide to Successful Children’s Ministry:
Know Your Audience
Know their level of understanding. Don’t bore people, talk down to them or lose them by assuming they know what you’re talking about, or by talking over their heads.
Wear Your Guest’s Shoe
Insist that all who serve in your Children’s Ministry experience your facility & program as a participant as often as possible. All should stop & consider what’s happening through the eyes of your children.
Organize The Flow Of People & Ideas
Use good story telling & teaching techniques. Make sure your ministry “groups” are age appropriate & your program flow is systematic.
Create Visual Magnets
Lead kids from one segment of the program to the next, or from one area to the next, by creating “visual magnets” and rewarding them for making the journey successfully.
Communicate With Visual Literacy
Make good use of all the non-verbal ways of communication in your ministry – color, shape, form, texture.
Resist the temptation to teach too much or use too much stimulus in your teaching. Focus on one point each week and maximize a minimum number of teaching tools to engage your kids. Provide guidance for further engagement for those who want more.
Tell One Story At A Time
Divide your teaching into distinct, logical, organized “stories” so that your kids can absorb the information and clearly travel the path to the main concept.
Every element of your ministry should clearly communicate who you are and what you’re all about. Facilities, volunteer engagement, teaching styles, etc. all communicate this & should all be cohesive with the same message.
For Every Ounce Of Teaching, Provide A Ton Of Fun
Give kids plenty of opportunity to have fun through participating in the teaching experience & by making the environment rich & appealing to all of the senses.
Keep It Clean
Never underestimate the power of cleanliness & routine maintenance. People expect quality all the time & may not express their satisfaction. They will, however, often comment on broken, dirty or disorganized spaces.
I think Mickey must have been a Children’s Ministry Leader, don’t you?
What would you add to Mickey’s ideas?
(please share in comments below)
*Martin Sklar, Walt Disney Imagineer, AAM Annual Meeting, 1987. Education vs. Entertainment: Competing for Audiences