Monday, August 15, 2011

Step 4 - Appetites

Getting/Keeping Church Kids  

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Hawg wash! It’s really simple. Just put salt in his oats! “It’s harder than eating peas with a knife.” That’s not hard either. Just squash them slightly and eat them like mashed potatoes.
We need to do a bit of market research of those we want to reach. Don’t easily swallow the “’can’t be done!” of others.  

Now I know everyone reading these words will find exception to the characterizations that follow. But for the purpose of this discussion, we’ll go with what’s below…

What Turns On The Following Groups?:
 Youth – computers
            Girls – communication, often about fashion or fraternization.
            Boys – competition and risk-taking, either in sports, or simulated combat
Parents – computing at work, and raising a family in safety
Pastors – healthy physical and spiritual church growth
Retired – to not be forgotten with all their unused hugs and nagging glut of spare time
Teachers – see that technology is only a tool in the hands of creative inquiring youth

An Appetizer Of Things To Follow:

I stood in front of a class of children with a junk computer keyboard minus a few keycaps. “How many of you like computers?” The room went spastic with enthusiastic affirmatives and hand waving. I held my keyboard high and asked, “Isn’t she a beauty?” A few ‘no’ responses otherwise silence.

My explanation followed with lots of eye contact. “Do you know that God thinks this keyboard is beautiful? Yes He does. Let me show you why.” I asked two students to come forward and hold each end of the keyboard. “Now we’re going to have a little contest. One of my two helpers is going to pick a key and the other helper will try to name something about Jesus Christ that starts with that letter. And then the other helper will do the same. We’ll see how far we can go. Understand?”

I didn’t foresee the problem we soon found ourselves in. All the other FIRST GRADE STUDENTS were jumping in their seats, waving their hands, wanting to take a crack at a few letters.

Shortly, I told the class that any time we use some object to help tell others about our wonderful God, it’s beautiful. The frosting on the cake was when three of the students wanted to know where they could get an old keyboard and play the same game with their friends.
(note: cut the cord off and clean the keyboard before handling.)

There are at least six lessons you can teach preteens with that junk keyboard.
The point is, we need to be really in tune with what our ‘audience’ wants, not just assume they should like what we like.
 Psalms 71:18