Why the Kids in Your Ministry Are Fidgeting

Were the kids in your ministry fidgeting this past weekend?

If they were, it's not because they're irreverent or rebellious.  They were fidgeting because they're wired to move and you weren't giving them enough opportunities to do so.

You can go with kids' natural wiring to help them learn and engage or you can force them to sit still and be quiet.  Force them into a prolonged sedentary state and they'll feel like they're in "time out" and will soon dread coming to church.

Am I saying that kids should never sit and listen quietly?  No.  I believe they should...but in small doses.  If you want kids to experience times of "being still and quiet" before the Lord, then balance it will lots of time for them to "dance" before the Lord.
Honor kids time to move and they will honor the time you ask them to be still and quiet.
Active learning has been proven to be more effective than quiescent learning.  Make sure your programming reflects this.  Here are five expectations we go over with the kids at the beginning of every service.

Talk when it's time to talk.
We give kids lots of opportunities to talk, discuss and interact with each other and their leaders.

Sing when its time to sing. 
We encourage kids to engage during the worship songs.  2 of the songs are upbeat and very active.  1 is a slower, more reflective worship song.

Listen when it's time to listen. 
When someone else is talking up front or in their group, show respect by listening.

Play when it's time to play.
There are lots of interactive learning activities and games.  We encourage kids to get involved.

Have fun.
We encourage a culture of fun.  We want their experience to be engaging, relevant and enjoyable.

Notice the percentages of the expectations listed above.
  • Moving, interacting and talking - 80%
  • Sitting still, being quiet and listening - 20%  
The 80% enables the 20% to be effective.  Take a look at your percentage.  If the kids are fidgeting, it's probably because the sitting still and being quiet percentage is too high.