Sep 7, 2011

Strategic Elementary Service Flow

I love watching kids being engaged, excited, inspired, and encouraged through a carefully planned service. It takes strategic planning to make this happen. After years of watching, learning, trial and error, and fine-tuning, I've come up with the following service flow. This flow is based on a large group/small group format, but can be adapted to fit other service styles.

1 - FAST
  • Start off fast and furious with a fast, upbeat song, energetic welcome, crazy game, etc. Bring it and let them know they are getting ready for a fun, engaging adventure.
  • Gradually begin to move to a medium speed pace with a skit, video clip, medium speed song, etc.
  • During this time you are gearing the kids down for the lesson and small group time.
3 - SLOW
  • Use a slow, meditative worship song, offering, prayer, etc. to prepare kid's hearts for the lesson.
  • Bring the lesson during this time. 
  • Slow doesn't mean boring. The lesson should be engaging and include humor, application, audience participation, interaction, etc.
  • After the lesson, kids transition into small groups of 6 to 8 kids for discussion questions, activities, prayer, Bible memory, life application, etc. This is led by a caring leader in each group.
  • After small groups, start ramping back up toward an exciting, high-energy closing. 
  • This segment can include announcements, second part of a skit, Bible verse review, etc.
5 - FAST
  • The last part of the service is what kids will remember the most. The rest of the service can be great, but if you end on a dull note, they will most likely say the service was boring. 
  • Finish up with the same energy level as the beginning of the service. 
  • This can be accomplished through a high-energy review game, fast song, etc.

I think you will be amazed at how the kids will engage and love the service.


Great and practical post Dale! Loved it.

Thanks David, have read and heard great things about your ministry. Would enjoy connecting sometime. Have a blessed week.

Do you think the children's programming should model what is done with adults? The reason I ask is that our adult service ends with a time of reflection, so it's "slow" or "medium" at best.

With our children's ministry, we don't conclude with a fast big group time. We end in a small group activity time, that is probably a "medium."

Excellent!! This flow works. I thing I noticed is that those of you who like to pray and minister to kids at the altar. Don't wait until the end of the service. You'll always have parents pick kids up early. It's a little awkward to have them wait. I feel like the best time to pray for kids is right after the last worship song.
End big and fun. Kids will leave with a smile

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