This week I took my preschool class on a field trip to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). The kids were beside themselves with excitement. I, however, was a little apprehensive. I just couldn’t see how one hour at a restaurant would create a lasting memory let alone actually teach them something.
I should have known better.
In less than an hour we toured the kitchen, saw the pizza oven (with a real fire), met the chefs, and even got to make our own pizzas! The next day my class couldn’t stop talking about the trip. In fact, more than half the class had developed a new dream of becoming pizza makers when they grew up! They all had different reasons for wanting to be a pizza maker. Some just wanted to be able to wear a chefs hat, some thought that working in a restaurant would be cool, one wanted to be in charge of the HUGE dishwasher and one just wanted to be able to eat pizza everyday!
I couldn’t believe the difference that one hour had made in the minds and hearts of my kids.
It made me think about what we are doing with the one hour we have at church each Sunday. Are we “wowing” the kids in our small groups? Do we leave them wanting to come back next week? Are they talking non-stop the whole way home about what they did and learned at church?
Preschoolers are easy to “wow”, engage and make an impression on, as long as you are intentional. Being intentional takes time and effort, but the pay-off is amazing and worth every second spent! When you engage, and “wow” a preschooler you can just see their face light up, and their excitement ignite!
So this week, when you are prepping your curriculum, preparing for your small group or practicing your story, think about what you can do to “wow” your kids! What can you do that will excite them so much that they talk about it the whole car ride home? Take the extra time. Go the extra mile. Be intentional. And leverage your one hour! After all, it won’t be chefs hats and dishwashers they are talking about; they will be telling their parents how Jesus loves them and wants to be their friend forever!