Recently, I had a funny reminder about something which, as a preschool small group leader, I need to take very seriously. This summer my entire family was on a great vacation at the beach. One of my daughter-in-laws (who is expecting her first baby in November) asked my 3-year-old granddaughter for name suggestions for her future cousin. After pondering a few moments, my granddaughter said, “I’ll name her space” (yes, all you Trekkies out there, as in “the final frontier”). We all had a great laugh when she shared the story later. Fast forward 2 months later. The same granddaughter and I were having a conversation about who would fit on a child-sized bench at my house. She was naming all the people who could sit on it (her sister, her brother, friends at school) and then she concluded, “and my baby cousin, Space!”
It’s easy sometimes, when hanging out with little ones whose verbal skills aren’t at peak capacity yet, to forget that they do remember conversations, hear what we say and store it in their memory banks! As adults we can’t necessarily recall specific conversations we had as a preschooler or defining moments we experienced. So, it is easy to think that the conversations and experiences in our early years were not that life-changing. There have certainly been volumes of research proving early childhood experiences do lay a foundation—good or bad—for later thought processes and behaviors. From a practical, week-to-week, real life experience, think of it this way: if every week from the time a baby comes into our early-childhood experience at church, adults who love and care for them are speaking the truths that God loves me, God made me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever, how will that affect the way they see the world by the time we launch them into kindergarten?
My granddaughter probably won’t remember the story of naming her baby cousin Space when she is 15-years-old unless we remind her of it every week until then. But she remembers it now and we can build on that memory. Your small group of 3-year-olds may not remember every Bible story and activity you share with them when they are 10 or 12 or 20, but if you are consistent with your message, and you partner with their families to continue that consistent message, they will have a foundation of truth that is life changing- in a good way! Leading a few in preschool is so valuable – in the words of a video I heard recently, “and that’s the truth friend, you better believe it!”
I have always been fascinated with the fact that laughter is contagious. No matter how hard I may try not to, if I see someone else laughing I find myself drawn into grinning, too. There is something so engaging about laughter. It only makes sense that one of the most powerful elements that can connect parents and leaders with their kids is fun. In Playing
Ultimately people need people, everybody needs a circle, and every kid needs a TRIBE.
As SGLs we sometimes focus so much of our energy on reaching kids that we do not realize how much WE get out of being a SGL. When I think about tribes, it makes me realize that even though our job is to create a “tribe” for our kids every week,
One of my favorite chapters in Kristen and Reggie’s book, Playing For Keeps, is the chapter on stories. Stories let us relive those treasured memories of good times with friends and family. Stories let us dream of a future full of promise and adventure. Stories move us from the confines of here and now to the unlimited scope of the future.
We learn in the
I LOVE holidays! I enjoy decorating for them as much I enjoy celebrating them!
However, when I think about the holidays I think about all the “stories” that are connected with each one. Not actual books that I have read to my kids about each holiday, but the “story” that my grown kids would tell you about each one. Take Halloween as an example, they
Your words matter to your few.
Your consistent words, over time, will help your few reason, win, and believe.
Whether you are new to your few or have been with them a while, it might be time for you to take a look at your words. With every child your words will need to change. With every child your words will speak differently.
In “Playing for Keeps”, we learn that Words over Time impact someone’s direction in life. Consistent positive words lead in a positive direction in the same way consistent negative words lead in a negative direction. Our preschoolers have a long way to go in life and are in need of a lot of direction. Your words matter. Here are the three practical ways you can
As SGLs of preschoolers and infants, how we love our kids NOW is going to play a major role in the adults they become.
According to the World Health Organization, “Research now shows that many challenges in adult society-mental health problems, obesity/ stunting, heart disease, criminality, competence in literacy and numeracy- have their roots in early childhood.”
When I read this and thought of the
The little boy who bounds into the room each week with a story to tell
The little girl who twirls her way into the room, sits in your lap and tells you about her favorite doll.
The boy who holds tight to his mothers neck, eyes full of tears and doesn’t want to be left.
The girl who sits in the corner and stares at
Time. We know a lot about time. It flies. It heals. Time is short. You only have a very measured amount of it. One thing is for certain in the world of preschoolers: time doesn’t stop. We live in a world that is on the fast-track. Marketing companies have convinced us that the best products are the fastest. We expect instant response and immediate results.