…but little phrases can.

“Words matter.  A few select words over time can impact someone direction in life.”

I like big words.

For a birthday gift one year, a friend gave me a book called “The Guilded Tongue, Overly Eloquent Words for Everyday Things”. It ranks as one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

But my love for overly eloquent words can get in the way.  It can often prevent me from communicating well.

My first lesson as a Speech/Comm Major in college… communication has less to do with what you say and more to do with what your audience hears.

Given how much I love to talk… that was an eye-opener for me.

Years later, I’m still reminded of that truth. Especially in conversation with a child.

As an SGL, do you ever find yourself stumped when trying to answer a question from one of your few? The answer is there… but finding the right words to communicate it can feel illusive.

Why did my friend say that about me?

Why can’t we see God?

Is God really stronger than Superman?

These are legit questions I’ve fielded in my time in ministry. Sometimes the answers are easy to provide. Sometimes they are not. Sometimes I find myself just as stumped as them.

But more often than not, I find that I can lean on some very simple phrases that help me to communicate a relevant truth.

“I don’t know why your friend chose to say that about you, but it’s a good reminder that we can treat others the way we want to be treated. And when we do that, we don’t cause someone to hurt the way you were hurt.”

These simple phrases are like handles on the monkey bars, providing a solid grip to move a child from one bar to the next.

“You’re right. We can’t see God. We can see the things God made, but we can’t see Him. At least not yet. But just because I can’t see Him doesn’t mean I can’t trust Him. In fact, I know that I can trust God no matter what. Because He always meets my needs. Did you know you can trust Him, too?”

If I repeat these simple phrases often enough, they will embed in their memory and creep back into their thoughts at a later time. Hopefully at a time they need it most.

I wish I could claim credit for the phrases, but I really cannot. Some other brilliant person created them. I choose to recycle them.

As an SGL, chances are good the curriculum you use has some sort of Main Point or Bottom Line.  And you’ll find that if you leverage this simple phrase, it will be the most valuable tool in your SGL toolbox.

This concise phrase may lack complexity in words, but the beauty is it’s simplicity. It is giving relevant language to a deep truth. Language kids can understand, hold onto and use. Language you can easily hand off to a parent, so they can use these phrases in everyday conversation. Because when the SGL cues the parent, the parent is better equipped to carry the conversation throughout the week.

Giving kids words is helpful. Giving kids the right words is powerful. So recycle big ideas by using common phrases to help kids understand how God is present in their lives.


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Gina is the Children’s Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gina is driven by the idea of equipping, encouraging & empowering parents for the journey of teaching their kids to love and be loved by Jesus. Based upon her experience as a mom, she identifies with the everyday challenges of parenting. Gina and her husband, Kyle, have three kids, Keegan, Josie and Connor.

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