Teaching Students in a New Era

Originally Posted on September 1, 2020

Webinar Transcript

– Talking about in teaching students in a new era, whatever age that are, if you’ve got youth or children or preschool, or some combination of all of the above. For that matter, we could even be talking about adults. Because I hope we’re always learners of the gospel, of the Bible, of the things that God wants to grow us in in our faith. So in thinking about a new era, we’re gonna get to some things that are very different right now. And some maybe strategies or different ways to think about reaching out. But I feel like we would be a miss if we didn’t think about some of those timeless truths. That no matter what the era is, it’s gonna be the same. Song of Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, there’s nothing new under the sun. A few things that I wanna talk about you are probably familiar with these. But I think they’re just some good truths to always be mindful of. I don’t know about like your life and your work schedule and your ministry, but there are so many things that have been like in constant flux since March that I have needed some of these reminders to go, okay, I may not know what tomorrow’s schedule is, and I don’t know what we can do next month, or what’s gonna have to get pushed back again. But I know that these things are really important in doing ministry with students. So our first slide if it’ll come up in just a second. And thinking about ministry relationship is always so important. Students, I think, particularly teenagers, but this can be true for kids of any age. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And that can be tricky right now, especially if you have newer people. Scooter mentioned that I have always served alongside him in youth ministry but in February right before things happened in March, I took a new ministry position and so I know that relationships are important. And then here I was trying to teach and lead from a distance with kids that were new to me. With families that were still new to me. And so I had to really think how to go about reaching out to some of them that’s the part that looks different. But that relationship being important, has stayed the same. So some things about building relationships. Once again, this may look different right now, but showing up. Whether that’s for their games, their recitals, when big events happen in families. That may be things like funerals, but it could also be birthday parties, or who knows what it is. But the things that are going on in their lives if you can show that it matters to you, then that tells them though, like hey, I am important to this person. We are in relationship and maybe their ears open up just a little bit more to that. Another thing is reaching out and we have definitely had to bury the ways that we did this. Calling, texting, social media, a postcard no matter how old you are, I think still signifies to someone like hey, they thought of me and they took the time to write this down and put a stamp on it and mail it out. The hanging out part is very different right now. But just looking for those opportunities outside of church as much as time allows. I know for some of you sharing that you’re a lay person in the church. So you may have another full time job doing other things. But there’s always something we can do. John Lowe, has been in youth ministry for many years. And I was really thankful when I heard him say what I had felt but never really knew how to express to be true. He says, “It’s okay for you to do for one “or for some like maybe a smaller group within the ministry, “what you cannot do for everyone.” And we say this model with Jesus. Jesus had 12 disciples of the many followers that were there and he also within those 12 had three that he was closer to. And so he had relationship with three people… Hey sweetheart. That there were things that he did with three of them that he did not do with all 12 of them. And at the same time, there were special deeper truths and meanings that he taught to 12 that it wasn’t the whole group. I think sometimes we can get caught up of, well, if I cannot host all of the children’s ministry or if I don’t have the opportunity to call every single person in the youth group. Is someone’s gonna get their feelings hurt? Is someone’s mama gonna get their feelings hurt? That could be a real possibility. But there will always be children and students that we connect to better than others. And I think that is okay, to be sure that we’re reaching out to them in every way that we can. Because there will be someone else in the church, maybe someone else in their family, or maybe you can encourage others to come along and disciple those other students. You want everyone in your ministry to be reached. But you may have to recruit some other people to help you do that. And another thing, like we all know how vital prayer is. And yet sometimes we need to make sure that we’re paying special attention to this. That we’re not looking over it. Especially in a time where there’s so much that is either happening or you’re planning or you’re re planning or you’re spending time canceling. I know that has been one of the bombers for so many in ministry over the summers. It was another thing we’re not gonna get to do. Maybe VBS got knocked off for you. Or maybe a youth camp was not able to happen or whatever it may have been. And we can get so caught up in the details that we’re worrying or we’re talking about it and we forget to spend that focus time praying about it. And thinking about praying, Scooter, if you can pull all of those up at one time, I think It might be helpful. I try to think through a who, what, when, where, why. And an overall prayer strategy for the ministry. The first one’s probably the easiest answer. Who are you praying for? Well, those are your students by name. But it also might be their families. If you’re dealing with children or preschoolers, I mean, they are dependent upon mom or dad to be there. Their attitude towards church and a lot of ways may be dependent upon mom or dad. So there might be some other people around those that are in your ministry that you also wanna put on that list. With teenagers, it’s so important to also maybe be praying around those who were in their sphere of influence. What those best friends, what those classmates, what those teammates say can carry a lot of volume in their life. So the what? What are you specifically praying for? Is there a dream overall for the ministry? Like a way that you’re trying to get the ministry a direction that you’re headed in? Are their spiritual strongholds for families or for students that you know this is an area where Satan would really love to knock them off the path. And so there’s a specific thing that you’re praying for there. Whether you’re in journaler or not, I think it’s really helpful to write all these things down. You can also use there’s several apps that are free that can be a pop up reminder about okay, we’re praying for this person and this thing at this specific time. Because that’s the next point the when. A lot of us may be guilty of I meant to pray, or I definitely prayed some, but maybe I didn’t spend as much intentional time with prayer because I let my day Get away from me. Or I was praying as I laid my head on the pillow. But I didn’t stay awake as long as I thought I would. So setting that specific block of time, put it on your calendar, if you need to of this is when I’m praying for those in my ministry. Where is just another one of those helpful things. Okay, maybe in your office, if you have one is the best time for some focus prayer. Or maybe it’s in your closet or wherever it might be to set aside, you’re gonna go for a walk at lunch. And that’s gonna be the where, you know from point A to point B till you get back. These are the people and the things that you’re praying for. And our why is because we know that it is God who does the work. Mark Patterson says that often I think St. Augustine may have been credited with saying at first. But we need to work like it depends on us. But pray like it depends on God. Because there is a lot we can do, but we can’t do anything apart from the Holy Spirit working through us. This is one of my favorite things to teach. I have education as part of my background. And so this is just part of how I am wired. Learning styles, teaching styles, if you wanna think about it this way may be new to you or you may be like, oh, I know all about this. This is just showing there’s seven different learning styles, I think there’s eight right here, but well, it’s showing a combination. So five of them whether you’re a logical mathematical learner appear on the screen. It says learning is easier for you if you use logic reasoning systems sequences. You like charts, you like math, you like a natural order to thing. Verbal learners. This is where words are your strong point. You have a lot of them, you talk, you write. And if that’s your learning style, this is typically also your teaching style. So be mindful of that as we’re going through these. I’m a visual learner. You’re learning best from pictures, diagrams, images, spatial understanding, musical auditory. Okay, this is the sounds, the music, the rhythms. If you ever had to memorize something in high school or college and you like created a rhythm to it or you sang along to a song, that’s how musical helps. And oftentimes, we forget that like this physical kinesthetic learning. Hands on, like you don’t just wanna see it or hear it, you need to actually practice it and do it to have that in. That can be one that’s a little bit harder to work into a Sunday school lesson, a Wednesday night lesson, but so important. And then there’s also this concept outside of those five main types of learning. Do you learn better in a group setting? Or do you learn better when you’re like focused as yourself? And so there’s ways to incorporate that even into a group setting, whether you’re asking people to think of a question, or think of the answer to a question that you’ve presented on their own. Or rather, they’re getting into groups to kind of bounce ideas off of each other. So in thinking about how you learn, that’s probably how you’re most likely to teach. But we wanna teach including as many of those teaching styles, learning styles as possible so that we’re reaching every student of whatever age. A year to 80 benefit from all the different learning styles. Scooter if you can go to the next slide for me. This is a good reminder. I said sometimes that kinesthetic physical learning can be a little harder to think outside the box about how to incorporate this into a Bible lesson for a particular age group. But roughly 50% of people, this is their main way of learning, we learn by doing. I mean, that’s the importance of discipleship of doing life with someone at whatever age. Because they’re gonna learn it as they see it. And they do it with you, and then they do it on their own. 40% of students learn through visual. Well, there’s one thing about having to distance learn. We haven’t lost our ability to put pictures on a screen or to throw visuals out, to send a movie, to send a song in that manner. So oral learning though how the majority of our lessons, I mean, that’s the basis like we start talking from the time that students come in. And we still might be talking when the bell rings and it’s time for them to go. That’s only the main learning percentage of 10%. And especially when we think about a normal school day for school aged kids and high school students, they will have roughly spent normally eight hours in the classroom and then maybe come to you on a Wednesday night. So if they are fatigued from that particular type of learning style, they may not grasp as much as we’re hoping that they get. When I’m pouring out God’s word and truth, my prayer is that they’re getting a whole lot more than 10% of it at a time. So just just some things to be mindful of. And this will look a little different especially if you’re doing things like via zoom, or from a distance but still how to incorporate all of these different learning styles. So I think these are some timeless truth that do not change. But in our new era, Scooter you were good to go ahead and go to that slide. One where we are supposed to be social distancing. I kind of loath that term. I don’t like it. I’m a hugger, I’m a friendly person. I want to see people and be with people. I have found it very challenging, as I’m sure many of you have to do ministry from six feet away. Or for more than six feet away if we’re not even coming within six feet of each other. But some things for us to think about. By all means if you have some questions about these we will get to them. Or if there’s something that you want to shout out in the middle of this, Scooter will give you the ability to talk again. So a couple of slides here of some things to talk about. I’m gonna call it spacing, because I mentioned that I do not like social distancing. But because of this new era that we’re in, the location of events has changed for so many of us in different ways. Maybe that’s because your churches were closed or may still be closed. Our church at Crossroads, we just came back into the building this past Sunday. We’d been meeting outside but we had not been in the building and so everything just moved outdoors. We still did some youth ministry events through the summer. They were outdoors. I still did some preschool and children’s ministry events, but they were all outdoors. And so being outdoors, okay, we didn’t have lights. We didn’t have like, TVs or any of that electronics. So we really had to think and be mindful about, okay, what can we do? And it was really easy to get caught up on, well, these are all the ways that I cannot minister right now. But I would encourage you don’t let what you can’t do in this season, however long it may last. And I know that you’re joining me and praying that it is over soon. Don’t let what you can’t do keep you from the things that you can. So for children’s ministry and preschool we have them all together. We did social distance, and we had really small groups of clusters. But we were outside so we had to change our time. We had to move it up a little earlier to make sure we still had plenty of daylight hours. And then the summer that wasn’t a challenge. And the other thing that we did is realized it was really hot and we didn’t have air conditioning. So we had a shorter Bible story lesson for about 30 minutes. And then we did some kind of water play. So I tried to think of okay, what can we do from six feet apart? So we did water guns. We did a sprinkler. We had several different options like that and closer to the end of summer, our group even kind of felt like it’s okay that we went ahead and had a slip and slide. We had soap on it. We didn’t have Clorox on it, you know. So a lot of this depends on how your church staff and leadership is feeling about what is allowed, what is not allowed. How the parents of your students, how the students themselves are feeling. But we felt okay, outdoor is safe. Water is a good thing when it’s hot. So we changed everything to outdoors. The timing of events. I’m sure that you have probably experienced some of all these things. You normally have VBS the first week in June. And the first week in June came and everyone was still pretty much indoors. So an event like that I’m guessing you either pushed it back, you canceled it, or you had to completely figure out how to change it up. Camp may have been the same way. Even just some of your traditional Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. Like are we gonna start the series that we thought we were or are we gonna push it back? And those are just a lot of things to pray through. All of those are valid options. I’ve known some people who pushed it back to push it back again. There’s like, well, we’re gonna go ahead and cancel it. We’re gonna look forward to the next big event that’s coming up, or we’re gonna change it up. For instance, Vacation Bible School at our church, we’re actually having that right now on Wednesday nights. So we pushed it back. Our original dates were in July, and we felt that it was safer instead of having VBS for five nights in a row to do once a week. And then we’re cleaning very much in between. And so we’ve pushed it back and we are changing it up a little bit. But for us to have had it at its scheduled time, we were gonna have to do it outdoors. And I felt like we could do Bible study and water play outdoors but I didn’t feel like we could do two to three hours with kids outdoors. And so it’s just thinking through your event and all the different ways what’s gonna be the best thing to do with timing. Scooter, can you throw that next point up there? And then also just thinking about what you’re doing. That is influx for so many. What a lot of churches and ministry did one week, they find out okay, this won’t work, we’re gonna have to change it up for the next week. Whether that’s new regulations that are coming out by the government or if there’s a lot of people in your area that gets sick or if there’s someone within the church that gets sick. What you have done one week may take steps back or you may can progress forward. But spacing, social distancing, all of that is making us think through the location and the timing and then what we’re actually doing during the events. And some other things ministry in general. Like things that are changing in this new era. And I’m sure that there may be some of these that you have questions about, we will definitely try to feel those at the end. Your role in ministry. Just thinking about maybe not your job title, or the description of what you do on a regular basis. But your to do list, I feel like has probably definitely changed. For some of us for a season it may have gotten shorter. There in the beginning of this, from a distance, I almost felt like, I wasn’t doing anything. And I was doing a lot, but they weren’t the tangible things. So it’s hard for me in my mind to feel like I had very long of a to do list. But for many, you may have gotten a much longer to do list. Especially if you’re on a church staff. Whether you took on extra responsibilities to help with tech, or right now I know a lot of things in my job title now are helping to clean the bathrooms. And that’s okay because we’re all pitching in as a staff and then lots of congregation members too to make sure that between services or different things that everything is clean and sanitized. And so that may be easy for you like, yes, I will take on whatever new challenge it is. Or it might be hard for you to get, what? That’s not my job, that’s not in my title. But we all wanna be servants at heart. And so however long or short that To Do List gets that we’re trying to do everything we can to advance the gospel in little ways and in big ways. Staff relations, once again, particularly if you were serving on a ministry staff, this may look really different. It may be that you weren’t having regular staff meetings for a while or maybe you were doing them through zoom. Or even when you come together and you’re doing them all in person, there’s a chance as long as there’s at least two of you on the staff that you have a little bit different variation in how you feel about all of the Coronavirus and the different protocols and safety and regulations. And so this is a season to have a lot of grace with each other. On my staff, there had been certain staff members and certain times throughout this virus where some were very fearful. And others were pretty wide open. Not that they didn’t take the virus seriously but they just felt like, well, we should minister and persevere either way and there’s love in that. And there’s gospel truth in both sides of that like being protective of the flock that God has entrusted you to while also wanting to minister no matter what circumstances come. And so just showing grace, with all of those. Being willing to talk through and understand someone else’s point of view, so that collectively, especially if you’re on a staff or you’re part of that decision making. That hopefully we are all seeking the Holy Spirit and coming up with the best option for our local congregation. So, in our church, one of the things that we have done on Sunday mornings is our pastor just ordered armbands. You may have seen this a lot of people even joked about it. Yellow, no green, yellow and red. So the greens, and I’ll just be honest, I’m a green. We would wear the bracelet, okay? The virus is real, we wanna clean things, but we are still like, out in life. We are ago like you could walk up to me and I’m not gonna panic and make sure that you’re exactly six feet away. Yellows are those who are a little more cautious about things. And then reds are the people in our congregation who would say maybe I am in a health risk or I live with another member of a household that is a health risk. Or I am very, very cautious about all of this and so you would know that hate those are the people in your church that you’re gonna wave to from a distance. I still love them and they still love me but I’m gonna stay way over here and wave. And so that’s helped us as a congregation just to kind of best know how to relate to one another. We’ve had visitors which is kind of been surprising in this era. But maybe you’ve had visitors come to your church too. They have all been like close friends or neighbors of someone. It wasn’t just someone who saw a church sign and walked into the building. But it was helpful for them to know okay, should I come up to you and be very friendly? Or should I, kind of step back and let like, hey, this is who I am, I would love to serve you in any way. Or am I just gonna wave from a distance and be so glad that you came. Because it helps us know where they are on the spectrum too. This has been one of my hardest points coming on to a new church staff especially, like, how do I plan for this week, for this month, for next month? How do I budget like if this is my annual church budget. And if some of you are like what our church was, praise the Lord, our tithes and offerings have kind of stayed about the same which is fantastic. But we weren’t spending money there for like several months. And so it’s like, okay, well, are we going to do something completely different with this budget? Is this a time to like dream and go, okay, this big thing that we have wanted or this idea that would help minister to everyone maybe now’s the time that we can even purchase that with some of these funds. Or you may be in a whole different predicament where tithes have not been good. And so it’s like, okay, how are we gonna cut and still be able to minister once everyone has returned back into the building? And thinking about planning, I know some of you may have questions about this, I don’t know if I will have answers. It’s really been day by day. Our staff and we come together have made tentative plans and then the very next week, everything changed around. And so our pastor continually says to us, okay, guys, we’re gonna be flexible. Flexibility has been the big word. I think flexibility is important in ministry no matter what the season is. But one thing that I would be mindful of especially if you haven’t come back to your regular schedule yet is this might be an opportunity where if there was ever anything that you wanted to change. If you wanted to add this to the preschool, if this was not the way that you wanted youth services to be organized on Wednesday night. Because for many of us, we have gone weeks or months without having that regular meeting. If you were to sit back into it, and it’d be revamped. And it had totally changed to be different. This might be a great time for a lot of people to kind of let down their guards, if there’s any sacred cows that are in your church or things that people believe like, well, this is the way we have to do it because this is the way we’ve always done it. We’ve already been in this big season of change and so maybe this is a time to dream and pray about, okay, if I could do my ministry in any way, this is how I would plan it. And that might be something that you could implement in this weird season of change. Scooter you got the next point there? I think this is the last one. I feel like communication has been so important especially if we’re not seeing everyone once a week or twice a week or whatever your natural schedule flow might have been. And yet, for a lot of my students parents and I am a parent of children and so a lot of them are my age group, or older or slightly younger. I feel like the more communication I’ve put out there has not necessarily meant the more times that they see it. There’s almost a communication fatigue, like, I’m tired of being on a screen. I’m tired of reading my text messages. I’m not checking my email. Hopefully that’s not the same for you. Maybe people are being more mindful of all of those things. So we wanna communicate and especially with younger children, if we’re gonna have an event, we’re gonna do things in the building. We want to communicate, hey, this is what we’re doing. This is why we’re doing it. These are all the precautions that we are taking to make sure that your children are safe. If there’s any hesitancy there, then it’s just really easy especially in a long season where we weren’t going to church for so long for parents to go, well, we’re just gonna stay home. So we wanna do everything we can to help ensure them that things are safe. These are the protocols that we’re taking. And you may have to put it out there on lots of different mediums before they take notice that they’re getting it. Another thing with VBS, like I said, that’s what we have going on this month. We instituted Remind. I wasn’t getting a lot of responses back from parents anyway when I would do email or even text messages. And so Remind is a great app, it’s free. That you can like send out quick, hey, these are the changes that are being made. Or hey, I can’t wait to see you for this event at this time. And the group doesn’t all respond back anyway. And so Remind was a new method of communication that started to work really well with the parents of our students. Communicating often and through as many means as you can. So that’s just some of the things and wrapping through my brain about truths that are always the same in ministry. I hope that that was good to be mindful of a lot of those but also to think about in this new era spacing just looks totally different. All of those avenues in your ministry may look completely different and so with that, I can only feel like surely someone out there has a question and I will do my absolute best to address that.

– If you have a question just all you got to do is go into the question and answer tab and we’ll be able to answer those from there. Chelsea while we’re doing that, you had a couple of things in here that really stood out to me. And I love the prayer strategy and the things that you’re not change. But one of the things that really stood out to me in the very beginning was the thought of showing up. The showing up and the reaching out. We heard the other night in our training, we heard about how handwritten notes and somethings like that can really make an impact in kids and reaching students and things like that. I think for me I guess the importance of standing out and being there, being present, show up, I guess. How important is that in the life of a teenager? Because we’re having a tough time learning how to do ministry and lead students and teach students in a new era. But to that Sunday school students who just comes to Sunday school and their mom and dad may come or whatever, how important is it to them and that to reach out?

– I think it’s vital. One of the biggest reasons besides what I’ve already shared, like communicating that like you matter to me. Your opinion matters and hopefully then that’s reciprocated both ways is it’s really easy in today’s society to kind of segment life. Like, this is my church life and these are my church people. But this is my school life and these are my school people. And this is my sports team and this is what we do. When you cross those lines, like when you leave the church doors and all of a sudden, you show up at the family dinner table. Or you’re in the stands at the football game, or you have joined them at the school cafeteria to sit alongside them. It’s a lot harder. Now, we’re not the Lord and we want to join them to the Lord but you might be the representative. That voice of the Lord communicating to them and so it helps our relationship with them. But hopefully it’s also helping the Lord’s relationship with them that okay, church isn’t just at church. God things not just a Sunday and Wednesday. Like, it’s Monday at the cafeteria, and it’s Tuesday night at the junior high game. It just continues on through there. And so you pop up and it crosses all of those boundaries. And a lot of beautiful things flow through it. At the same time, the more times you show up all of those friends that are in that sphere of influence that have that volume within their life, well now they’re seeing you at all these different places and they might not have come to the church doors. But after they’ve seen you hang out for lunch maybe even brought pizza, or you showed up at the game and like okay, you weren’t as stiff as they thought all church people were. Now they might be willing to go from the venues where they’ve seen you to actually joining that friend when they say hey, you wanna come to church. I mean, you’ve met my youth minister, they’re awesome.

– Chelsea, that’s right. And I think that that flows into sometimes I know of a lot of youth pastors and even teachers that don’t go to anything. And it’s because it’s like, well, I can’t go to all of this stuff. Yeah, but think about that one life that you do impact if you go to that one. I think what you quoted John Lowe on earlier was do for one what you can’t do for all, what you wish you could do for all. Well doing that for one, yeah, is gonna be impactful. We had a question and that was how can we get the PowerPoint that you just got. And so I have just put in there my email address. And Chelsea is gonna give give us hers and I’ll put it in the chat as well. So it is… Are you gonna chat it? You can put it in there.

– I can put it in there. I believe I can do this.

– So mine is fkellum if you have any questions there at alsbom.org. And then Chelsea’s is chelsea@crossroads.family. So you can get that that way and everything will be good. She’ll be sending it to you or I’d get that to you either way. So I think that’s good. Chelsea, I know that for you, you talk a lot about your Sunday nights outside. We talked about how y’all do some things with your kids. At the same time on Wednesday nights, you’re talking about spacing and timing. For you normally at Crossroads, you, children, everything goes on always nice and we don’t do anything on Sunday nights. It’s a time that our church and our leadership pastor has put as a time for families to investment in that time. And so you were talking about with the timing stuff you moved from Wednesday nights to Sunday nights. That way you’re not having to cross over and you’re not having as many people there to be able to social distance and do all that stuff. So you went to Sunday nights for children and Crossroads went to Wednesday nights were used outside as well. And so was that effective? Did that seem to work for y’all? I get it’s not gonna be right for everybody and every church you have to answer that yourself. But did it work well for y’all in doing that?

– I definitely think that it worked better than if we had tried to do everything all at once. We had some families that cannot participate because our church I think, for years now has not had Sunday nights. There were some who like our family does this particular thing where we all get together for dinner on Sunday nights. Or there were a few families that maybe there’s a joint custody and it’s like, oh, well, she always goes to dad’s house for Sunday evenings through. And so we had a few families some friends at they beginning said, hey, I’m so glad you’re doing this, but we’re not gonna be able to make that time. But there were a lot of families who could and so we took the win of those and ran with it. So that teenagers had their separate space from the children and preschool. We were able to get a lot of volunteers. There were a lot of people that didn’t have normal plans on Sunday evenings, and we did it early enough. And school wasn’t in session to where I had an abundance of teachers. And so that was that was definitely a win to be able to give those students who could come a lot of like individual pouring into and a lot of affirmation. And to have some of those conversations that we can’t do when it’s like one on 10. Instead, sometimes we had two teachers for a group of four or five and the kids that came loved it.

– I heard you obviously were married. When you’re doing ministry, for the most part I get to join you and you’re doing your ministry as well. As you were talking the other night about the importance of how if you send an email one time, or send something out on social media, you have to send them five times because some people will just scroll right by. I’m saying that because you were talking about communication frequently and using all means possible, right? So how has that been real? Have you seen that like play out in your ministry and in the church during this time?

– I do, if I form an email, especially like right before VBS for our teachers and leaders, and it had a lot of things in it, I sent it out a week in advance. And then we had our leader meeting and then I summed it up again. It was essentially the same email but looked a little different. In case you didn’t read the first one, maybe you’re seeing this as a new thing. So I sent it out a second time, and then I text those individuals that I either have learned don’t check their email frequently or need just an extra nudge. It really was the majority of the people that I text to say, hey, I sent out a VBS, leader email. It’s got lots of good information, could you check it? And then I tried to have a lot of grace when at the last minute, the day before the day everyone’s asking questions that are answered in that email. To say, like, hey, call me if you, still can’t find it. But if you check the email, I think you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. So just constant reminders. We also have a preschool and children’s Facebook page. We love that because it’s just members of our church. Sometimes people get a little upset that we don’t let grandparents or friends like join in because that’s where we can post pictures of our students. And we know that they’re only being seen and viewed by those members of the church. So there’s the safety and security. And so I’ll post things there too as far as like an email went out, or if I can like bullet point a few things in case somebody’s scrolling through Facebook, and then it’s gonna pop up on their page. And that’s where the majority of parents for those that I minister to are. We don’t really have a big presence on Instagram. And so that’s not something I’ve utilized. But wherever your people are hanging out in their inbox, if it’s just with their cell phone and a text message or social media, or if you’re like me and when it’s really important, all the details, you’re trying to put it out across all of them to communicate those things.

– Are there any other questions? We can answer the best we can. You can ask any questions. If you want to talk, we can let you do that as well. So just type those in or if you would like to I can allow you to talk. Hi, Jamie, do you have a question? Oh, we got a question typed in. All right, Jason, thank you. I wanted to ask if anyone has run into this. We have in this generation loads of grandparents raising grandkids. We have four sets of a than in our youth group. The grandparents will not come to any church gatherings youth or not due to COVID 19 scare. However, they won’t let the grandkids come either in lieu of not wanting to bring back home. However, the kids are allowed to go to school, to the beach, to an individual friend’s house for fun. But since they aren’t coming to church they are staying away from you. Any ideas on having had that situation within your circle? No, that is a very great question. Chelsea taken away.

– Yes, so we have a couple of those in our church. One grandparent was even teaching third and fourth grade and has stepped back from that. She’s not out at the beach, she’s not out at Walmart, but she is a school bus drivers aide. So she rides the handicap bus. And is like right there with the children. And so there have been some who have been like, I can’t believe that this particular lady has like stepped back and her grandson is not coming to any of these events, because she is very close to other people. But I’ve also talked to her, I would say that might be your first step if it hasn’t already been. To call and to just lovingly have this conversation with them to understand is it is it fear, is it anxiety? Is it convenience, although that might not be what they come out and say that. Like where’s their heart in the matter. Because for her, she’s terrified of getting the virus and she also even though she is in her 70s has a mother that’s living and she’s still like rotates through care with her. And so she’s scared for herself. She’s scared for her mother. And so I’ve tried to have a lot of grace there working with children and especially having VBS. I have several that whether it’s they live with grandparents, or they’re just parents who are being very cautious with their children right now. Who have said, hey, like, is there anything you can send home to march out? And so I had not planned on doing that because we were doing an in person VBS. But I’m like, yes, I can totally find some handouts and sheets and print off. And like if there are craft supplies left from what we do each week, and I can create a bundle and I will send that home to you. One of the things that we did as far as curriculum, I don’t know what you normally do with youth ministry but we have an online medium for curriculum and typically just our teachers have access to that. But while we weren’t meeting, I gave all of my parents because I couldn’t give it directly to students. I would give it to directly to students if this were an option, the username and login information to be able to go, hey, here are the lessons. So using social media or email, reaching out to the parents to say, is there anything that you would feel safe doing to see if you can kind of navigate and find some common ground there. And then certainly reaching out to the student to let them know like, hey, you are not forgotten. Like we are not upset with you. Because I think some that are very fearful about the virus are also fearful that they’re gonna be judged for having those feelings about the virus. And so loving on the grandparents, loving on the grandkids, in every way that you, staying in communication so that hopefully whenever this is over in a week or a month, I don’t even wanna think longer than that. When Jesus comes back, then they don’t feel so disconnected. ‘Cause the last thing we want is for somebody to go, hey, I’ve been at a church two, three, four, five, however many months this goes and it feels so disconnected. Like is it gonna be hard for them to step back into it? But if there’s been this ongoing conversation and I know it’s gonna take all the effort on your part to call, to reach out through all those different mediums. Maybe to occasionally send something like, hey, these are all the things that we’ve been doing so that they don’t feel completely left out of the loop. And whatever point those grandparents do you feel a little safer. I mean, I don’t know if you’re gonna label it this hypocrisy side of things. Like if they’re at the beach and they’re at Walmart, but they can’t come to church, that’s hard. I have had to struggle with a couple of people. It wasn’t grandparents, but like, I see all of their social media posts. I know where all they’ve taken their kids. But they don’t feel like we’re doing enough with precautions and safety to bring them to church. I don’t know that there’s anything that you could say to them apart to get on your knees and pray for them.

– Go ahead Jamie.

– As you’ve already said something I think that is so true in answering this question. During this time this season, we’re gonna have to extend a lot of grace to parents and grandparents in this time. They may or may not, it could be an excuse, we don’t know. But I think you’ve nailed it when you said, we’re just gonna have to extend a lot of grace to them. That’s number one. Number two, you said it is well in the area of relationships. Just continue to try to maintain a relationship with them. At the end of the day, our goal is to get people to Jesus not to get them to church. And so if you’re maintaining a relationship with them by texting, notes, emails, however, you can do that and I like copying maybe the grandparents. If you’ve got their cell phone number, I’d copy them every once in a while. Let them know what you are saying and your love and concern for their grandchild. Because that grandchild is not living with them because they don’t care about them. It’s obvious they care about their grandchild or they will not take on the responsibility of trying to raise them right now. So for you to continue to show their grandchild love and concern and compassion. You’re teaching even that grandparent an awful lot during this time. Even if they never see eye to eye with you. And some of them are not wanna do, they just not going to do that. Scooter, we have another question?

– We do, we do. Chelsea, you’ll be able to answer this one pretty well. Do you know if zoom is good for teaching children? When I signed up for zoom they told me that there were some things and place to protect kids and I totally understand. But I still want to try to interact with the kids.

– Yes, I do think that zoom can be entertaining slash hilarious to try to use with children. I used it on Wednesday nights for a while with first through sixth graders. And there were a few times that I like lovingly made a phone call to parents to say, hey, next week like could you possibly like stay in the room with them because they were up and dancing. And if they move and the camera goes to them and that can be a little distracting. But there are all kinds of like fun interactive games that you can play with zoom to like, get that kinesthetic. Hey, we’re all moving, we’re learning. So took a Bible story theme and we were talking about the blood of Jesus and so we had a scavenger hunt to go find read things in the house to like tie that into okay, this is our Bible story. I will say you probably wanna plan for a smaller amount of time, especially the younger the children that they are then you would like if you had them in a room. ‘Cause you can lose them on attention spans. But I can also speak my daughter, she finished tap jazz and ballet via zoom. Her dance teacher once they weren’t able to meet in person switched to that medium. And it was hilarious for three year olds to be on zoom. But her dance teacher wanted to like finish it out and for them to have a recital. And I was so appreciative as a mom, that someone would take the time and that was dance. So how much more might there be parents who were like man, they they took the time and they jump on the screen. They might think, man that’s kind of hard to try to corral children from a distance. And it may mean as much to the parents that you took the time to do that as it did to the child. Another thing and just thinking about different avenues to reach out to kids how this is contingent especially upon parents for children. But our church have been going through a daily Bible reading plan. And so I started to find videos as much as I could some of the Old Testament passages were a little harder to find, but YouTube videos or different avenues like that, where I could post a video of the particular Bible teaching. So the thought was if you sit down with your family to read it, and then you watch the video of it. So adding that media component that you can do from a distance to bring in the learning there. You can do that on zoom. Like there’s a way to have PowerPoint or to show a video. There’s all kinds of tutorials so if zoom is new to you, you can figure out, either phone a friend in ministry or watch some of those tutorials to reach out and do that. I definitely think it is worth the effort. It’s worth a shot.

– Or I’ll say this too. Being an Alabama based church, we have a great Alabama state board of missions. They would love to help you in any needs that you have. we’ve become very well versed in all things zoom. Because we had to go and do these webinars like finical or we’ve done lots of zoom calls and things like that statewide. So feel free to reach out and you can reach out to me, you’ve got my email address. I’d love to connect you with somebody if that’s a need on how to work with groups and things like that. Any other questions? Jamie, do you have any questions for Chelsea?

– I’m trying to think. I was trying to look up our website. I can’t find it right offhand. The kids link aol.com or .org that has a lot of good information that you might be able to get some help there. Punched it in right or I don’t think I punched it in right. I think i put dot .com or something, but anyway go to our or ALSBOM website and go into resources or our ministries.

– I’m gonna put it in the chat right now.

– Okay, very good. And so Amanda you might get some info there that would be helpful for you as well.

– Another thing especially for preschool and children’s ministry that I would tell you. There are a lot of great ALSBOM people that are a part of this. On Facebook, there is a group called APCMO and I will type that. And that stands for Alabama Preschool and Children’s Ministry Organization, I’m going to assume. They do a conference once a year. I believe it was the beginning of February. And so we can stay tuned. Hopefully that’s able to happen in person in February. But they try to do that at a much lower cost than some of your bigger ministry conferences and so if like LifeWay, Orange, if those aren’t in your conference budget, APCMO might be. And even if you can’t get to the conference in person to meet some of these people, they will let you into the Facebook page. And that’s just a network of part time, full time, lay people who work with preschool and children’s ministry. And throughout this time, a lot of people have thrown a question out there like, hey, what are you doing for VBS? Or, hey, what’s church attendance looking like? Or hey, any number of things. Whether they belong to this particular area or just ministry in general and some seasoned veterans and several that actually worked for ALSBOM are a part of the group and we’ll get on there and try to help you in any way they can.

– I’ve put in there ym.org. That is our youth ministry link. And you can go there we have several videos that are talking about what youth ministries across the state are doing. Big, small, medium size, when you look at numbers. We’ll get some volunteer youth pastors and youth ministers and we’ve got some fully funded paid full time. So you can go there and see some videos of us talking about COVID-19, what things are happening, what things aren’t. This is another resource, that website is there as well.

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