|About the Book|
As a pastor, I love to sit with the children of the congregation on the chancel steps and have a conversation with them. I try to recognize each child by name, to look into their eyes, to listen to and to learn something about her or him. I try to beMoreAs a pastor, I love to sit with the children of the congregation on the chancel steps and have a conversation with them. I try to recognize each child by name, to look into their eyes, to listen to and to learn something about her or him. I try to be spontaneous in responding to what the child brings forth. I also try to be responsive to the child within myself. This book contains some of the strategies I have used in talking with children at the chancel steps.I may have thought about what Id like to say to the children on a given morning, but I welcome interruptions, what theyd like to talk about. Such interruptions are the joy of the chancel steps.The best way Ive found to give control of the conversation to the children is to use a mystery box, a twelve-by-six-by-six shoebox covered with attractive wrapping paper. I ask a child to take the mystery box home and bring it back next Sunday with something in it. That something cant be something alive that might bite me. My task is to learn more about the object and off-the-cuff make a childrens sermon out of it. Its fun for the children and even for the adults in the congregation. I was stumped, or tongue-tied only once, when an adult computer expert got a child to put a motherboard into the mystery box. I missed a great opportunity to talk about mothers as the center of all living.I also like to use puppets. Im no ventriloquist, but the children dont mind. They are fascinated by the puppet, whether a rabbit, or lamb, or bear. It allows the children and the pastor to be playful, as God is imaginative and playful.If you are a pastor or a layperson working with children, youre welcome to use any of the ideas in this e-book with the children of your congregation. The ideas belong to the children.