the mind & spirit of a child & how children change in a group
MAX7 is a skill. Like all skills the effective “MAX7” style can be learnt. Once you grasp the overview of the MAX7 Method, you will soon be able to be effective in your ministry to children.
MAX7 impacts on church children & those who come from un-churched backgrounds.
MAX7 has a strategy & a structure. You need to understand how this is implemented before you will see the wisdom & clarity of the “MAX7 Approach”. MAX7 does need preparation but the strategy & the structure make it very easy for the leaders to swap rolls & to come & go inside the running of the program. MAX& uses the strategies of Mosaic Learning Principles.
Lets look @ the STRUCTURE
This is the most important Subject.
To be able to teach a child is a skill. To be able to teach a group of children is a greater skill. To hold a child’s attention you need to be “interesting” to that child. Children in a group have what could be called group dynamics. To hold a group you must start by holding the interest of the leader. To hold the interest of the leader of a group of children you have to learn how to know who the real leader is. This is only the start. Very quickly we come to the power of group dynamics. You will come to understand that gaining the attention of the leader only brings to the point were the group can function as a group. Once a group is functioning then “Group Dynamics” take over.
Interesting to the child. Interesting goes a lot further than comprehension and cooperation. It goes beyond gaining their attention. This is easy compared to keeping their attentio.
I hope to show you a little bit about “compliance” and what I call “holding the con”. To “con” someone is often seen in a very negative light. Pilots board a ship & take the con from the Captain when the ship enters the harbour waters when coming in from the ocean. The safety of the ship, crew and passengers are in the hands of the pilot as he takes to con.
We teach a group about the Lord. We only have a few minutes. You will see that we use different methods to gain compliance for a while by “conning” the trouble makers. If you can see this you will develop the gift needed to be a great (effective) teacher. I have a friend who is a great teacher in the pubic school system. I asked him once to come out & address our Sunday School teachers. He refused. He said “Dan you know as well as I that they have the gift or not”. Skills can be taught. I can teach you to lay a foundation down in today’s children if you will let me.
Order is always a concern when ministering to children. The whole group has to be considered. When you have a growing class with new children coming in all the time, you find that as soon as you have a settled classroom it is unsettled & influenced by the arrival of new children.
Children and Order
We have been learning and practising about the "Mosaic Principles of Learning". This wonderful method still needs the attention of a group of children in order to be effective.
Find the leader. In MAX7 this is quite simple.
Arrive before the Launch Pad and observe the children during the time of games that is held before MAX7 actually starts. As you look at the children playing you will be able to notice the real leaders. A very strong leader will influence both boys and girls and a not so strong leader will influence children of their own gender. Of course there are exceptions to any rule that this is a good general approach.
Whatever you do don’t think like “Super Nanny”. You are not here to teach the child how to be a child after your own image. The child has an environment that the child lives in. Changes will come as the child gets to know who Jesus is. What you are after in the short 1 hour session is a sense of order. You don’t want the class or group to be influenced so that they can’t get the best benefit of the time. The whole group needs to be flowing together so that they can all grow.
So now you know who will be the main influencer of your group of children. Because MAX7 changes leaders all the time I rather think that the M. C. should be in charge of order and compliance issues. It won't be long before it your influencer moves into action. The secret to remember is that you only need short-term compliance that is seen by the rest of the group.
I hope that these procedures start to make sense to you. In my experience I have had to make a living from photographing other people's children. I've been involved with Sunday school and youth groups for decades. And even today young children start greeting me from a very early age and God willing I’ll be around to nurse their children one-day.
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