As proclaimers of God's Word, we want to help children remember the truths of the Bible for the rest of their lives.
The big question is how do we move what we are teaching kids into their long-term memory?
When they are in college one day, how can we make sure they will remember the truths we have taught them?
How can we help them retain key Bible verses they have memorized?
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Count them up—six times. Is there something significant about the word being repeated 6 times?
Yes, and here it is:
When a child hears something one time a month, their retention rate is only 10%.
But when a child hears something 6 times in a month, their retention rate increases to 90%.
Wow! Look at the difference!
So how does this translate into children's ministry?
Narrow down your teaching point to one sentence. One key sentence that reflects what you taught the kids that day.
Here's an example of a key truth you can get stuck in a child's memory: The Bible is clear to say, Jesus is the only way.
So, over the course of your lesson, have the children repeat the key truth at least 6 times.
Do that and the truth will move into their long-term memory and can produce fruit for a lifetime.
For the best retention rate, I suggest having one key truth that you talk about for an entire month. Same thing with memorizing God's Word. One key verse that goes along with the key truth that you repeat for a month. You can use different Bible stories and lessons each week to reinforce the key truth and Bible verse.
We are also commanded by God to teach our children the Word of God. And notice what it says about getting the truth embedded in their life.
"Repeat them again and again to your children" (Deut. 6:7a, NLT).
Practice and repetition serve to reinforce and solidify a skill (physical or cognitive). It creates a pathway in the mind. You can't help but remember something if you hear it over and over.
If you'd like to see your lessons produce not only retention, but life change as well, then my Connect12 curriculum may be just what you are looking for. You can see it at this link with sample videos and lessons. It repeats the key truth at least six times a week.
For the original article, visit releveantchildrensministry.com.
Dale Hudson has been in children's ministry for over 30 years. He has helped build some of the largest and fastest growing children's ministries and churches in the nation. At Christ Fellowship in South Florida, he helped the church grow from 12,000 to over 28,000 people attending each weekend. In eight years there, he built a volunteer team of over 2,600 that ministered to thousands of kids each weekend.
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