20 ways to engage adult learners – key principles for children’s ministry training

If you have listed your key content points for a training session you might be tempted to just talk. But your material will be more effective if you engage the learners and take note of the different learning styles they will have. Use the some of the 20 methods below to bring your training to life. Print the article out and keep it for future reference.

This article is from our friends within the Aim Lower Community – the 1 for 50 training project. You can find this article and many more at their informative web site

Experiential Learning Games – Create a learning game to help participants discover key ideas/concepts.

Drama & Role Playing – Invite students to act out a Bible story or role-play a situation.

Practicum – Give time for participants to practice what they have learned.

Partner Share – Turn to a partner to answer a question or share an experience.

Problem Solve – Divide participants into groups. Give them a problem they need to solve together. Then share together as a whole group.

Brainstorm – Introduce a topic and have participants brainstorm ideas.

Corner Questions – Place a different question in each corner of the room. Divide participants into small groups and have them move from corner to corner, answering each question together.

Read and Discuss Scripture – Divide into small groups for Scripture reading and discussion.

Summarize – Pause and ask participants to summarize the most important thing they heard.

Hand Motions – Add hand motions or actions to a key teaching point; better yet, invite participants to create their own hand motions.

Speed Sharing – Form two lines facing each other. Each pair has 30-60 seconds to answer a given question. After time is up, one of the lines moves down one person and the activity is repeated.

Objects – Place several different random objects on the floor. Ask participants to pick an object which reminds them of an experience or story. Share those stories together.

Scenarios – Give groups a different scenario and have them discuss how they would respond.

Ice-breakers – Play games that require quick responses and which allow participants to move around and get to know one another.

Art – Give participants time to draw pictures/ symbols to answer questions and communicate ideas.

Video Clips – Show a video clip. Prepare follow-up questions for group discussion.

Agree/Disagree – Invite participants to form a circle or a line. Say a statement. If they agree with your statement, they turn to their right. If they disagree, they turn to the left. If at any point they are facing someone, give them a few moments to discuss.

Answer Questions – Leave time and space for participants to ask questions. Allow participants to answer each other’s questions.

Stories – Tell a story. Invite participants to interact with you in the story. Or have participants tell a story.

Prayer – Spend time praying together.