In children’s ministry, as with anything, time is our greatest asset. Have you ever felt like the time children spend sitting and waiting for an event to begin is somewhat wasted?

We recently noticed this happening before our kids’ large group worship service. Parents would bring their children into our large group area and leave them for a time of kid-friendly games, music, and Bible study. Because it took time for families to check their children in to our child check-in software, we were unable to begin our large group worship until about five to ten minutes after the adult worship service had begun. By this time, children who had arrived early became tired of waiting and resorted to either misbehaving or just became extremely bored.

This past Sunday, we began offering a time of games and fun for children, while they waited on our worship service to begin. During this time, we played a review game of the previous weeks’ Bible stories and made it a contest between girls and boys. Our goal was to keep kids energized and engaged, even while they were waiting for us to begin. It ended up being highly successful.

In the future, during this time, we plan to play review games, ask “get-to-know-you” or “would you rather” questions, and conduct fun surveys and polls among the children.

Here are a few resources you could use in a situation like this to help make your “wasted time” more productive (click any of the resources to view the item online):





What events and activities can you think of where there seems to be some time wasted? How can you better use the time you have with kids, instead of wasting it? Do you have any other ideas for using time, such as this, wisely? I would love to read your comments!


Previous articleWhat Seminaries Won't Teach You About Children's Ministry
Next articleQuestions Children's Ministers Must Ask Their Senior Pastors
GJ Farmer is a husband, a dad, the founder of, and is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and a Master’s degree in Children’s Ministry. He has also been fortunate to lead and teach groups at children’s ministry conferences and to have had some of his writing published. Apart from working with kids, he enjoys reading, performing magic tricks, playing video games, and University of Kentucky basketball.


  1. I have often offered pre-service activities for the kids. BUT, I have never considered doing a review time. I used to do a “game show” at the end of each month/series called REWIND. This opening time could be a great opportunity to play this game…

    Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Matt! We have had a lot of fun doing the review games. As an added bonus, if your previous week’s story leads up to the story you are telling on that day, it makes for a great way to give background information to those who may have missed the previous week!

  2. Hey GJ,

    We’ve been doing a quiz game at the end of our services called “Ultimate Wheel of Decision” and kids earn points by answering a question and then can risk it by spinning a large point wheel. When I saw the buzzers, I ordered a set.

    Before services some of my leaders engage the crowd with fun stage games. The one that the kids like the most is called “Elimination.” All the kids stand at the front and one of the leaders stands behind a curtain and calls out things that the kids might be wearing (for example, flip-flops or green shirt). Any kid who is wearing that item is out. It’s simple but the kids really like it.

    Great post!