Breakout 1: Knock Your Socks Off Sermons for Big Church

Shauna Hanus did an amazing job of showing us a practical and simple technique we can use every week when we are putting together our children’s sermons. The technique is called hook, book, look, and took. Here’s how it works:

Hook: The hook is anything that will grab your audience’s attention. It is usually a physical item thatIMG_1513 is brought out at the beginning of your message to draw the audience in.

Book: The book is simply the Bible or Scripture verse that are used. The kids don’t always know what it means until we explain it.

Look: The look is looking at what the Scripture means, it’s more about head knowledge.

Took: Finally, the took is where you make the personal application for your audience. It’s where the heart change comes in.

Shauna went on to show us several great examples of how she uses this technique in her ministry. My favorite example involved king size candy bars, and relating them to prayer. She brought out four different candy bars (the hook) and talked about how they are all chocolate, but they all have something different about them. Then, she read Matthew 6:5-13 (the book), explained the meaning behind the passage (the look), and applied it to the kids’ lives by explaining that just like the chocolate bars were all a little different our prayers can also look different (the took). I loved it just a little bit more because I got a king size candy bar.


  • I already find myself using this technique, but I love the idea of intentionally writing your sermons in the format of hook, book, look, and took.
  • Each element of this technique is extremely important if you want your kids to really take the point home.

Breakout 2: How to Make Packaged Curriculum Come Alive

I was very excited to hear what Shauna had to say on this subject because I love taking curriculum and making it my own. She emphasized the importance of teaching with all of the learning styles in mind and gave hands on examples of how to reach all the different styles.

IMG_1516Visual: This learning style needs to be able to see a visual to learn at their full potential. Any physical objects you can use in your message will help kids with this learning style. Object lessons are a great example of a way to grab visual learner’s attention.

Auditory: This learning style learns best through hearing the message. You can take a Bible story that the kids may have heard a hundred times and change it a bit to engage this learning style. Try teaching a Bible story from a different character’s perspective.

Kinesthetic: This learning style needs to get up and move around to get the point. Games that bring the message to life are great for these kids. The mirroring technique is awesome for keeping these kids’ attention. Before you start telling the Bible story, have the kids pair up with one person being the mirror. The kid who is not the mirror will act out the Bible story while the other kid copies them. It’s a lot of fun, and really drives home the point for a kinesthetic learner.

1 thing you need to know to make packaged curriculum come alive: Use YOU!

Find ways to use personal stories, hobbies, and ideas to make your curriculum personal for you and your kids. Kids love hearing about you!


  • Whenever possible, have elements in your sermon that appeal to all of the different learning styles.
  • Kids need more than a leader reading a script. Don’t just read the curriculum as is, let yourself into it.
  • No curriculum will ever be perfect on it’s own. Instead, use curriculum as a spring board for great ideas.

How are you engaging all the learning styles in your ministry? What are you doing to make your curriculum come alive for your kids?