Quieting Troublemakers & Minimizing Distractions

What to Do When Someone or Something Distracts from the Message

Cast out the scorner and the simple will beware” (Proverbs 22:10). If you teach children, you will recognize these descriptions—disturber, troublemaker, A.D.D., special child, etc. How do you prevent these challenging kids from destroying the lesson?

  • Have a reserved seat for them as they enter the class.
  • Separate them in advance from other talkers.
  • Be prepared to teach. If the students senses insecurity, lack of lesson preparation, or lack of leadership in you, they will misbehave. The same thing often happens when a parent leaves his child with a babysitter. Many misbehave because they are not sure who is in charge.
  • Get the child to hold something with two hands. Your Bible or a visual aid will keep the child from disturbing another. He will think he is being a great help to you.

Sometimes the troublemaker may not be a child, but the devil visiting the service. Distractions may come from a screaming baby, a fire alarm, or a cell phone. I have seen people faint, have seizures, and suffer heart attacks during a church service. When this happens how do you regain the crowd?

  • Don’t draw attention to the problem. Unless the disturbance is in the very front, many people may not see it.
  • Have prayer. With eyes closed, much can be done.
  • Sing a song.
  • Be calm. Others will adopt your demeanor.

This article is an excerpt from the book, Basic Training for Sunday School Teachers by Mike Ray.

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