Summer is a great time to line up guest speakers for the next ministry year whether that’s Large Group lessons or someone to speak at the youth group get-together. This gives you an opportunity to prayerfully think through your lesson focus instead of begging someone to fill in at the last minute. (Besides, people are much more willing to accept your request if they know they have three or four months to prepare. But don’t forget to shoot them a quick email or text a week or two before they’re scheduled.) Of course, all guest speakers must know Christ as Savior and life their lives reflecting Him.
1. The Pastor. Seriously. Many churches invite the pastor to show up so the kids can throw a pie in his face or have him take a turn at the carnival dunk tank. Remember, kids need to see a pastor as an authority on God’s Word, someone who is approachable and can answer their questions and maybe someone who their parents can call when their (non-churched) family is going through a tough situation.
2. A teacher. Most churches have at least one or two teachers in their congregations. Why not ask a teacher to do a lesson on being a good student?
3. A pottery maker. Do you have someone who makes pottery as a hobby? He/she could demonstrate and then talk on Isaiah 64:8.
4. Your Awana missionary. They love to speak at clubs (and Trek and Journey) and get to know your kids. (You WILL need to schedule them well in advance.)
5. Someone who knows a lot about fishing. Think of all the Bible events that center around fish! Have someone talk about fish and then apply it to a biblical lesson on “fishers of men.” (For younger kids, you could have a snack of goldfish crackers.)
6. A cheerleader. We had a coach and three cheerleaders from a Christian high school do a cheer leading clinic for T&T girls. Then the coach gave her testimony. Girls loved it and the coach’s testimony was outstanding.
7. An athlete. So many ways to go with this one. I heard a high school hockey player teach elementary-aged boys a lesson on what each piece of equipment stands for and comparing it to the armor of God.
8. A scientist. Do you know a science teacher or professor who is a strong defender of God being the creator of the heavens and earth? Ask him/her to do a lesson.
9. A farmer or plant nursery owner. So many verses in the Bible talk about crops and seeds. Don’t overlook someone who can give your kids a good background on what it takes to have a healthy crop. (Matthew 13:3; 2 Timothy 2:6)
10. A missionary. We talked about inviting your Awana missionary, but how about other missionaries whom your church supports. Are they attending your church while on home assignment? Invite them to club. (This can be especially interesting if they have Awana in the country where they serve.) Or, do you live near a Christian organization that has someone who could talk about their ministry?
11. An artist. A Christian artist could demonstrate his/her work or show kids how to do a simple drawing. The devotional could be about every design needing a designer.
12. Someone who attended your church (Awana) as a child. He could talk about what church means in his life. Or you could invite a teen to talk to a younger group.
13. Police officer. Do you have a police officer in your church who could talk to the kids about the dangers of drugs or getting involved in a gang. He could talk about the benefits of living your life God’s way.
14. A musician. Again, this could go several directions. He could talk about the importance of diligence. Or, he could talk about music in the Bible and teach the kids a Christian song they don’t know.
15. A nurse or doctor. She could talk about her job and compare it to spiritual health. (A doctor could also talk about Doctor Luke.)
16. A shepherd or someone who has been around sheep. He would have lots of spiritual comparisons here, starting with Psalm 23. A study of sheep is fascinating and gives good insight into why we, as Christians, are called sheep.
17. Skype with another kids’ ministry. Connect with another kids’ ministry in another area of the country (beware of time zone differences). Ask them what games they like, what songs they sing, etc. You could have the two group guess where the other one is located.
18. Church librarian. She/he could talk about good books to check out. Perhaps he/she could begin to tell a book’s story and leave off at a suspenseful place to encourage kids to visit the library and read good Christian books.
19. The sound technician. Most churches today have somewhat elaborate sound systems and many kids are interested. A sound person could speak to the group and then compare it to what “sound” do we make as Christians? Are we gentle? Argumentative? Kind?
20. That leader/teacher who has never done it before. Some people truly don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of a group, but sometimes leaders who could do a great job are overlooked. Ask that quiet leader if he/she would give her testimony in club.