Yes, there are many new ways to present the great truths of the Bible—video, digital media, etc. Some are especially appealing to children and youth. As a teacher, it can be very tempting to simply play a well-done, aesthetically pleasing Bible story video that the children will enjoy watching. But before you hit the power button, listen to this message from Pastor David Michael.
When I first became a grandparent four years ago, people would ask: “How do you like being a grandma?” My answer typically was something like, “It’s great! All of the benefits of having children without the responsibilities.”…A bad answer for many reasons! The most important reason being…
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
A recent news report contends that the state of Minnesota is now ranked #1 in terms of child-wellbeing. Supposedly, children living in Minnesota are doing better than children in other states. What did they base their finding on? They used four categories: economic wellbeing, health, family and community, and education. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, they missed the most important category—salvation through faith in Jesus. That is the only true measure of a child’s eternal wellbeing. With that in mind, recall Paul’s words to Timothy:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through
As a long-time Sunday school teacher, I sadly must admit that there have been many times when my heart attitude was not right when I entered the classroom. It might be that I was frustrated and simply in a bad mood. Or, I hadn’t taken the time to really prepare the lesson. Sometimes I had prepared the Bible lesson, but I didn’t treat the truths in it as sweeter than honey or more precious than gold. These thoughts came to mind as I read this illustration given by John Younts:
If you bought your daughter a gold necklace for her birthday, how would you give it to her? Would you ball it up and toss it to her on her way out the door? Of course not! Would you not rather place the necklace in a jewelry box, wrap it beautifully, pick a special moment, and then give it to her? If you just balled
Ligonier Ministries has posted this really helpful article by Joel Beeke: “The Blessing of Catechizing Our Children.” For those unfamiliar with what is meant by catechism, and why it is an important tool in training children (and adults) in the Christian faith, Mr. Beeke states the following:
Creeds and catechisms are other valuable tools or methods by which we may communicate the truths of the Word of God to our children. These documents provide clear, concise definitions of basic doctrines and key words in easily memorized form so our children can hide them in their hearts. Bible references (“proof texts”) anchor these definitions in Scripture. The catechisms not only teach
As a mom who has, over the years, given her children both cats (which I don’t love) and dogs (I love them!), and as someone who cares deeply about accurately communicating the Gospel to children, I found this old post by Pastor Kevin DeYoung both humorous and, tragically, spot on:
Some people have a gospel according cats.
And others have a gospel according to dogs.
The gospel according to cats has God saying, “Please me. Stroke me. Fear me. Don’t get too close to me. Love me. Serve me and I may pay attention to you on occasion.” It portrays God as someone who is fickle, preening, and demanding.
The gospel according to dogs has God
It can be an anxious time for many parents—those often turbulent teen years. How can the church help and assist parents during these years? Well, one way is to continue to provide youth with deep and engaging Bible teaching. In her seminar, “Teaching Youth and Engaging Their Hearts,” Sally Michael emphasized the following:
The junior high years are where we start to see great divides—those who truly love the Lord and are maturing in faith; and those who are clearly rejecting what they have been taught, and even those who simply portray apathy (which is a form of rebellion). Some of the students you will be teaching are not saved—so you need to teach reflecting that there are Christians and non-Christians in the class.
Imagine you are preparing to teach your students a lesson that includes the following passage:
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:3-5 ESV)
What type of tone would be appropriate when reading this passage aloud to the students? Will the tone you use serve to help or hinder your students in better understanding the meaning of the text?
Tone: mode of expression, inflection, modulation,
A friend alerted me to this interesting article: “Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus.” Though it’s written from a secular perspective, consider this observation by psychologist Daniel Goleman, as quoted in the article:
… because attention is under siege more than it has ever been in human history, we have more distractions than ever before, we have to be more focused on cultivating the skills of attention…
The attentional circuitry needs to have the experience of sustained episodes of concentration—reading the text, understanding and listening
Here is some very wise and timely advice from John Piper:
It is a wonderful thing that, if you believe and teach the straightforward truths of the Bible, you will spare yourself and your children a hundred follies of each new generation. If you want to be useful for your generation, you don’t need to be an expert on the latest philosophical fad, or the latest progressive morality, or the latest psychological trend. A few Christians need to study these things and respond to them. But the great majority of Christians should simply be marching to the beat of another drummer.
What most ordinary Christians need to do is go deep with the Bible and believe and absorb and teach what it means and what it implies in its straightforward statements. If you