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.
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
that our fathers have told us.
but tell to the coming generation
and the wonders that he has done.
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 faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15, ESV)
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 up the necklace and threw it at her, she would probably think the necklace was on the bargain table at the dollar store. Too often, we hurl admonitions at
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 basic Christian doctrine, but also show us how to live according to God’s law and how to pray. When we catechize our children, they learn the basic truths of
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 saying, “I love everything about you. You never upset me. You never do anything wrong. Don’t ever change. I don’t care what you do or who you are.
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.
What will reach not just their heads, but their hearts and wills?
There are those who say that we must
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)
… 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 to what the teacher is saying—in order to build the mental models that create someone who is well educated…The pulls away from that mean that
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 do that—if you think your way down deep into the warp and woof of the Bible, and let it shape your mind and heart—you will be spared many trendy detours