Certainly, no well-meaning Christian parent or teacher would willfully hide the truth from children. However, without realizing it, we can focus on only the parts of a Bible story that are particularly exciting or interesting to children. Or we can put so much focus on the characters and stories that we don’t put enough emphasis on what the story reveals about God and His glory. To guard against this, it is helpful to consider the goal of our instruction. Why should we faithfully impart to our children the testimony that has been entrusted to us?
One of the most discouraging things for a teacher or small group leader during a lesson is the perception that your students are not personally engaged with what is being taught. Here you are, teaching the most important truths in the universe with heartfelt passion, and some children seem completely disinterested, entirely inattentive, and utterly bored. At times like this, it’s tempting to ask: “Are they even listening? Is any of this truth reaching their minds and sinking into their hearts?” What’s a teacher or small group leader to do?
An increasing amount of evidence demands that we take the lack of Christian intellectual faithfulness seriously.
Thankfully, many churches have been able to resume a more normal schedule for children’s and youth ministry this year, including special events such as youth retreats, holiday celebrations, and more. These events can be wonderful additions to the regular, ongoing discipleship programs of the church. However, it’s important to create and plan these events within the overall vision in mind.
One of the great joys of teaching or leading a small group is when children ask amazing questions. Many prove easy to answer, but some are very difficult.
At first glance, illustrations in a lesson may seem unnecessary and time-consuming for a teacher, but good illustrations done well can serve as springboards to helping children understand God’s truth.
Think about your or your child’s Sunday school classroom for a moment. What characterizes the overall atmosphere of the classroom from beginning to end?Is the classroom characterized by an atmosphere of serious joy in God through Christ?
In most classrooms, it is highly likely that there are believing and unbelieving children present. Unbelievers are reminded and implored to turn to Jesus as their only hope. Believers are reminded of God’s sure promises that are secured in Jesus and are implored to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Bottom line: We must always keep in mind that we are likely ministering to both the lost and found in our classrooms. We are tasked with evangelizing the lost and discipling the found.
As you have probably gleaned from recent posts, we believe that our classrooms should be structured to maximize two basic things: biblical instruction and spiritual discussion. That said, there are ways and means to do these more effectively. How do you instruct the mind with biblical truth a way that doesn’t simply come across as “dry information”? How do you initiate and foster conversations that really engage the heart and point a child to genuine dependence on Christ?
If our goal and heartfelt desire for our students is that they come to know, honor, and treasure God, setting their hope in Christ alone so that they will live as faithful disciples for the glory of God…then we must keep the Bible front and center in all that we do in the classroom!