Teaching

  1. 15 Questions to Evaluate Your Classroom Experience

    15 Questions to Evaluate Your Classroom Experience

    The end of the school year is a good time to look back and evaluate the joys, surprises, challenges, and shortcomings of your classroom experience with children and youth. If at all possible, before your team heads out for summer vacation, set aside an hour or so to gather together and evaluate the year. Consider using the following questions as discussion starters, or email them as a survey:

    1. Did you begin the year feeling fully equipped and trained for your specific role? Explain.
    ... More

  2. Making Room for the Cross Between Palm Sunday and Easter

    Making Room for the Cross Between Palm Sunday and Easter

    Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Both lend themselves to all sorts of exciting possibilities for the Sunday school classroom — special colorful crafts and activities, joyful and boisterous songs, and an enthusiastic presentation of the biblical narratives. Children love it and churches often go to great lengths to highlight these celebrations in the classroom. But what about the biblical narrative of the cross? Where does it fit in between these back-to-back Sunday celebrations? ... More

  3. Are There Dangers to the Gospel in Our Classrooms?

    Are There Dangers to the Gospel in Our Classrooms?

    This may seem like a sensationalized question, but I would ask you to read on before simply dismissing the question out-of-hand. This came to mind after reading the 9Marks answer to the question: “What are the most dangerous threats to the gospel today?” What is interesting about the answers is how there is often a subtle version of these dangers lurking in children’s Sunday school classrooms—even in many solid, Gospel-exalting churches. ... More

  4. Illustrating a God-Centered Definition of Love

    Illustrating a God-Centered Definition of Love

    God is love. Maybe more than any other statement this has been used to identify God's basic essence. But if we consider God's love apart from the totality of God's nature, our understanding of God will be dangerously skewed. So what does God mean when He says that He is love? ... More

  5. Ministering in Light of the Throne Room

    Ministering in Light of the Throne Room

    This week, I have a challenge for us, as we minister to children and youth in our classrooms, or as we parent or grandparent. Let’s look at the young faces in our care and imagine them in the midst of this scene in the future: And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
    —Revelation 20:12-13 ... More

  6. Welcoming Children with Special Needs

    Welcoming Children with Special Needs

    Imagine a new child coming to your fourth-grade Sunday school class. He has a motorized wheelchair. He cannot speak intelligible words. His eyes, when open, seem to wander aimlessly. But, every once and a while, he seems to focus on a face or a sound. He smiles. Sometimes he lets out an excited “Ha, ha!” Are you and the children of your class ready to warmly welcome him? Are you prepared to include him, as much as possible, in various classroom activities? Do you see this child as a blessing from the Lord? Do you delight in the opportunity to serve him? Do you look forward to how this child can help you and your class become more like Christ? ... More

  7. What’s Absolutely Astonishing in Your Classroom?

    What’s Absolutely Astonishing in Your Classroom?

    Children’s and youth ministry can be characterized by many different kinds of activities and programs. It’s often tempting to focus much of our weekly planning on things like being sufficiently staffed, offering fun activities, and providing child-friendly worship music, a Bible lesson, and a snack. All of these things are good—in right measure. ... More

  8. 10 Tips for Answering Hard Questions in the Classroom

    10 Tips for Answering Hard Questions in the Classroom

    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. ... More

  9. Helping Children to Interact Redemptively with the Culture

    Helping Children to Interact Redemptively with the Culture

    Our children and youth are going to interact and engage in the world in which they livea world increasingly hostile to anything remotely “Christian.” So, the question becomes: How will they interact?  ... More

  10. Be Encouraged: God’s Eye Is Upon His Own Work

    Be Encouraged: God’s Eye Is Upon His Own Work

    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. Furthermore, your creative efforts to gain their attention and involve them in the lesson fail. 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? ... More

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