Spark Their Imagination
Use the word “imagine” when you teach. Don’t always rely on cartoon drawings from the curriculum or a quick Google image search.
Sometimes the most interesting Moses, is the one you have your class imagine. Not everyone in class has the same capacity to imagine, so this is also good training for your kids.
For the ones who have a vivid imagination, the Bible might ‘come alive’ for them like never before.
Inspire kids to see the world differently
Every week try to change your class’ perspective on life…even just by a little bit.
Remember, by default we all look at the world the way we were trained to. Based on our culture, our upbringing, and our teaching, we see the world through a “filter” or “lens”. Do everything you can to help kids step outside that and see the world from the perspective of a slave in Egypt, a fisherman in Galilee, or an Apostle in prison.
Not only does this make you a more interesting teacher, but it has the potential to change their life.
Remind them that their past doesn’t define them
I forget this a lot.
Unfortunately there are a lot of kids, who already have a complicated past.
I was talking to a friend the other week about his family and they have several kids who’ve been adopted. Some of their adopted kids have had life experiences I couldn’t begin to imagine.
Don’t forget to incorporate other life experiences you may never have had into your teaching and into the way you communicate. Many kids come to church with more of a past than you could ever imagine.
The best ideas often come in the quietest moments
Ever been in one of those moments where you are absolutely wracking your brain over how to explain something?
Ever had a Saturday night where you had to find an object lesson and the search was completely maddening?
I’ve experienced some of the best breakthroughs when I stop trying to think of something brilliant and instead, take a walk around the house. If you have the opportunity, take a drive…with the radio off.
Your subconscious mind is a powerful tool that needs quiet to function best. Put it to work by taking a walk, or taking a drive. It just might surprise you what you think of.
Sunday morning should be just as engaging as Friday night
Kids are going to Taylor Swift concerts, seeing the latest Pixar movies, and playing the hottest video games.
So we all better spend some time figuring out how we are going to compete. We don’t have to invest thousands of dollars every week to create amazing life-like animation, but at the very least, be prepared and know where you are going.
Even though they can’t necessarily pinpoint what it is, kids know when you are ill-prepared.
Anything done well takes time. Take the necessary time to make Sunday as amazing as you possibly can.
The Bible is full of history, tell the story
Too often we tell “Bible stories” when what we are teaching is actually history. The events we talk about really happened in the history of this world.
Don’t just tell a story from the Bible, instead talk about a time, a place, a setting, a people, and a problem like you would if you were teaching a history class.
Just like the Pilgrims struggled to figure out the new world they later called America, I’m sure Joseph had to figure out his new surroundings when he arrived at Potiphar’s house in Egypt.
In the Bible, we don’t always have the same level of detail that we get in our history books, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything in our power to make the story jump off the pages of Scripture. If we stop looking at a Bible story and start looking at a piece of history I bet our teaching would get a lot better.
The Bible takes place in different parts of the world…describe them!
Egypt was at a geographically perfect place. Because the Nile River was there the land was fertile and the people had access to good water. This is one of the reasons Egypt was the superpower it was!
Paul did a lot of traveling by boat as he made his missionary journeys. And what a seasoned veteran of the seas he became. In his Epistles he describes some of the shipwrecks and difficulties he endured as he traveled. Part the Apostle Paul’s story was the fact that he traveled so much!
In a Sunday School classroom, little minds will naturally put the Bible in a modern setting. When we say “road” they think of a paved flat, painted surface. When we say mountain, they think of that time they went to the mountains to go skiing or camping.
Take time to describe where the story takes place. It’s very different than what our mind’e eye naturally conjures up.
The Bible is full of real people, describe them that way.
We have a tendency to create “Sunday School characters” when we teach the Bible.
These stories of people doing amazing things just don’t naturally come across as totally relatable.
No kid has ever said, “oh yeah, I’ve seen manna fall from heaven before!”
Even though we haven’t experienced many of the things described in Scripture doesn’t mean that we can’t relate to the characters we talk about as real people.
These were people, just like us. Human flesh and blood. Imperfect and totally “normal”.
Many of them did great things for God, but never forget…they were all very REAL people. Make sure the way you tell the story helps kids understand this. It’s important that the Bible characters were “normal people” if we have any hope of ever relating to their stories and learning from their lives.
Take them on a journey
You aren’t “telling a Bible story”…you are taking a trip half way across the world to a different place, a few thousand years ago.
Let imagination take flight and whisk the kids away on an amazing Bible adventure as you explore a little piece of history together!
It’s OK to say “I don’t know”
You don’t have everything figured out.
Sometimes God’s Word doesn’t all wrap up into a nice neat “bow”.
There are things we will never understand this side of heaven.
Get comfortable with that.
Communicate that to your kids.
Besides, if you have God and the Bible, seemingly all figured out, then God can’t ever be much bigger than you are.Share this post: