This is a guest post from my good friend Anne Marie from Future Flying Saucers who creates the most amazing Bible object lessons for kids. You can check out a list of her top ten free Bible Object Lessons for kids here.
Are you a Christian parent? Then you are a Bible teacher. Do you volunteer at your church? Do you teach Sunday School? Children’s Church? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you are a Bible teacher. How is it going?
Whether by choice, or necessity, you are teaching children about Jesus. And if you are like me, you want to present creative Bible teaching that changes lives, and doesn’t just fill up a given time slot. You want to be an effective Bible teacher.
An effective Bible teacher would be one who sees children gaining knowledge and wisdom of the scriptures. One who guides children through spiritually deep discussions as hearts are turned toward serving Jesus.
This sounds great, but there are some hindrances to effective Bible teaching, and it’s important to stay away from those and use creative Bible teaching to get your point across without watering down the Gospel message.
The Number One Hindrance to Effective, Creative Bible Teaching is Not Having a Plan.
When I was in college I was given the task of teaching Bible at a church summer camp. Sounds great, right? Wrong. I was given no curriculum. None. And no guidance from church leaders. Granted, I was in college and knew my Bible. I’d been in church my entire life. But that doesn’t mean I was ready to teach kids about Jesus.
Whether you use a boxed curriculum or write your own, you must have a plan. I can remember staring at those kids in my class one afternoon, wondering what in the world I was going to do with them for the next hour. That is not a good place to be, and that’s not a good plan for creative Bible teaching that changes lives either.
- You need to know your time limit.
- You need to know the ages of the kids you are teaching.
- You need to know the topics you are going to teach.
- Are you going to teach the Bible chronologically? (I recommend this!)
- Are you going to teach the life of Jesus?
- Are you going to teach about certain people of the Bible?
- Are you going to teach character traits?
- Are you going to teach a certain book of the Bible?
- How long will each lesson last?
- Are you going to do an entire month on the life of Paul? Or one week?
Another Hindrance to Creative Bible Teaching that Changes Lives is Thinking You Know it All.
There is no room in Bible teaching for arrogance. If you think you know it all, you will not be an effective Bible teacher. The more you teach, the more you will realize how much you do not know about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible.
I know that when I hear a Bible teacher who answers questions with short answers and with all confidence, I run away from them and their teaching. FAR away.
It is OK to say you do not know the answer to something. It is OK to say, “Let me tell you what I think might be an answer…” People who are arrogant in their teaching are not teachable themselves. They think there is no room for improvement.
The last I checked, people make mistakes. I know I do. I also know I do not know everything, which is why I love communities like the Bible Lessons for Kids group where we can all help each other.
You are not a perfect Bible teacher. In fact, on your best day when everything goes without error, you still come up short, because we live in a fallen world. And anything good that we do is because of God’s grace.
Thinking You Can’t Teach and Aren’t Good Enough is the Third and Final hindrance to Effective, Creative Bible Teaching that Changes Lives.
Every Christian should, in some way, attempt to teach others (Matthew 28:20). But everyone has different talents. And everyone has diverse ways of communicating with different age groups. Have you ever thought about the types of people God has used throughout history? While you may have a different talent than me, that does not mean it is inferior. It’s different.
You are unique. You have a voice that children need to hear. Maybe you rock it out with preschoolers and puppets. Maybe you feel more comfortable rocking in the chair with a 6-month-old. Maybe you enjoy praise music with 4th graders. Maybe you enjoy intense Bible study with high school young adults. Maybe you have a heart to listen to a confused middle-schooler. Maybe you feel more comfortable teaching adults.
Whatever your talent, you have a place in the church and home where you need to teach effectively.
You CAN teach.
You ARE good enough.
Whether they’re your own kids or kids at church, understand that God WILL equip you to teach those He has called you to teach.
- How effective are you?
- Do you have a Bible teaching plan?
- Are you in the Bible yourself, knowing that you do not know all the answers?
- Are you motivated to do your best to teach whomever God places in your path?
If the answers are YES, then you’re off to a great start!
Anne Marie has a graduate degree in education with a focus on developing curriculum and instruction. Her life journey includes over 25 years in Children’s Ministry. She is the founder of www.futureflyingsaucers.com where she shares creative, engaging resources so parents and teachers can share Jesus with confidence. She owns the Facebook group Bible Lessons for Kids and is the author of Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids and What God is Saying: Old Testament Object Lessons for Kids.