My good friend Anne Marie from Future Flying Saucers has some great ideas on teaching the Bible to kids to share with you today.
You’ve been around long enough t0 know that children come in all shapes and sizes. Each has differing abilities and talents. Each looks at the world differently.
While it is important that Biblical Truth not change, how we *teach* the Truth can, and should, differ. Many churches today go about children’s ministry in creative, and sometimes extremely, different ways depending upon location and social structure…..
Whether it’s large groups with flashing lights, or small groups circling in prayer, or families worshiping together, the message of Christ is paramount as the catalyst for spreading that gospel changes.
Many teachers of the Bible, parents and lay church workers, become stifled when they attempt to teach the same way people did 30 years ago. The children of today do not respond the same way as we might have when learning the Bible in church.
When I was growing up, it was odd to find a friend who did not go to church. In fact, it was odd to have a friend whose parents had been divorced. The lives of kids today are drastically different than ours were. And even if you did not grow up in church, the communities of today are not the same.
Maybe you are a parent or Bible teacher who feels ill-prepared to teach the scriptures to children. Perhaps hitting the main stories is doable, but you *know* there is more Truth that needs to be taught.
Our God is great because He supplies all our needs and He commands us to teach children. Therefore, we should never worry about what to teach. The Lord will provide the words. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us to diligently teach God’s words to our children. We are to do this when walking, sitting, in the morning, and in the evening.
“But HOW?” you ask. “Each of my kids is different. How can I teach so each understands and grows in the knowledge of the Lord?”
Study God’s teaching style. He used object lessons AND taught to different learning styles. You can do the same thing!
Teach Kids the Bible Using the Visual/Spacial Learning Style:
Nature is the largest object lesson. Pick up anything in the woods, backyard, beach, desert, and mountains and God will teach you something about Himself. Have your children go into the backyard and find something God created. Take your Sunday School class on a nature walk around your church. Ask them, What can you tell me about this object? and then ask, How does this object remind you of God? You might be surprised by your conversations.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:20 (NASB)
Teach Kids the Bible Using the Verbal/Linguistic Learning Style:
I find it amazing that God spoke and everything was. He is that He is. God is verbal and He desires to speak with us. Scripture memory is vital to wielding our sword of the spirit. If you aren’t already, introduce a new Bible verse to memorize each week. You can chose a topic such as ‘wisdom,’ or you could chose to memorize an entire section of Scripture, such as Psalm 1.
Saying the scripture, doing copy work, or playing with words are wonderful ways to teach Truth to our children. There are so many scripture memory games on Pinterest. Do something different. I recently found an app for my phone that is a fun scripture memorization tool. My children and I have a index cards which I put on a ring to hold our verses and we recite them every day.
Conversation and questions can do wonders for taking scripture from scratching the surface to deeper meaning. Inductive study can be done with preschoolers as well as high schoolers. For a free critical thinking and inductive reasoning Bible Pack for the story of Adam and Eve —> CLICK HERE.
Teach Kids the Bible Using the Aural/Musical Learning Style:
Music is a fantastic way to teach! There’s a song I taught in the classroom that lists the 50 states in alphabetical order. I still have students 20 years later telling me they *still* remember their states!
Scripture CDs are a great way to teach scripture memorization. Bible dramas on CDs are good too. For a struggling reader, you might find it easier to read a passage of scripture aloud and then have the child tell you about the story you just read. There are also audio CDs you can find that tell missionary stories.
If you aren’t familiar with JumpStart3, I encourage you to head over to their website and check them out. They create scripture memory songs that incorporate language, song, and hand-motions. Which leads us to the next way to learn…
Teach Kids the Bible Using the Physical/Kinesthetic Learning Style:
Any time you can add moving the body into a lesson the better! Using hand motions to help memorize the 10 Commandments or the 12 disciples will make learning a list easier. Have your children think up hand motions to go with scripture they are attempting to memorize. You may find they have an easier time remembering the words if their is a motion to go with it.
Assign parts to each child and then read a Bible story aloud while the children act it out. Bible stories that are fun to act out include: Jesus walking on the water, Daniel in the lion’s den, the crucifixion, Saul’s conversion, and the resurrection of Jesus.
Teach Kids the Bible Using the Logical/Mathematical Learning Style:
God is a God of order, not chaos. Logic and mathematics are daunting to many, but it has such strong significance when it comes to scripture. For children who enjoy numbers, have then think about every time the number 40 is used in scripture. The numbers 12, 3, and 7 are used quite a bit as well.
Consider studying the genealogies of the scriptures and creating timelines of the births and deaths of the patriarchs. This is a fun chart genealogy lesson that visually shows Adam through Noah.
Teaching scripture in a changing society does not need to be a fearful activity for parents and lay teachers. Our God is a creative God, and if you find yourself stuck on a Bible lesson that seems boring or confusing, talk to Jesus about it. He wants to be found. He wants us to seek Him. Count on Him to help you be creative. You will find that the Bible will come alive for you and your children when you teach using different learning styles!
Anne Marie has a graduate degree in education with a focus on developing curriculum and instruction. Her life journey includes over 25 years (so far!) in Children’s Ministry: Sunday School, Puppetry, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Church, and various outreach ministries. She is the founder of www.futureflyingsaucers.com where she shares creative, engaging resources and object lessons. Her book Walk This Way: Ethics and Sanctification Lessons for Kids can be found on Amazon.
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.