“The kids are going to love this!” I thought. “They get to play with slime all through class! They are going to invite their friends and beg to come back next week! Our children’s bible classes are going to spill over with so many kids.” Well, that’s what I thought as I put the lesson together and excitedly set containers of sparkling galaxy slime at their seats. Unfortunately, I did not take into account the need for training others on presenting the lesson. I thought slime was full proof, but I was wrong. I was so very wrong.
Kids need to know the bible is real and full of life. When you really look at the bible, and I mean really look, you will find so much interesting information as you turn the pages. Kids are fascinated as you point out strange or gross things from the scriptures. Don’t sugar coat God’s word. Kids are not interested in boring. They want on the edge of your seat thrilling! And how you share God’s thrilling message matters. Are you stoic or are you lively? Are you simply reading the words or are you giving them life?
Teaching bible class does need to be fun for kids so they look forward to coming, but it is more than just the activity. Back to my experience I mentioned earlier, the kids were so excited when they walked through the door and saw slime, but that quickly faded. I was disappointed as I peeked through windows in doors to see kids with blank stares. They were far from engaged. In one of my elementary classes, the teacher was reading the lesson with guided instructions for what to create from their slime. So what was the problem? There was no life, no enthusiasm in the reading of the lesson. For kids to engage, you have to show them the bible is alive, show lots and lots of enthusiasm, of excitement. I decided to test my theory as I subbed for a class and wow! The kids had a blast, they learned and asked if they could have this for class again. Presentation matters.
God’s word is fascinating when we tell it like it is. Just this past week I taught elementary kids about Joshua, a mighty warrior for God. He was on a roll defeating countries left and right as the Israelites took the land God had promised them. As he defeated nations, he captured kings and made a statement with their dead bodies. He stuck a pole through their bodies and put them up on display for a day. He didn’t do this just one time either. The kids were wide eyed and paying attention. They could not believe this was really in the bible. Show them how interesting it is and when the are paying attention, you can talk more about what we can learn from these accounts in scripture.
Asking kids to put themselves in the bible individuals shoes helps kids relate, makes them real. As you talk about Adam and Eve walking through the garden with God, ask them what that might have been like. Can you imagine walking around your yard with God just like he was your best friend? Do you think this might have caused them to see God differently than we do? We look at him with awe, almost untouchable, but for them, God was always there. It may not have seemed like a big deal to them. We can begin to see people from scripture as human when we ask questions like these.
The bible is far from boring so let’s make sure we portray it that way. Let’s help our kids engage in God’s word by sharing it with energy and enthusiasm. Give kids a reason to be wowed by God’s word! Stoic or full of life? Your decision may change the way a child relates to God’s word so give it your all.
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