Welcome to a continuing series of tips on working with large groups of children. I hope that you will find these tips useful and be able to implement them in your dealings with large groups of kids. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know. For a complete list of posts in this series, please see the index page. So, without further introduction, here is today’s installment.
The Bible is the power of God (Romans 1:16). It is perfect (Psalm 19:7), pure (Psalm 19:8) and truthful (John 17:17). It is useful for teaching, reproof, correction and training (2 Timothy 3:16). It sanctifies (1 Timothy 4:5), strengthens (Job 4:4), restores (Psalm 19:7), enlightens (Psalm 19:8) and gives light (Psalm 119:30). In the fall of 2008, I compiled a list of the characteristics of the Bible called simply, God’s Word…
Despite these truths about the Word of God, many of those who work in Children’s Ministry neglect the Word of God in their teaching. Perhaps it is because we don’t feel like the kids we teach are really old enough to understand it, or maybe it’s because it’s easier to talk about behavior and values, but it is critical that we not neglect or minimize the Word of God in talking to kids.
The Bible is fundamental to our own spiritual journey and our relationship with Christ, and it is equally important to the kids we teach. Part of our job in Children’s Ministry is to impart an excitement for, and appreciation of, the Word of God. So how do we do this? How do we effectively use the Bible to teach kids? Let face it – expository teaching is not the norm when it comes to five and six year olds. There are some things we can do though to impress the importance of the Bible on their young minds. Make sure that your lesson incorporates scripture and stories from the Bible, and make sure your kids understand that what you are teaching them comes directly from the Bible. Tell them about all the exciting things they can find in their Bible. Show them how to use their Bibles and encourage them to memorize scripture.
When you’re telling a story from the Bible, make sure you are holding it open in front of you. This is an effective visual reminder for them that what we are teaching comes directly from God’s word. Teach them the truths that the Bible reveals about itself and how it is applicable to their lives. Explain to them that the Bible is a sword with which to battle temptation and the enemy. Remind them that the Bible is a letter to them from God. Help them to visualize the Bible as a light that reveals the will of God.
Furthermore, let the kids in your class see how excited you are about the Bible. Let your enthusiasm for the Word of God be contagious. Talk to them about what you’ve been reading and what you’ve learned from the Bible. Talk about how the Bible has changed your life. Answer their questions with reference to the Scriptures.
Most importantly, tell the kids in your ministry about Jesus. Impress on them that we do not worship the Bible, we worship the person that the Bible tells us about. Show them how every story in the Bible points to, is about, or emanates from Jesus. Explain to them that in order to get to know God better they have to read their Bibles. Help them to see that the Bible is the single most important book they will ever read.