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.
I am an avid reader. I read something almost every day, and I go through stages during a year when I read numerous books over a very short period of time. Earlier this year, I posted My 2010 Reading List with some of the books I am reading, or plan to read, this year. You’ll note from my list that many of the books I am reading are books written for children or about children’s ministry. However, the third category of books on my list is “Books About Teaching.” As teachers of God’s Word, it is important that we understand different teaching techniques and different ways that kids learn. Just because God has gifted you with the ability to teach doesn’t mean that you don’t need to continue to refine your gift. If you teach kids, make sure you add these books, or others about teaching, to your list of books to read. Be constantly on the lookout for ways to improve your teaching skills.
One great source for information on how to teach is the Bible itself. One Bible study that I did last year, and which I intend to write about later this year or early next year, is the teaching methods of Jesus. Read through the gospels and reflect on how Jesus taught the people around him. Note his methods and his tone and the teachable moments that he finds in everyday situation. If those methods were good enough for the incarnate God, they ought to be effective enough for us.
Whatever you do in life, it is important that you study to remain up-to-date on current trends and to constantly improve your skills. As an accountant, I have to take a certain number of continuing education classes each year in order to maintain my license. Lawyers and doctors and other professionals have similar requirements. If you work with computers, it is important that you read manuals and go to classes to keep up to date on ever changing technology. We gladly invest the time necessary to grow in our professional careers. How much more willing should we be to invest time in becoming better and more effective teachers of God’s Word?