By, Jacklyn Gunner
Far too often, teaching children the Bible becomes just a checklist. It does not matter if we are teaching Sunday School, Junior Church, in the classroom, or wherever God may allow you to teach the Bible to children — it just becomes a checklist.
- Did we go over the memory verse? Check.
- Did we tell the story? Check.
- Did we give take prayer requests? Check.
Do you see how the checklist can easily form? Then, if all the boxes are checked, we feel good about it. We have done our “job.” We have taught our Bible lesson for that time. But, have we? Have we tried to reach their heart? Sure, we have filled their minds with something from the Bible, but have we reached out to their true needs?
To better reach the hearts of the young children that sit before us, we must ask ourselves two
1. Do I believe these kids are saved?
This can quickly be answered based on the age of your kids. Lower elementary kids are most likely not saved. This is not because of rebellion or disobedience to Christ; it is because of their age. So, teach salvation. Teach them the love of Christ and how God loved them so much that He sent his Son to die for them.
We must tell the kids about the free gift of salvation. That is the most important lesson we could ever teach. If you are teaching older children, be careful how you address them. They might not all be saved, and we never want to give them a false security.
Phrases like “we as Christians” or “you as believers” can give false assurance. Use phrases like “those that have put their trust in Christ” etc. We never want kids to think they are saved because we think they are saved.
We must realize that by entering their child’s life and sharing this truth in a way that brings it all to light for them, we could be the answer to someone’s prayer. You could be their coach, their Sunday School teacher, their youth leader, whatever it may be. You could be the one that God uses to show them their need for salvation.
Then talk about your salvation testimony regularly. Tell the kids how God worked in your life and about the day you accepted Christ as your Savior.
2. What is God teaching you?
The greatest tool you could ever use when teaching the Bible is what God is teaching you.
Share what you were reading in your devotions. Share ways that God is stretching you.
It is very important for kids to know that you as their leaders may struggle with things too. It helps them know you are still growing, which means it is okay if they are still growing too.
Please do not let the only time you open your Bible be to prepare for a lesson. Dive into God’s Word and allow God to work in and through you.
We never know what happens in the homes of the children every night. We never know the burdens that these 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-year-olds and so on are holding inside of their little hearts. We must be ready for the spiritual battle each day. We must go in with the whole armor of God, and we can do that only when we are going to God ourselves. We are not going to battle the little 3-foot 2-inch person that sits in front of us. Oh no — the battle is much bigger than that! The devil would love to get to these kids at an early age. On average, by the age of 11 kids have been exposed to pornography.
You First website stated in their June 5, 2018, post by Amy Seele: “Kids don’t have to be looking for pornography; it is programmed to find them.” See, that battle is way beyond us, but we serve a God that has already won the war. So go to the Victor!
So, when you stand before the next class, go prepared. Go ready for the battle. Pray for those kids before class. Pray God will use you in just the right way. Pray with the kids. Show them that it does not need to be perfect or fancy; it just needs to be a real conversation with God. He wants to hear them.
Lastly, remind them that God has an amazing plan for them that is far beyond anything they could ever think of. God desires to use each one of them to do something wonderful! When we instruct these young people, we must strive not to just reach their minds, but to reach their hearts as well.