7 Keys to Teaching Children About God

Passing on our personal faith in Jesus Christ to children is one of the most important things we can ever do. A recent Barna study indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday. 

https://www.barna.com/research/evangelism-is-most-effective-among-kids/

Sometimes kids can be difficult to teach. They need to bounce. They need to talk about their pets. They interrupt. But put a few tools in your teaching tool belt and the problems will smooth right out.

  1. Teach the kids – not the curriculum. Many times, teachers enter the room with prepared curriculum and are insistent that the class get through the material. I have watched kids sit through lessons as words fly past them. Then the kids get up and go home with no idea of what it was all about. Speak to them, look into their eyes, let them ask questions. If you don’t finish all the material, bring it back for a second lesson. It’s better for the kids to go home with one firm thought, than for them to leave with everything over their head.
  2. Ask them if they have any questions. I often start my lessons this way: “What questions do you have about God?” I am amazed at the deep questions the kids have, that no one has taken the time to answer. “How can God be everywhere at once?” “How can Jesus be God if he is on earth and the Father is in heaven?” “Why is the Bible so hard to read?” “How did Jesus know what was going to happen to him?” These are all very important questions. If you don’t know the answer to something they ask, that’s okay. Just say, “I don’t know.” Then go find out and report back. Kids often feel shy about asking these kinds of questions, so I always let them know how important their questions are. The next time, they won’t be so hesitant.
  3. Give them hands on activities to connect with the ideas. Children are tactile. They need to see and touch – even taste. Let the kids act out Bible stories in mini-skits. They LOVE any kind of costumes. Keep the lines short and simple. Usually when we act out a Bible story, it only takes a minute or two, so we repeat it several times with different kids in different roles. Everyone is excited to try every role at least once! By the end of our time, they know the story very well. Paper cut outs, drawings, water paints, and clay molding all work very well too. Give them a theme and let them get to work. You will be astounded at some of the results.
  4. Respect their individual maturity levels. Some kids are full of deeply thought through questions while others just want to talk about their last soccer game. Don’t push kids. When they are ready, they will respond.
  5. Keep it short. Young elementary kids need a change of topic or activity every 10-15 minutes. Older elementary can maybe go 20-25 minutes, then change up the activity. Get them up and moving. Give them something to create. Watch for signs that they need a change. When the kids lose focus, they are not being disobedient, they are being the kids God created them to be.
  6. Really listen to them. What did they go through in the past few days or week that was hard for them? What excites them? Children often struggle with the death of a pet for far longer than we think they should. If they are still talking about something, it’s important to them.
  7. Teach in small groups. Five to eight students in a group is ideal. Any more than that and some kids will get lost in the crowd. Those are the ones who will most likely choose to stay home when their parents give them the choice or when they become teenagers. And they may never come back.

Children love hearing the stories of the Bible. And they love any adult who will sit with them and share their own stories of faith. I teach children because they pour their love right back to me.

What have you found helpful when teaching children? Let’s get a conversation going and reach those kids for Christ.

Commanded to Teach the Children

O my people, hear my teaching; Listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old — What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done.

Psalm 78:1-4

We have been entrusted with a most sacred duty. We are to teach the Word of God – the Holy Scriptures to the children.

  • Truth
  • Christ, his death and resurrection
  • Secrets of life and death
  • The Holy Spirit
  • How to be filled with the indescribable Love of God
  • God’s guidance for living a godly life; wisdom, understanding, drugs, deceit
  • Knowledge for salvation

Our children are the very ones who will run our churches, marry and have children of their own to raise in the church.

The children come every Sunday, sit in these rooms, with eager minds and hearts, they want to know the truth. They drink it in faster than we can pour it out.

And we are too busy.

One parent, when asked to help teach the children said, “Spend time with the kids? No way!”

He (God) decreed statutes for Jacob (God’s people), And established the law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, Even the children yet to be born, And they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God, And would not forget His deeds, But would keep His commands.

Psalm 78:6-7

When no one teaches the children about God and His deeds and laws, then the children wander through life looking for the love they crave. They become lost. They become targets for those looking to use, abuse and destroy.

The children are the future. Will the future be one of life in God? Or will it be one of a living death?

It will be up to you.

How Long Are We Here For?

On Tuesday I posted a blog about our purpose in life. Little did I know that within 24 hours of posting that blog two friends would pass away.

Tuesday evening a good friend went outside in the evening for a quick errand. When he did not return, his wife went looking for him. He was laying in the snow and was already gone.

Wednesday in the early morning hours, a lady (whom I know from church), rolled over in bed and discovered that her husband had died in his sleep.

Both of these deaths were completely unexpected!

We cannot know the day nor the hour that God calls us from this life into the next.

We can know our purpose here in this life. It is not to live as many days as we possibly can. It is not to accumulate as much stuff as we possibly can. It is to “love God and serve Him will all our might.”

One friend never attended church and one did. Church attendance does not indicate salvation. I do not know where either of these men were, in their relationship with God. However, their opportunity to make a decision for Christ is now past.

Friend, do not wait. You do not know at what hour God will call you from this life. Only a commitment to Christ can ensure your next life will be in Heaven, surrounded by the love of God.

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I have thought of this parable many times today: Luke Chapter 12 –

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

This very day reach out to Jesus.