How to Inspire Children with Your Exciting Bible Lesson
For the month of October, we are continuing a fun little series on Creating Your Own Children's Bible Study.
Whether you're just starting out in children's ministry and have recently been handed a section of the lesson and told to "make it your own."
Whether you're a seasoned teacher who has found yourself bored with your current curriculum.
Whether you're a mom or dad who is looking to take charge and be intentional with your child's spiritual health.
Wherever you're finding yourself in this season, this is such a handy series for all of us to pay attention to! Who knows? Maybe you'll inspire your children's leader with ideas. Maybe you'll find yourself in complete awe at laying the foundation for your children to come to Christ. Maybe you'll find your ministry revived and coming to life through your own curriculum!
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope that this series proves to be a valuable one!
Previous Posts in this Series:
Ready to dive into this week's post?
I remember listening to one of my leaders share about a time when they had taught the story of Jonah and the big fish. They shared with a funny little gleam in their eye about how they had had this idea to open cans of tuna and strategically place them around the room. Their goal was to make the room smell more like being in the belly of a large fish. The gleam in their eye soon gave way to a slight chuckle when they talked about how the smell of tuna permeated the room so strongly that they had chosen to open the door of the classroom. And then the whole church smelled of tuna. But that's not the worst of it, the worst part was that this smell persisted for weeks after the lesson had been completed.
As silly as that idea was, those kids remembered that story for a long time after that lesson. Each week after the lesson, they'd smell that tuna and think of Jonah and whale.
Over the years, I can think of a few different instances where leaders have inspired children through the Bible stories they've taught. One specific image pops into my mind. She got up in front of the students and taught about how we should be a light. She was wearing a train engineer's outfit and carrying a lantern. I don't remember all the words she spoke, but what stands out to me is the passion with which she taught her lesson. Every kid's eyes were on her, completely mesmerized and inspired to live their lives by being a light.
If we want to inspire our children through these lessons, we need passion. We need to communicate the passion that resides in our souls! How do we communicate this passion?
Let's talk about four different elements to utilize when teaching a Bible lesson.
Obviously, if we're going to teach a Bible Lesson, we need to use Scripture to do it. Remember our conversation about the lesson's objective? This is one way to pull that in. If the lesson's objective is to teach about prayer, then consider using a story from Scripture on prayer. Look at people like Hannah or Daniel. Grab the Scripture reference and read it a few times, familiarizing yourself with the entire story.
When teaching your lesson, any story that is only a few verses, consider reading them straight from your Bible. Pick a translation that is easy for kids to understand, such as the NIV.
When we're teaching a lesson, sometimes the text is very long. When you're story covers many verses or chapters, consider summarizing the text for the students. Summarizing the text helps to keep the child's focus, whereas reading multiple chapters straight from the Bible, risks losing their attention.
If you choose to summarize the lesson, write down your summary and consider how to share it simply and for kids. Eliminate large words they may not understand.
Options for Telling the Story
This is my favorite part of children's ministry! Did you know that you're not stuck presenting the Bible in only one way? You've got a whole world of creative ways to teach and tell the story to kids! So what ways can you think of to creatively tell your Bible story?
A Skit- Who says that the person telling the story should be you (or only you)? Get a few characters together and act out the story.
Puppets- This is a fantastic way to teach a story when you're lacking people. After all, we all have two hands for large puppets or ten fingers for small ones!
Felt Board- This, in my opinion, is like the "oldie but a goodie" way of teaching. I remember my grandma teaching my Sunday School lesson and utilizing a felt board. There are tons of ways on Pinterest to make your own characters out of felt. If you want to be really creative, you could even have the kids help you create different characters for your felt board!
A Monologue- How about telling the story from one character's point of view? Even better, dress up as that character! OR... invite a guest speaker to come in dressed as their character and tell the story!
Tell the Story Using Different Voices- There was one storytelling ministry that I LOVED. It starred one man and his many voices. He would get up in front of his listeners and before he would tell the story, he would show you pictures of his characters so that you could get them in your mind. Then, he'd turn off the projector and begin telling you of a story happening in a fictitious land. Each of his stories would point you to a lesson that you could learn in the Bible. It was so creative. Just a few photographs and a few voices and this lesson captured the hearts and imagination of each of its listeners.
What creative ways can you think of for teaching a lesson? Because friend, this list isn't at all exhaustive!
I always like utilizing questions in my Bible lessons. Asking questions before, during, and after your lesson helps to open up the conversation to actually have a conversation. The more we ask questions, the better we understand what is actually helping our students to learn. We understand what they're comprehending. And from their answers, we can determine what we might need to go back over to help them understand more.
Under this heading, I'd also encourage you to allow the student(s) to ask questions. If they're stuck on any particular part of Scripture or the topic, it's best to address it so that they don't leave confused or having misinterpreted what you're saying.
How will you inspire your listeners?
Will you stand in front of them, speaking in passionless monotone or will you speak with passion and conviction? Will you choose to be creative as you deliver the lesson, or will you bore your own self?
If you're finding yourself struggling with this part of the lesson, please read this post on praying for your lesson. Allow our Creative God to inspire your creativity. Allow Him to reveal the content of His Book to inform your passion and conviction. And best of all, allow Him to lead every part of your lesson. Give Him permission to change your plans and do things His way. You won't ever be disappointed!