Our post last week on the benefits of field trips for Bible class students raised the question, “What are some great places to take a Bible class on a field trip?” No matter where you live, there are several broad categories of places that make great field trips for Bible classes. A quick internet search can tell you the options in that category for your area.
- Bible museums. If you have one of these in your area, you are truly blessed! Of course the Bible museum in Washington, D.C. is the most famous, but there is also a smaller Bible museum south of Atlanta and may be others scattered in other locations. These are set up for Christian field trips. The one near Atlanta has built reproductions of things like altars, tent homes, clay homes, olive presses, wells and more. These museums also often have actual artifacts on loan or that they have purchased. Field trips here give lots of opportunities for students to learn about the cultures in the Bible and how they lived their every day life. It can be helpful to make a visit yourself first to see what you want to highlight or consider asking for a guide who can often tailor the tour to your needs.
- Art and other museums. Browse the collections and exhibits of local museums. Don’t forget small museums. In Atlanta, the best museum for Bible class field trips is a small one on the campus of Emory University. But we have also had visiting exhibits on Egypt at our local natural history museum. Look for exhibits on Egyptian, Assyrian, Roman, Babylonian and Israeli art or artifacts (Note that Israel is sometimes called the Levant or Palestine in museums). The Greeks ruled/influences that area between the Old and New Testament, so you can sometimes find things in those exhibits. Look for things mentioned in the Bible from idols like Baal to clay lamps to seals and even mummies (Jacob and Joseph’s bodies were mummified in Egypt when they died.). Also look for coins or busts depicting people mentioned in the Bible. Don’t forget items from every day life like pots, jars, clothing and jewelry.
- Zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums and nature hikes. These are great places to point out the diversity, complexity and creativity in Creation, which is driving more and more scientists away from Darwin (although not quite accepting God as the Creator yet). Encourage students to take photos or draw pictures of those that make them the most grateful to God for His creation.
- Pottery or other craft classes. These can be great for understanding scriptures like the relationship between potter and clay, having a more realistic understanding of the work taken to do things during Bible times (like Dorcas/Tabitha making clothes) or as a step in gift discovery.
- Jewish temples or community centers. There are some rabbis happy to show various items in the Bible like a Torah scroll or explain the Jewish holidays to Christian children. (Be sure and make your expectations clear to avoid misunderstandings.) Our local Jewish community center builds a booth outdoors during the Feast of Tabernacles. You can also see if there is a local congregation of Messianic Jews who would be willing to hold a seder in which they also explain how it pointed to Jesus.
- Farms, petting zoos, etc. These can be great when talking about shepherds or Noah and the Ark. Many children have never seen a live sheep or even a cow if they live in suburban or urban areas.
- You pick produce farms. These are great for understanding stories like Ruth. Depending on the crops, you can discuss the various foods eaten in Bible times. You can also make this a service project by giving some of the produce you pick to those who may not be able to afford it.
- Delivering service projects. Service projects are more meaningful if students can interact with the recipients. Assisted living facilities, individuals in their homes and various shelters often welcome visitors. Check before though, as some groups have minimum ages for visitors.
So take your Bible students out of the classroom and extend learning opportunities. Trust me. Your students and their families will be excited about the opportunity.