The Power of “Why” In Bible Classes For Kids and Teens

The Power of "Why?" in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneTeach One Reach One spends a lot of time training Bible class teachers to ask students questions on a variety of levels. These varying questions will help young people process the Bible and form faith foundations in increasingly more complex ways. If you haven’t seem them before, you might want to read our free handouts on Bloom’s Taxonomy for Bible Classes and Asking Better Questions In Bible Classes.

Perhaps one of the most important questions you can ask your students is “Why?”. It is a crucial question for assessing whether your students are not just learning the facts, but understanding why they are important. It can help you discover whether or not your students understand why God wants them to do something. It can even reveal a bit of their hearts and minds, if you ask it in non-threatening ways.

Want to conduct a little teacher experiment? I will warn you, this is only for the brave and may very well break your heart. Ask your students the following why questions. Their responses will give you a hint as to how much of a faith foundation their parents, their church and Bible class teachers like you have helped them build so far.

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Do Personalities Matter for Children and Teen Bible Class Teachers?

Do Personalities Matter for Children and Teen Bible Class Teachers - Teach One Reach OneChurches, mission fields and faith-based tutoring programs often have interesting beliefs about volunteers. One of the most prevalent is that any “warm body” will do – it’s the curriculum and program offerings as a whole that really matter. As a result, many of these groups trying to reach children and teens for God will allow untrained volunteers to work with kids. While we will address that in other blog posts, there is an even more disturbing result of this attitude.

At times, these ministries will place volunteers as teachers and mentors who are shall we say a bit “prickly”. They may not really want to be volunteers, but have been guilted to “fill a slot”. Worse yet, some may not even like kids or teens or have very negative attitudes towards them.

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Are You Really Listening to the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class?

Are You Really Listening to Your Students - Teach One Reach One

Want to make a difference in the lives of your students? Want to help them reach their godly potential? Want to give them the tools they will need to be productive Christians? Want to help them through tough times?

To be able to effectively do those things, you have to know what is going on in the hearts and minds of your students. Most young people have learned to protect themselves by giving out as little of that information as possible – especially to teachers. So how can you find out how to best minister to your students?

One of the skills many highly impactful teachers have learned is how to listen to their students on multiple levels. The information gathered from this more intense form of listening gives them clues as to the questions and actions they need to pursue next with their students. So what levels of listening do they use?

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Time and Teaching Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Time and Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneBefore I go into a location and train volunteers who work with kids and teens, I always ask what issues they are having with volunteers. Often, the top two or three concerns involve some aspect of time. I am beginning to realize many volunteers teaching Bible classes for kids and teens could enhance their effectiveness by making a few changes in the way they manage time.

So what are the five time influenced behaviors that can have the greatest positive impact on your students?

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Teaching the Bible to Kids and Teens with Special Needs

Teaching the Bible to Kids and Teens With Special Needs - Teach One Reach OneI recently read the book No Greatness without Goodness by Randy Lewis. In it, Lewis tells the story of how he convinced Walgreens to employee large numbers of people with special needs, while also giving them regular salaries and benefits. (If you have a child with special needs or work with children who have special needs, I think you will find it to be extremely encouraging.)

Here is my most important take away from the book. I believe the church needs to revolutionize the way we teach kids and teens with special needs in Bible classes. Lewis and his team took the attitude that failure was not an option. If regular methods to motivate employees or have them complete a task weren’t working, they found a way to make it work.

So many times in churches we unknowingly communicate the message that children and teens with special needs are somehow “less than”. We discourage parents from bringing them to Bible class. We give the children coloring sheets, while other students are engaged in more hands-on, meaningful activities. We don’t ask them questions. We don’t ask parents how to help them learn. We don’t ask the child with special needs what he or she needs to make learning easier. We assume they don’t want to become a Christian and rarely even bring up or study baptism with them. We may even look the other way or ignore the children and their families. On rare occasions, families have even been asked to find somewhere else to worship.

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