Archive | Bible

Signs Your Ministry to Children or Teens Is Drifting

Signs Your Ministry to Children or Teens Is Drifting - Teach One Reach OneWhen Christians start a Children’s or Youth Ministry or community outreach program for youth, they usually have the best of intentions. There is talk of raising up the next generation to be strong Christians. There are goals of conversions or lives being changed by learning about and following God.

Yet, when you examine many of these programs a few months or at best a couple of years later – they are virtually indistinguishable from secular programs. Oh, a Bible story is still probably told, but the emphasis has totally shifted. Instead of their original goals, they are now trying to merely entertain or provide secular education or housing or clothing or a safe place to hang out with friends.

Don’t misunderstand. None of those things are wrong. It’s just that when your focus switches from the spiritual to the secular, you are no longer meeting the entire standard God set for us. In scripture, there is definitely talk of social justice. It is always, however, in the framework of caring for those who are already God’s people or for pointing the unchurched to God so they can follow Him.

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Asking the “Big” Questions in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Asking the "Big" Questions in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneA large part of our ministry at Teach One Reach One is to try and take educational research and see if using those principles can improve the effectiveness of the Bible classes we have for kids and teens. Recently, there has been some discussion on the role of “metacognition” in learning.

When you boil it down, metacognition for the Bible class teacher basically means “Are we so busy focusing on the little details in Bible stories that we aren’t asking important life changing questions?” Don’t misunderstand. Knowing the details of Bible stories has a place. It goes back to the Bloom’s taxonomy and levels of learning we have shared with you in blog posts and workshops.

Unfortunately, when teachers become so focused on the details, they may miss realizing their students don’t know what they are supposed to learn from the story and what God wants them to do with that information. In fact, the students themselves often believe they “know their Bible”, when in fact they just know lists of random facts and commands – not really how to practically use it in their lives.

In fact, asking the big questions goes beyond just your class. You need to teach your students to ask themselves these types of questions after any Bible class, devotional, sermon and especially after independent Bible reading. Then if they don’t know the answers, teach them how to find someone who will help them find godly answers to those unanswered questions.

So what are some “big questions” that need to be asked? There are probably quite a few, but these will get you and your students started.

  • What does God want me to learn from this Bible story or scripture?
  • What confused me in this Bible story or scripture?
  • Where can I find godly explanations of the things that confused me?
  • Did this Bible story or scripture make me want to ask more questions?
  • Where can I find godly answers to my questions?
  • What does God want me to do in my life because of what He wanted me to learn from this Bible story or scripture?
  • Do I need to learn how to do what God wants me to do after studying this Bible story or scripture?
  • Where can I get godly help if I am having trouble doing what God wanted me to do after studying this Bible story or scripture?

If you can get in the habit of asking your students these types of questions at the end of each class, you will help many fill in important gaps in their faith foundation. If you can teach your students to ask themselves these questions regularly, they are much more likely to actually apply what they read in the Bible or are taught to their daily lives. It’s definitely worth the time and effort to instill this great habit of asking “big questions” in the lives of your students.

 

Why We Need to Change How We Teach Kids and Teens About Christmas

Why We Need to Change How We Teach Kids and Teens About Christmas - Teach One Reach OneChristmas is a beautiful time. Everything is decorated. The air is often filled with the smell of hot cider and cookies baking. Everywhere you go beautiful music is playing. It even provides a great opportunity to teach kids and teens about Jesus.

The problem comes when we as teachers editorialize the birth of Jesus to make it fit the way it has evolved in our cultures over the last two thousand plus years. Satan can, and often will, use those additions and changes to the story to try and convince young people they are being fed a bunch of lies about everything at church.

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When Bible Classes for Kids Are Cancelled for Weather or Holidays

When Bible Classes for Kids Are Cancelled for Weather or Holidays - Teach One Reach OneWinter can cause all sorts of cancellations of children’s bible classes. Snow and ice, holidays, flu season – you name it – it seems like every other week for several months you either don’t have class or most of your students are missing.

The time you have with your students is limited enough without losing weeks of valuable class time. There probably isn’t much you can do about the weather or holidays. You can however do some things to encourage your students’ parents to spend some time with their kids teaching them about God.

Often parents don’t do much Bible teaching at home, because they have this mistaken belief it’s too hard. Or costs a lot of money. Or requires them to have a degree in Bible.

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A Vision for Teaching Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

A Vision for Teaching Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneAre you a visual learner? Do you like seeing the big picture before someone starts giving you all of the details? Can you picture things when people begin describing them to you? For many of us, having a visual of a concept or a plan helps us remember where we are headed. It helps us recall our purpose and our goals. It can even motivate us when the every day issues of striving towards a goal become exhausting.

This summer someone introduced me to what I think is a wonderful vision for teaching the Bible to kids and teens. It’s found in Psalm 1.

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