Archive | Bible

Questions in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Questions in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneTeach One Reach One Ministries provides lots of free resources on the best questions to ask your students. What we probably haven’t shared nearly enough is our thoughts on the questions your students may ask you.

Some people are terrified of teaching Bible classes for teens and even kids, because they are afraid they won’t be able to handle student questions. Others may do things to almost discourage students from asking questions, or basically ignore them when asked.

It may not seem like it’s important to handle student questions well. Unfortunately, we are losing many young people for that very reason. They may not actually say that’s why they are leaving God and the Church, but if you read between the lines this is what they are communicating.

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Teaching Kids and Teens the Basics of Sharing Their Faith With Others

Teaching Kids and Teens the Basics of Sharing Their Faith With Others - Teach One Reach OneIt’s always interesting to me to find out how terrified most Christians are of sharing their faith with others. It’s not so much they are afraid of rejection – although I’m sure that’s a factor.

If you talk to them long enough though, you realize the main problem is they have no idea what to say or do to share their faith. The best they can do is live their life and hope people will eventually visit their Church.

The sad thing is, I believe we have made it more difficult than it needs to be. Look through Acts. It appears that often just minutes of teaching convinced people of their need to be baptized and become Christians.

In fact, I believe you can teach older kids and teens how to share their faith fairly easily. Yes, they will need practice to become truly comfortable, but understanding what most people need to hear and that they can share that information easily will help.

So here are the basics your students need to feel comfortable saying to others in order to share their faith:

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Teaching Kids and Teens Obscure Bible Stories

Teaching Kids and Teens Obscure Bible Stories - Teach One Reach OneDid you realize most purchased literature for Bible classes for kids only covers 30-40 Bible stories over the entire time a child in your ministry will be taught from it? Or that most children in faith based tutoring programs or on the mission field are exposed to even fewer Bible stories?

Do you know how many Bible stories there are in the Bible? Over 200! Children and teens who depend upon churches and ministries for their Bible education are getting less than 20% exposure to the stories in the Bible and less than 5-10% exposure to the rest of the scriptures. No wonder they have such a difficult time living their faith. They don’t know have a full picture of what that means!

As a ministry leader or teacher, you can make a difference. There are lots of ways to make sure your students are at least exposed to more of those Bible stories. After all, we have to assume God put those particular accounts into the Bible for important reasons. You can also do things to make sure your students have experienced more of great Bible books like Proverbs, Psalms, the Epistles and others rarely even mentioned in Bible classes for kids and teens.

Here are some of my favorite ways to make sure young people have a much broader exposure to all of that great material God placed in the Bible.

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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.