Archive | Culture

Mindfulness in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Mindfulness in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneIf you keep up with trends in society or education, you may have heard about “mindfulness”. For those of you who were kids during the 70’s, you may have associated it with meditation or yoga and many proponents do suggest them as a way to practice mindfulness. As a Bible class teacher though, you may wonder whether disciplines often associated with religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism have a place in Bible classes for kids and teens.

Thankfully, modern researchers have included Christian disciplines in some of their research. Studies show prayer, reflecting on scripture and fasting (which usually incorporates highly focused prayer and scripture reflection), produce the same benefits as meditation and yoga. (Meditation is actually also a Christian discipline. See Psalm 1:2, Philippians 4:8 and others for more details.)

Continue Reading →

Culture and Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Culture and Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneWhen I moved to New York City after college, it was winter. Entering my first typical NY coffee shop, I ordered an iced tea. The owner looked at me like I had two heads. Horrified he said, “That’s a summer drink!” When I reassured him those of us from Virginia drank iced tea year around, he handed me a tea bag, a cup of hot water and a glass of ice.

While not my first experience with culture shock, it was perhaps the first time I realized how very many things are effected by one’s culture – even within the same country and a few hundred miles apart. Since then, I have traveled quite a bit more and lived in yet another region of the U.S.  I have learned that everything from vocabulary to food to favorite songs can be changed by one’s culture.

Continue Reading →

The One Quality Sunday School Teachers Must Have To Be Effective

The One Quality Sunday School Teachers Must Have To Be Effective - Teach One Reach OneI guess the first question we must ask is, “What defines effective Sunday School teaching?” If we asked 100 different people, we would probably get 100 slightly different answers. I would imagine for most of us though, we would consider ourselves effective if we made a positive difference in the spiritual foundation building of our students.

We sometime allow ourselves to forget the purposes of Sunday School (or any Bible class for that matter). Initially, Sunday School was created (educated guess, I grant you) to assist parents in teaching their children about God and what He wanted for them and from them. It was an opportunity to reinforce what the parents were already teaching at home. If done really well, it also provided additional practice in Christian Life Skills, teaching areas of the Bible not yet taught at home and more.

Continue Reading →

Great Resource for Teaching Bible to Older Kids and Teens

Great Resource for Teaching the bible to Older Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneOne of the tools you can use to help your students remember your lessons is to give them connections to material they already know and understand. Often with the Bible, this means connecting the geography and customs to modern countries and societies.

Recently, I was offered the chance to review a resource that may give you the help you need in finding and making those connections for students. The Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlas with Biblical Background and Culture by Paul H. Wright may just be the resource you need.

The book is divided into twenty-four chapters, primarily around a person in the Bible like Jonah or Peter. (A couple of the chapters are more catch-all in nature.) The chapters contain the expected maps as well as artistic representations, photos of artifacts and photos of the actual locations or ruins of places mentioned.

Continue Reading →

Do You Actually Like the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class?

Do You Actually Like the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class - Teach One Reach OneJohn Maxwell – a leadership expert – wrote “How can you lead people when you don’t like or respect them?”  (Winning With People p. 21) As you know, Teach One Reach One strongly believes every volunteer who works with children or teens is a leader. So my question for you is “Do you actually like the kids or teens you teach?”

Your students don’t all wear the same shoes.  They were created by God to be individuals. Their environments and experiences also make them different. Even identical twins are not exactly alike. Some of those differences will naturally create an emotional distance between you and some of your students.

If you have a student who misbehaves or is disrespectful or even reminds you of someone (possibly yourself) you don’t like, you may bristle every time you see him or her.

Yet to really effectively point your students to God, you absolutely must find a way to like each one of them. For some, that will be easy. For others, you may always struggle with liking them. Yet, try you absolutely must. As John Maxwell might say – they can tell if you don’t like them and they won’t want to hear what you have to say – even if you are quoting God.

If you find yourself struggling to like a student, you might want to try some of these tips to help.

Continue Reading →