Archive | Faith Based Academic Program

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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Reading the Bible In Classes for Kids and Teens

Reading the Bible In Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach One

 

When I observe Bible classes for kids and teens, it often doesn’t take long before the teacher asks a child to read a scripture. While we strongly encourage Bible class teachers to read part or all of their lesson from the actual Bible, I usually cringe when a teacher asks students to read from a passage of scripture.

Believe it or not, I have met more than one person who left church and sometimes God because they were embarrassed one too many times when called on to read in class. There are situations though, when it is appropriate to ask students to read out loud from the Bible. So how do you know if it is a good idea to have students read a passage of scripture out loud in class?

Before you ask another student to read scriptures, I want to encourage you to ask yourself the following questions.

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Teaching The Old Testament to Kids and Teens

How to Teach the Old Testament to Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneOne of the concepts we promote at Teach One Reach One is teaching the Bible to children and teens in ways that help them to understand the importance of it in their lives. While most of you probably feel comfortable doing that with the New Testament, you may be one of many who struggle with the Old Testament. You may even view it as a collection of stories to teach kids so they know how time passed from the beginning to Jesus – and not much more.

Recently, a minister I know suggested I get a copy of the book, How to Teach and Preach the Old Testament for All Its Worth by Christopher J.H. Wright. I rarely, if ever, recommend you purchase a book until I have thoroughly read it myself. This book has so much helpful information though, I am breaking my rule – that’s how badly I want you to read this book!

The reason I haven’t finished the book is because there really is so much useful information, I am reading more slowly than I normally do to make sure I am absorbing it all. Wright uses the book to give a master class for beginners (and the more experienced) on understanding and teaching the Old Testament to others.

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How Teach One Reach One Can Help Your Ministry to Kids and Teens (Inc. Lots of Free Resources!)

How Teach One Reach One Can Help Your Ministry to Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneYou may have just stumbled upon Teach One Reach One or perhaps you attended one of our workshops, seminars or classes and are wondering what other resources we have to help you.

God has blessed this ministry and we are constantly adding to the resources designed to help Christian parents and the volunteers working with kids and teens in churches, faith-based tutoring programs and on the mission fields of the world.

Currently, these are just some of the resources you can find on our website or can attain by contacting us directly through the contact us feature on our websites.

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Adapting Bible Class Activities for Student Interests

Adapting Bible Class Activities for Student Interests - Teach One Reach OneOne of the characteristics of an excellent teacher is that she (or he) can adapt the activities she does to teach or reinforce concepts in a way that captures the interest of her students. Bible class teachers can use that same skill to better engage their students in the concepts they are trying to teach as well.

There are a lot of different ways to do this, but the important key to being successful is getting to really know your students and what interests them. If they are all introverts who absolutely hate getting up in front of other people, encouraging them to write and perform a Bible play will possibly cause more angst than excitement.

On the other hand, you don’t want to get so caught up in student interests that the Bible stories and concepts get lost in the activity. A “Frozen” theme and activity would be a huge stretch to relate back to an actual Bible story (although I guess a case could be made for a principle or two). If your activities are too secular, the Bible part will feel forced or you may lose the actual point you wanted them to learn in the excitement of the secular piece.

Here are some of my favorite ways to shake up your activities and excite students by capitalizing on their interests:

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