You should see my “craft” room. Actually, you would be horrified. It is a staging area for Teach One Reach One, Parenting Like Hannah and dozens of other activities. It is a constant disaster area. I am a familiar face at all of the local craft and dollar stores. I can be seen grabbing strange things from nature or taking photos of all sorts of interesting things wherever I go. All in the name of hands-on Bible teaching and learning.
Sometimes people will ask me if it’s worth all of the time, effort and money I often put into my classes. The answer is a definite “Yes, absolutely!”. I don’t say this just because I enjoy being creative and finding exciting ways for children to learn things about God. (Even though I do.) I don’t say it because I have nothing else to fill my days, but work on teaching materials. (That is so far from the truth it is amusing!)
I say it because done well, hands-on Bible learning is the most effective way to place God’s principles and commands on the hearts of your students. I say it because hands-on Bible lessons will be lessons your students will remember for years after they have left your classroom. I say it because that is the way Jesus taught his Apostles. Experiencing life under his guidance and actually practicing and doing the things he wanted them to do after he was back in Heaven was how the Apostles learned from Jesus.
You may be deathly afraid of hands-on learning. You may fear your house will begin looking like my craft room. You may fear you will end up spending money on your class you don’t have. You may be afraid of taking even more time out of your busy schedule than you already do to teach Bible classes or tutor students while sharing the Bible with them. You may even be afraid you won’t be successful at hands-on teaching- even if you try it.
The only thing I can tell you is that perfect love casts out fear. I hope you are passionate enough about your students learning about God that you are willing to have a messy room or house from time to time. I pray you will find activities to use on Teach One Reach One that are within even the most non-existent budget. I dream you are willing to sacrifice something in your life to spare a few extra minutes to prepare a class that will sear God’s words onto the hearts and into the minds of your students.
Remember that scary passage in Revelations when God talks about spewing out the lukewarm Christian? The older I get the more I think perhaps it is as much about the passion we put into serving, loving and sharing our faith with others as it is about any rules we keep. I do firmly believe, if you are passionate about giving your students the most memorable godly lessons possible, you can never really be unsuccessful. As my friend often says. “God can make lemonade out of our lemons!” So the next time you start planning your class, grab a lemon or two and see if it doesn’t make a huge difference in what God uses you to accomplish for His Kingdom.