Teach One Reach One Ministries provides you with hundreds of ideas to make your Bible classes more impactful for your preschool, elementary and teen Bible students. Some of you may be overwhelmed, trying to change fifty things at once. As we teach in our godly strategic planning workshop though, it’s better to focus on a handful of changes or goals at a time. So what are the top five things you should focus on changing in your Bible classes?
- Activities. This is by far the weakest area in almost every curriculum we have seen. Either the activities are boring or they don’t add to what students are trying to learn. Activities shouldn’t consist of an endless string of coloring sheets, worksheets, meaningless games and crafts. Every activity should be meaningful, hands-on and memorable. You don’t have to throw out your curriculum. Rather use the free activities on our website to substitute for any weak activities. Our other tip under activities is that upper elementary and teen students can benefit from carefully chosen activities, too. In fact, our free Living the Christian Life teen curriculum has activities that teach teens critical Christian Life Skills.
- Scripture. Most curricula includes very little actual reading of scripture during lessons. Yet to become fluent independent Bible readers, young people need to become familiar with the vocabulary and cadence unique to scripture. For long Bible stories, at least pick out a few key verses to read out loud. When reading scripture, don’t forget to stop occasionally to help students process what they are hearing. (Adults should always read the Bible out loud in Bible class. Allowing students to read can have unintended negative consequences.)
- Questions. Many questions asked in Bible classes focus on asking students to remember the details of the story. While that is important, asking deeper, higher level questions will force students to think more deeply about what God wants them to learn. We have several great tools on the volunteer resources and blog areas of our website to help you ask better questions. www.teachonereachone.org
- Relationships. Your Bible students will benefit from having a strong relationship with you and other adult Christians in their congregation. Taking the time and effort to really get to know your students and help them develop mentoring relationships with you and other mature, adult Christians can make a huge positive difference in the spiritual lives of many young people.
- Conversations. Your students need a chance to talk through what they are learning, the connections they are making between scripture and their lives and any questions or doubts they have. Encouraging these conversations gives your Bible students a safe place to work things through with the guidance of a mature Christian. Many will never have another place where they feel safe to have these conversations – even within their families. If Christians miss the opportunity to have these conversations, you can be sure Satan will make sure your Bible students are provided with secular, anti-Christian chances to work through things.
Focusing on improving any of these five areas will immediately make your Bible class more impactful. You don’t have to make radical changes over night, but every tiny positive change means your Bible students will get a little more help becoming the people God created them to be.