There is a certain comfort (and definitely no shame!) in following a Bible lesson that is pre-made or boxed up and ready to go. If you are like me, however, you may have a hard time finding lessons on the topics you want. At the least, you may want to tweak them a bit. While all of our kids need to be taught similar things such as “Jesus loves me,” there is so much more out there! If we are listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and He will lead us as we lead our children. Sometimes we are lead to a place where no man (or mom) has tread before–at least not to the point that they wrote those lessons down for the rest of us to find and follow! Sometimes we just need to do it in a new way that will reach our children.
If that describes you, then here are 5 things to make sure your Bible lesson includes…
1. Prayer–I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I don’t know how many times I have finished teaching a Bible lesson and then realized, “Oops! We forgot to pray!” Even with the littlest, or ESPECIALLY with the littlest, we need to make sure we are praying DURING our lesson, with our kids. If prayer connects us directly with the spirit of God, then that is the very essence of what we are trying to teach–whatever the subject is.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
2. Scripture–Memorization is an awesome tool for hiding God’s word in our hearts. Reading it straight from the Bible is the next best thing. We can say things however we want and tie up our thoughts in a cute little package. But no matter what we do, OUR WORDS ARE NOT LIVING AND ACTIVE. Will our words be thought provoking? Hopefully. But nothing like this…
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
3. Transparency–If we aren’t being open and honest, our students, especially if they are our own children, are probably going to tune us out. I want children to know how I have applied these lessons to my own life. If they perceive that my faith isn’t real, there is an enormous likelihood that they are going to walk away. As a mother of a perfectionist, this is especially important. My kids need to know that no one is perfect. We all need God’s grace. This is the one thing that no pre-packaged lesson can provide–real-life lessons FROM OUR OWN LIVES.
4. Application and Action–This step is often missing, especially for little ones, even though they are usually the most hands-on learners. We need to make our lessons tangible, real to life. Figuring out how to do this is often the hardest step. The popular saying is that we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 70% of what we write, and 90% of what we do. While there is argument over whether or not those numbers are exactly accurate, there is no denying that the saying became popular for a reason. WHAT WE DO STICKS. If we don’t want our lesson to stick, why teach it in the first place?
5. Worship–This is the element of a lesson usually left out. We were created to worship the Creator of the Universe. It is amazing that the Creator listens to us any time I want to offer up the tiniest of prayers. He took the time to write us an entire book/love letter. He gives us lessons to change us and never leave us the same again. That is worth stopping and saying thanks. If you don’t sing, find another way to worship. Whatever you do, acknowledge your Creator and Teacher and His life-giving lessons.
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Psalm 29:2 (NIV)
Inspiration for Bible lessons is all around, but if you need more ideas, please check out my Pinterest Boards as I work towards having ideas for each book of the Bible and topical boards as well. Each idea may not include all the elements above, but they are a great jumping off point! Check back in October for some fun Fall Bible lessons too–details to be announced October 1st!
What are some of your favorite Bible lessons (pre-made or not)? What have you seen make an impact as you teach the Bible? What made/makes an impact on you?