Searching the Scriptures for the Answer

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Is it possible to teach a Bible class without opening a Bible?  The surprising answer is that many people do just that.

When we use curriculum (or even this website) we might find so much information already prepared for us that we forget that we are teaching from God’s Word.  We may use great visual aids and various games and activities but never actually open a Bible in class.

If the teacher is not using a Bible then we shouldn’t be surprised if the children do not feel a need to.

In the Book of Acts people from two different locations were compared by how they studied God’s Word.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.    Acts 17:11, NIV

I want to be like the Bereans!  I want my students to be like the Bereans!

One way to help teach the children to search the Scriptures is through puzzles and games that require them to open their Bibles and search for the answers.  After teaching about how Jesus Healed Ten Lepers I asked the children to unscramble some important words from Luke 17:11-19.  At first, the children tried to work the puzzle without their Bibles but they soon realised that it was a little harder than they had thought.  With their Bibles open, they were soon able to unscramble these important words: Jesus, Leprosy, Healed, Thanked and Faith.

Click here to learn how to make simple Bottle Cap Word Puzzles for your class.

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Who Else is Teaching Children about God?

Teacher and Map

Is anyone else out there?

As parents and Bible Class teachers we can sometimes feel alone.  Children are hearing so many unhealthy messages from the world that we can feel inadequate in sharing the truth of God’s Word with them week after week.

But remember there are others around the world who, like you, love children and have a hope-filled knowledge that God will make an eternal difference in their lives.  They, like you, do not know the future challenges the children will face but they believe that the faith they will need comes from hearing God’s Word.

 

Stand Alone on the Word of God

  • Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are not enough.
    As Jesus reminded Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
    Matthew 4:4
  • Moral behavior and strong values are not enough.
    Jesus described discipleship to the Jews who believed him when he said,  “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
      Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
    John 8:32, NIV
  • Being born into a faithful family is not enough.
    The author of Romans talked about the people of God (the Jews) that did not accept his son, Jesus, when he writes, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
    Romans 10:17, NIV
  • We are not enough.
    Hopefully, we are doing our best to plant the seeds of faith in the children we teach.  But even the Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that, “neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. ”
    1 Corinthians 3:7, NIV

Others are standing with you!

You are not alone.  Each week people from around the world view http://www.missionbibleclass.org searching for help in sharing God’s word with children.  They are reading their bibles, preparing visual aids and devising activities that will help children better understand what God is saying in his Word.

This week these pages have been viewed 17, 843 times by people in 128 different countries.  So, you are part of a global community.

Scroll down below to see where your fellow teachers are from.

(The countries are listed in order of where the most views are from.)

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Preparing Children for the Cost of Discipleship

Application Using Situation Cards

Some people treat the bible like a book of fairy tales where each story always ends with the villain being punished and the good person being declared a hero.  But the bible is not a fairy tale.  There will eventually be a great day of eternal reckoning but, meanwhile, choosing to follow God comes at a cost and good people suffer along the way.

As much as I would like to protect children from this harsh reality of life I know it is my responsibility as a teacher to begin preparing them for the weapons Satan will relentlessly use against them.

Situation Cards are a simple way teachers can help prepare children in a way they can easily relate to.  It extends a bible lesson beyond facts and memorization to application to everyday life.

Situation Card exampleBefore class the teacher writes situations on cards.  In class, after learning what God has to say in his word, students take turns choosing cards and reading the situations.  The teacher guides conversation as the students describe what they might choose to do in the various scenarios.  The teacher encourages the children to discuss and pray about their concerns.  Refer to this short training video for instructions and an example using the story of the Stoning of Stephen.

Non-threatening, age appropriate conversations in the safe environment of a children’s bible class is a great way to help form the faith of a child.  This formation of faith begins in childhood as the Apostle Paul instructed the young man, Timothy:

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17, NIV

Doing Right Because It is Right

Joseph is Tempted

In Egypt, Joseph became a slave to a man named Potipher.  Potipher’s wife lied about Joseph so he went to prison.

While in prison Joseph interpreted the dreams of two prisoners (the former cupbearer and baker of King Pharaoh). The cupbearer was set free from prison and returned to the Pharaoh’s service.

When the Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret, the cupbearer suggested he call for Joseph. Joseph interpreted the dreams and Pharaoh was so impressed that he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt. 

Read more about Joseph and learn how to teach the story to children here: Joseph in Egypt and in  Genesis 39:1-41:57.

Joseph was a man of integrity.  He chose to live for God even though he was far from his family and living in Egypt, a land far from his home.

Children need to learn about integrity.  Integrity is doing the right thing because you know it is the right thing to do.  This means choosing to act or choosing not to act in a certain way even if there is no reward or recognition.  Integrity is choosing to do the right thing even if no one is watching.

To help children apply integrity to their everyday life try the following idea.

 

Situation Cards

Write situations on cards. Each child should draw a card and act out the situation on the card.   The other children can guess what the child is acting out and explain how this relates to integrity.  Here are some examples of what you might write on the cards:

  • Integrity is seeing rubbish/trash on the floor and picking it up and putting it in the bin without being asked.
  • Integrity is saying good things about someone when others are gossiping about them.
  • Integrity is choosing not to watch a movie that you are not allowed to watch even when you are at a friend’s house and your parents would never know.
  • Integrity is telling the teacher that you were playing by her desk and broke her vase while she was out of the room.
  • Integrity is telling the truth even if it means you will get in trouble.
  • Integrity is finding money on the floor at the library and reporting it to the librarian rather than putting it into your pocket.
  • Integrity is replacing someone else’s property that you broke.
  • Integrity is studying for the test and writing your own answers instead of copying someone else’s work.

Hunting for Treasure

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Children love the idea of finding hidden treasures.  Honestly, don’t we ALL enjoy the thought of finding hidden treasures?

Jesus must have known this when he used treasure and a valuable pearl to describe the Kingdom of Heaven.  

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.   “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it”.
Matthew 13:44-46  New International Version (NIV)

In the Parables of a Hidden Treasure and a Valuable Pearl, when a man found a treasure he hid it in a field and then sold everything he had to buy the field. Another man sold everything he had to buy a pearl of great value. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like this. When we find God we should do everything we can to follow him.

Here are some ways to help children experience the Parable:

  • Have children rewrite the parable using items of value to them. The treasure might be a million dollars or a huge diamond.
  • Print out this worksheet for an interactive discussion about what we treasure.
  • Write “God is MY Treasure” at the top of a poster board or large piece of paper. Bring catalogues, magazines, real estate ads and automobile ads to class and let the children cut out pictures of valuable things. Glue all of the pictures onto the poster. Discuss as you work.
  • Make a treasure box and decorate it with glitter, beautiful stones, etc. Write “God” on the inside of the box.
  • Use the “Crayon Resist” method to tell the story.  Instructions Here.
  • For review let the children choose a “treasure” out of a treasure box when they answer a question correctly.
  • Ask a jeweller how much pearls cost.  Ask if he or she knows the value of the world’s most valuable pearls.  Share the information with the class.
  • Find out if your public library has good picture books about how pearls are formed. Bring the books to class to show the children.
  • Play hangman using words from today’s story (treasure, Matthew, pearl, merchant, etc.)
  • Draw a vertical line down the centre of a chalk/white board.  Title one column with “God’s Treasures” and title the other “Man’s Treasures”.   Ask the children to help you think of items to write in each column. Discuss the value of each. Read Matthew 6:19-21.  (This application idea is called Drawing Contrasts.)