How to Teach the Bible to Kids
Across the globe, Christians desire to teach the Bible to kids, because they know that God loves children and desires to capture young hearts for Himself.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
But many of the pastors and Christian leaders across the globe have never had any training on how to effectively teach God's Word to kids. So they resort to lecture-style Sunday school or to teaching only from one portion of Scripture like the 10 Commandments or the 4 Gospels. But we know that God has given us His whole Word and He has created kids to learn differently from adults.
That's why the Children's Ministry Training project exists. They gather hundreds of children's ministry leaders and pastors at once to train them in their culture how to teach the Bible to kids cohesively and effectively.
From Genesis to Revelation
God gave His children the entire Bible.
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 3:16-17)
So we should teach our children from the entire Bible also! This news is profound for some children's ministry workers and pastors. One pastor in Haiti who attended a children's ministry training conference said this:
Before, I used to teach the kids only the law. Now I know that I have to teach them from the whole Bible.
It's also incredibly effective to teach kids the Bible chronologically. This way they learn that the Bible is one cohesive Story of redemption. They learn God's character, his promise to send a Redeemer into the world, how He works throughout history to accomplish this promise, how Jesus is the perfect image of God and sacrifice for sin, and what a person needs to do to be saved from their punishment for sin.
Engaging All Learners
Some kids learn by seeing, others by hearing, and yet others by doing. Not to mention, kids have a lot of energy and short attention spans!
It's incredibly important that kids be taught from the Bible in an interactive way so that they stay engaged in what they're learning and so that the teaching connects to their little minds. The Children's Ministry Training project always trains teachers how to incorporate interactivity into their Sunday school lessons. They give children's ministry workers and pastors across the world the tools to do this on their own, even if they have limited resources at their church.
The Four Aspects of a Lesson
Sunday school Lessons for kids can have many elements, but these four are helpful starting points for pastors and children's ministry workers everywhere:
1. Memory Verse and Activity
If kids tuck away verses from God's Word in their heart when they are young, they can stay with them throughout their entire lives. Just repeating a verse over and over, however, is not always the best way for kids to memorize it. Instead, try singing the verse to a tune of a familiar song, or play a game like the one in this video. Here the children's ministry workers are learning how to erase words of the verse one at a time from their boards while still repeating the whole verse, filling in the missing words from memory!
In order to engage kids in the story you're teaching from the Bible, it's important to earn their interest in what you're saying! You don't need much to create props that invite the kids to use their imagination. One piece of fabric can be rolled up and rocked like a baby while you read the account of baby Jesus being born. Or that same piece of fabric could be laid on the ground and become Noah's Ark as you tell the kids they have to be standing on the Ark to be saved. As you read stories from God's Word, you could even introduce them to your sock puppet friends who will help you tell the story.
3. An Activity
There are so many games, crafts, or activities you can do to accompany your lesson. But one favorite among kids is to act out the story lesson in a skit. After you read them the story you're teaching from God's Word, You can give each child a character to play. Then ask them to reenact what they just heard as a skit! Here are a group of children's ministry workers at the same training conference in Haiti pretending to be kids reenacting Adam and Eve's sin in the garden.
4. The Lesson and Review
Rather than jumping in each week by reading a new story from God's Word, make sure to first begin by reviewing what the kids learned last week and weeks prior. With chronological Bible teaching, it's important that the kids can connect each of the lessons they learn to the weeks before and also with the big picture of the Bible as a whole. Making that connection for the kids helps them see that God is the same God throughout history who has a plan to save people from their sins and shame for His glory. It helps them see that they can put their confidence in God and trust Christ to save them for their own sin and shame. Also, once you finish telling the new story for the week, make sure you ask the kids questions about it to reinforce and make sure they understand what you taught!
Free Curriculum for Anyone
As people around the world learn about these methods for teaching the Bible to kids, we know it can be overwhelming. God has gifted people in different ways and not everyone can easily invent activities or even break down the Bible chronologically into lessons.
That's why the Children's Ministry Training project always gifts printed children's Bible curriculum sets to a representative from each church that attends their training conferences. This curriculum teaches the Bible chronologically and called "99 Adventures in God's Big Story" and is available for free download to anyone. It's currently available in English, Spanish, and French.
Get Involved in Children's Ministry Training
If you have a heart for children knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, there are a few ways you could easily get involved in this Children's Ministry Training project.
- Introduce us to a national believer who could host a training in their area
- Help us translate the 99 Adventures curriculum into another language
- Give financially to cover printing costs of the curriculum books gifted during training
- Pray for God to raise up more men and women across the world who are well-equipped to teach kids the Bible
If you would like to get involved in one of the above ways, please contact us to begin the conversation.