Teaching children is one of the most rewarding opportunities a person can undertake. But it is also an opportunity that can turn into a train wreck if the wrong approach is taken. Children are hard-wired for messages full of interaction and engagement…not an hour-long lecture. If you’ve attempted the hour-long lecture, you have most likely made the vow: “never again!” Lets face it, we could all use some some Sunday school teaching tips from time to time.
Children’s ministry is a unique audience that requires a unique approach. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro, or being asked to teach Sunday school for the first time, here are some surefire solutions.
5 Surefire Sunday School Teaching Tips to Improve Your Weekend Service.
Study First, Then Teach:
Our first of five Sunday school teaching tips is all about priorities. No amount of games, props or object lessons can ever replace time spent in your Bible. The centerpiece of your Sunday school lesson is the living Word of God. Spend time reading through your passage, researching things you don’t understand, and praying that God would show you exactly what He wants you to share.
Make Your Teaching Touchable:
Jesus would often use physical miracles to impart spiritual truth. In Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus fed 5000 people by asking the disciples to pass out loaves and fish. The disciples not only got to hear about God’s ability to provide, but they also got to hold it in their hands! Look for ways to put your teaching in your children’s hands. Talking about sin? Allow your kids to drop some dirt into a glass of water. Sharing about being made in the image of God? Let your kids hold a small mirror and look at their reflection. Remember, this Sunday school teaching tip is all about a kid’s desire to learn through experience!
Tell A Story:
Next on our list of Sunday school teaching tip: The power of story! Story is the greatest way to deliver truth. In large settings, Jesus taught almost exclusively in parables. He told stories that drove home a spiritual point. The teachings of Jesus relied heavily on story, and we would do well to follow his example. There are many ways you can bring the element of story into your teaching. First, tell the story of your Biblical passage, or if you can, show a video of it! Second, tell a personal story of a time you experienced the theme of your teaching. Finally, let the kids share their own stories related to the teaching.
Let Them See It:
There is nothing like a good object lesson to bring a message to life. When Jesus wanted people to consider God’s ability to provide, he had them look at the lilies of the field. When he wanted them to consider the power of faith, he had them consider a mustard seed. There is something very powerful in teaching when we can say “This [spiritual truth] is like this [familiar object]. If you are talking about God’s comfort, bring in some stuffed animals and let your children hold them. If you are talking about Jesus being the bread of life, bring in a big loaf of french bread!
Some of Jesus’ most profound teachings began with him asking a question. An example of this is in Matthew 16:13-28 when Jesus asks Peter “Who do men say that I am?”, Peter’s response leads to an amazing teaching on discipleship. Small groups that encourage a time of questions and answers are oftentimes the most effective. Not only does it give kiddos the opportunity to share, but it also gives the teacher a great tool to gauge the spiritual climate of their children’s hearts.
Have your weekend teachings grown a bit stale? Does it feel like the same old routine each week? Well, maybe it’s time to mix things up a bit! Take one or more of these five Sunday school teaching tips and put it into practice the next time you share. Ministering to your kids is too wonderful an opportunity to let the “same old, same old” set in.
If you’re looking for a Sunday School curriculum that provides strong materials to help you with these five approaches, be sure to take a look at Sharefaith Kids.