- They Can Learn
- Children under six can learn
"Blow a trumpet in Zion.
The purpose of the Bible class for younger students is to teach about God and His love and what is in His word. Little children learn what we think they can learn. We think they can learn nursery rhymes, the alphabet, etc. so we teach it to them. Never sell a child short, if we think they can learn the Bible stories, they will.
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly.
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders,
gather the children and nursing infants ..."
Joel 2 :15,16a.
Class time is the place to form and mold these precious children. A time to plant the seeds of obedience to God's commands. A time to instill in them the need to become Christians when the time is right. Teach them how to share their Bible knowledge with their parents, friends and others. Even young children can evangelize. Children learn best when they are involved. Have them bring others to class.
- Children over six need to learn the Bible for themselves
For children over six the purpose of the Bible class is to teach them how to study the Word of God for themselves. Children must want to learn from their Bible classes. To learn students must be prepared to listen. A student must learn to be quiet while the teacher talks. No daydreaming allowed. This is very important because before one can learn, one must hear the word.
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
They must learn to listen for explanations and answers. Remembering verses, morals, doctrines, principles and scriptures are important in Bible study.
What specific things can you do to encourage your students to search for answers to spiritual questions?
It is very important to teach them that the Bible has the answers to their Bible questions. Teach them how to use a Bible. Teach them how to find Book, Chapter, and Verse (John 8:31). Teach about the various study aids that will help support their Bible studies like a Concordance. This teaching takes much time.
Repetition is the key to any successful teaching program. Repetition reinforces points or principles that need to be emphasized. In your teaching help guide the child closer to God. When the student can express the thought of the lesson or the verse in his own words, then he shows he has understood its meaning.
Each student has a responsibility to apply the knowledge he has learned to his life. In fact, expect your students to implement their teachings into their daily life. Teachers can encourage students to apply the lesson to life by asking: What does the lesson say? What does it mean? Students over six years old can explain, prove and illustrate many of the concepts of their Bible lessons.
- Specifics Each Group Can Learn
Children develop physically into adulthood. We see the difference in a four-year-old and a twelve-year-old physically. They are not expected to jump the same hurdles, run the same speed, or lift the same weights. Each individual goes through identifiable stages of physical development which is easily seen. For the body to grow it must have proper nourishment or else it will starve or deform. The body needs good nutritious food in order for it to build itself into adulthood. This takes time.
In the same way, the mind needs to be fed in order for it to grow. The mind needs to feed on God's word.
"When I was a child, I used to speak as a child,
This spiritual nourishment is important for the mental, emotional, social and spiritual development of the mind.
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I did away with childish things."
1 Corinthians 13:11
"Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word,
Although, no two children are alike, there are some generalizations that can be made within certain age categories. The following charts are given as guidelines to help you further their spiritual training. They have been adapted from various sources including my own first-hand experience in teaching the Nursery, Beginner, Primary and Junior classes over the last decade. These categories are not a steadfast rule because each child is an unique individual and should be treated as such. Become familiar with each age group.
that by it you may grow in respect to salvation."
1 Peter 2:2
Chapter 8 of "The Lesson Planner
by Steve & Loreen Rudd
Reproduced with permission