Teaching Kids God’s Word

apple“How can I regularly and creatively teach my students?” This question is one that I frequently recieve. So I thought I would share a principle I learned from the team at Church on The Move in Tulsa, OK. It is surprisingly simple yet effective method for creating messages & themes. Here is an excerpt from Stephan Posey (Children’s Pastor) on how they recently developed their series “Amazing Faith.”
1) Find your verse.
2) Isolate the principle.
3) Illustrate.

This just makes sense to me. If my job is to teach Godʼs Word to kids in ways that they understand, giving mental ascent to a scriptural idea just isnʼt going to cut it. No matter how many times Iʼve taught on something, Iʼve got to immerse myself in that particular truth so that it overflows out of my own heart when I teach.
Hereʼs how this method helped us come up with Amazing Faith.
To start, I knew I wanted to teach kids about faith, but where in the world do we begin? Do we just call our series “Faith” and shotgun the whole thing – talking about anything and everything that has to do with faith? Not if we want kids to remember anything, we donʼt.
In fact, Iʼd say the more focused the idea is, the easier it is to teach. But getting to that one clear, life-changing truth means saying “no” to a lot of very good ideas. That takes work, prayer, and wisdom from God.
So for our series on faith, I chose Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God.” This served as our one theme verse for the entire series. It was easy for kids understand and easy for them to memorize.
I knew, from hearing Pastor George teach on this many times, that the literal translation here is “Have the faith of God” or “Have the God kind of faith.” So the principle is pretty straightforward – “If Jesus commanded us to have the faith of God, we can have the faith of God.”
I love truths like this because there is built-in conflict or tension. When we simply state the principle to the kids, “You can have the faith of God”, there is a question begging to be asked. “But how?!” This makes it easy to illustrate in a myriad of ways over the course of the series. Each week, we take a different Bible story and take a look at other scriptures that support our overarching principle and illustrate it throughout our services.
Over the course of Amazing Faith, we taught 5 in-depth principles that kids could put into practice right away. But it all fell under our one clear, life-changing truth. Hereʼs how we communicated it to our kids every week:
“Our series is called Amazing Faith. And weʼre talking about how you can have amazing faith! You may be a kid on the outside, but when you have amazing faith, you can be a spiritual giant on the inside.”
Find your scripture, isolate the principle, and illustrate. Thatʼs what works for us. Weʼre constantly tweaking and refreshing our processes, so please share your ideas and whatʼs working for you!
Thanks Stephan Posey for the simple yet effective method to pass on God’s Ways to the Next Generation.