How to Avoid a Major Pitfall in Teaching Children Biblical Truth
My husband and I visited a church recently that was starting a children’s feature in the main service for the summer. I have great respect for the people willing to sit in front of the entire congregation and teach children for 5-10 minutes. It’s not easy! That proved especially true on this particular morning.
The decision had been made to have the children’s feature match the sermon series. The first sermon in this particular series was about Saul and his experience on the road to Damascus.
The children were called to the front and the feature began with a brief discussion about faith. Then the speaker read from Philippians 3: 4-10
“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
I was a little surprised when I heard him read this text. The majority of the kids at the front were preschoolers!
He did a pretty good job explaining that Saul was a Hebrew who knew God’s Law and followed it strictly. He was proud of his job of arresting Christians because he was convinced that he was right.
The speaker got into some trouble though with wording and explanations and ended up saying something about Jesus that wasn’t true.
I don’t think he meant to say it and I don’t think he believed it, but the truth is he said it. Kids listen and kids believe what we tell them. It is so important to make sure that we are speaking truth to them.
The speaker should have simply stated that Saul was a man who was proud of the fact that he knew about God and about God’s rules. He was convinced that he was right and Christians were wrong. He did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
No matter what situation you are in, teaching a small class of children or leading the children’s feature in front of the whole church, be prepared. If you are teaching a difficult concept or passage, plan ahead of time how you will explain it.
It is so important to be prepared. Kids are listening and absorbing what we tell them. Kids will also ask questions – sometimes unexpected questions. This can distract teachers and throw them off.
Take the time to prepare. Make sure you understand fully what you are going to teach.
Remember, we are teaching children the truth of God’s Word. We need to get it right!