I believe being a Bible school teacher is one of the most important and rewarding works we can sign up for. I started helping my mother teach a third grade class when I was in high school. That was my first experience in teaching a Bible class. I helped a little bit here and there in other classes, but didn’t really start teaching until I was married and had children of my own. I started with the two- and three-year-old class. Once I got comfortable with that group, I decided to bump it up and start teaching a little bit older class. Teaching the older classes meant more studying, but it also meant more learning. I would get more confidence the more I taught. However, there were a few setbacks. I remember one Sunday morning while teaching a lesson from the Bible, one little girl was paying special attention. She was smiling and looking at me and really listening; I just knew she loved the Bible story I was teaching. I was so excited and felt like I was doing such a great job and after a little while she looked at me with her big sweet brown eyes and said, “I love your earrings” my mind went blank for a few seconds as I sat and smiled at her while trying to compose myself and get back to the lesson I was teaching. I’ve always enjoyed teaching young children and I love to watch their Bible knowledge grow. I’ve been teaching for many years now and I’ve taught just about every grade and I feel I’ve had a lot of experience in teaching so I wanted to share a few suggestions gained over the years.
In my years of experience I’ve used many books and teaching materials, but in my opinion, I find that the very best stories are told from the Bible itself. I can’t think of a better way to teach children the accounts of the Bible than to have the children follow along as you read.
I am not a very good artist but I love to make my own flip charts. They are not beautiful–in fact some are quite silly–but the children get the idea of the story. Just draw stick figures and a lot of facial expressions. I love Biblegateway.com or e-Sword because you can print off the Bible passages you’re teaching and tape it right on the back of the picture you’ve drawn. Just use your imagination and draw a picture to this portion of this account:
Acts 20:9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.
Or, one that little boys really love…
Act 12:23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.
They can sure learn to give glory to God after that lesson!
The idea is to make the Bible come alive for the children. Are we putting as much into our Bible classes as we possibly can? I pray we as teachers take the opportunity of having children in front of us to give them the armor they’re going to need as they leave our classrooms.
If I could teach one thing to new Bible class teachers I’d try to teach them to look at those children coming into your classes. Those children are your responsibility for that hour. They can leave your class knowing as much as they knew when they walked in, or, they can leave your class excited about coming back.
As I sat in my 5th and 6th grade class last Sunday morning before the bell rang for class to begin, I looked up and saw one of my past students go down the hallway and into the high school class. I thought about how fast time flies. She had been in my 2nd grade class years past and I wondered to myself, “Did I teach her everything I needed to teach her? Did I put forth as much effort in my teaching as I should have? Will she one day want to be a Bible class teacher?” I pray I did my part while she was on my watch.
By Karen Bookout
Karen and her husband Steve live in Sherman TX, and are working with the Howe Church of Christ where Steve serves as an elder. Karen enjoys teaching, writing and speaking for ladies days. For the last 10 years she has worked for American Bank of Texas. They have three wonderful sons, three fantastic daughter in laws, four amazing grandchildren and another one on the way.