As a children’s pastor or teacher, you have a lot on your plate. It takes a skilled individual to capture the attention of a room full of kids on one of their few days off from school.
Holding the attention of a child has always been a challenge, but with the amount of exposure children have to screens today, the breadth of their attention span is narrowing more and more.
When kids are accustomed to bright colors, flashing lights, and games with their favorite characters, dusting off the old flannelgraph may not keep their attention when teaching kids about Jesus. At the same time, you do have a responsibility to keep your lessons honest, challenging, and informative.
It can be difficult to find a balance between lessons that are engaging and thought-provoking. If you’re trying to make Sunday school more fun without watering down your teaching, here are some things to consider, while using a lesson on the Gospels as an example.
Teaching kids about the life of Jesus might normally be an opportunity to place your flimsy felt cut-outs on a board, but a more interactive approach gets the kids involved in telling the story themselves!
Try splitting your students into small groups and give each group one of these coloring pages about the life of Jesus. While teaching kids about faith through coloring pages is not new by any means, an opportunity to move around the room, be active, and physically create something is important for their cognitive development. Not only is it fun for the kids, but it’s good for their brains as well.
While they’re in their groups, take the opportunity to discuss the story behind each of the pictures. Depending on the age of your students, you may be able to give them an age-appropriate version of the story to read on their own, or have a volunteer work through it with them.
Collaboration with peers can also be an opportunity for kids to take some ownership over their Sunday school curriculum.
Once the kids have completed their “piece of the puzzle” of Jesus’ life from their coloring pages, you can guide them in presenting His life from birth to cross to resurrection. Let your kids serve as mini-experts on the Bible passage they’ve just learned and present their knowledge to the rest of the class. You may be surprised at how much pride they take in their accomplishments!
*Note: this may be a source of tension for your shyer kids. Remember not to place any undue pressure on those kids and to offer as much support and comfort as possible.
Once your kids have done a lot of active work, it might be good to allow them to receive some information since they’ve already given a lot. This would be a perfect opportunity to use some of Minno’s streaming media to reteach one or more of the Bible stories your kids just presented. This can offer a more in-depth view of the story, or fill in some gaps that your “little teachers” may have left. Allowing them some rest time after all of that high-energy activity may also ensure that you’re not sending them back home riled up.
Buck Denver asks . . . What’s in the Bible?, streaming on Minno, is an invaluable resource for teaching kids Bible stories in an engaging and exciting format.
Volume 10 – “Jesus is the Good News” – is a resource that offers the story of Jesus’ life as it is told in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It covers these important stories and events:
- Intertestamental Period
- John the Baptist
- Jesus Miracles, Healings & Teachings
- Jesus Feeds 5,000
- The Kingdom of God
- The Last Supper, Jesus Arrest and Trial
- Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection
- Jesus’ Ascension
Use this video as a way to supplement your Bible teaching in a fun way and to spark conversation. Vibrant colors and fun characters help to tell valuable Bible stories in a way that kids will find as interesting as the videos they watch at home. Who knows: maybe Buck Denver will become their new favorite character!
Regardless of the lesson you’re teaching at the moment, it’s important to reach your children at their level – and that means crafting lessons that are engaging as well as informative.
Use tools like this lesson to make your Sunday school curriculum interactive and make use of quality media that is as fun as it is informative. For more Children’s Ministry ideas, Bible stories for kids, and ideas for teaching kids faith, check out all of Minno’s exciting resources!