Category Archives: Teaching

Connecting with Bible culture

We recently visited two wonderful museums.

Two museums

One was the site of the remains of a Roman fort in Northern England, near Hadrian’s Wall. Here, at Segedunum, North Shields, we saw outlines of the stony foundations of the soldier’ barracks, the stables, groom’ quarters, a granary and the central praetorium, or commander’s house.

We were guided round the ancient ruins by means of an audio explanation, which seemed to bring it all to life. We were also fortunate to see a reconstructed bath house and a mock up of a stable, so we got a glimpse of what life was like in the barracks for the weary soldiers returning from patrol.
Inside, the museum presented artefacts which the archaeologists had found on the site. Among them we saw pieces of cavalry tack and equipment, and religious items. One very interesting room was given over to medical instruments. We were told what operations they were used for and how various ailments were treated by the doctors. It all made us think of our lives today, and we compared our situation with the Romans of a thousand years ago. Somehow we felt connected with them.

In contrast, some months later we visited another eminent museum. It also housed Roman artefacts and some stunning medieval pieces, including jewellery. But this time, there was only a limited effort made to set the find in context. There was no audio guide and the labels on the cases were not sufficient to satisfy our curiosity about what we were seeing.

Wonderful as the displays were, that second museum seemed to miss what the first one had given us – a sense of connection, the ability to identify with some of the items and the people behind them. The Roman culture was very different from ours, yet we felt affection for these people.

Four questions:

  1. How do we relate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children we teach, and to their families?
  2. How do we show that the message of the Bible is relevant for today, for their lives as well as for those of a people who lived over 2000 years ago?
  3. Do we engender a sense of reality about the characters we talk about?
  4. Do the children feel a connection, an affection even, for them?

We can make the connection between two cultures:

  1. If we ensure that our teaching is not only “a Bible story” (good as it is to convey a true narrative) but something more.
  2. If we explain the life-principles behind the narrative, not in a dry, legalistic way, but in a way that engages the children’s interest.
  3. If we ask God to help us see situations and scenarios that the kids are familiar with, and use them to help the children connect the Bible principles with their own 21st century youth culture.

Apart from covering everything in prayer and trusting God to anoint our ministry with the power of the Holy Spirit, is there anything else you would suggest which would help us to put Scripture into today’s context for kids?

Meeting special needs and pre-school curriculum

Do you have a child in your family or group that has special needs? We have  been very impressed at the regularity and quality of posts on
Our Out of Sync Life.

The author, Momma C. sums up her site like this:

God has blessed us with three beautiful children – one with Sensory Processing Disorder, a very Strong Willed middle child, and a Spirited Little Man. Follow us as we learn to train up our children to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, and mind.

Even if right now there are no children in your care with special needs, you will still find this blog very uplifting and illuminating. There are heaps of ideas for crafts, and other learning opportunities.

Momma C is a trained educator  and she also runs a companion site , ABC Jesus Loves Me.   This is a pre-school Bible curriculum, free for use in the home. It is especially helpful for children with developmental delays.

We’d encourage you to check out these wonderful sites.
Our Out of Sync LifeABC Jesus Loves Me

10 weeds that choke kid’s ministry

We both love our allotment garden. We grow veggies, fruit and flowers  there, but the crop can be ruined by weeds and pests.
So we sat up and took note when we spotted  one article highlighted  in the Childrens Ministry magazine newsletter.

ChildrensMinistry.com is a great site, stuffed with useful resources and tips from experienced kid’s workers.

Walter Norvell, a children’s minister in Tennessee, writes  about 10 “weeds” that threaten the growth of your children’s ministry. It’s a great check list to run through from time to time.

10 Things That’ll Ruin Your Children’s Ministry

Paper-tearing illustrates the Easter story

Do you need a brief children’s Easter talk with a memorable visual aid? Then you might enjoy Don Stott’s post over at Childrensministerblog.com.

Using a sheet of newspaper and niftily tearing some simple shapes, he reveals the heart of the Easter gospel message.

Don has used this in primary (elementary) schools with great success, but people of all ages will be captivated.

Check out Don’s post, where he has full instructions with photos.

Free visuals: How to cope with Temptation

What do running shoes and a warning bell have in common? They both feature in this free visual presentation.

The download is a PDF containing full instructions and images to print out and laminate. It is what we call an Adaptable Application, because although it was first intended to illustrate practical teaching from the life of Moses, it is adaptable for any Bible lesson where temptation features.

The simple outline gives children and others a four-step strategy, so that they can cope better when they are tempted. Piece by piece, as you open out the teaching and apply it to real life, the visuals help the kids to retain the teaching.

Here is an outline for How to Cope with Temptation.

REMEMBER what you have been told.
Our teachers and the folk who look after us at home tell us right and wrong.

REALIZE the danger.
Every action has a result. We need to think things through; think ahead to what might happen to us, or to others, as a result of our actions.

RUN AWAY from the situation.
It is not cowardly, when you are tempted, to go off do something else. It takes courage to run away from doing wrong!

RELY on God.
Christians believe he has the power to help us do right, and follow God’s plan for life.

…………………………………………………………

Would you prefer this Adaptable Application as a PowerPoint presentation? let us know, by clicking the contact tab and emailing us at the address given. We’ll be happy to try to help you with that.

To download the printable version, Right-Click the link below and save the file to your computer.

Download  the Adaptable Application – How to Cope with Temptation (PDF)

 

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