New Bookmark and Teaching Ideas – Sermon Scripture Checklist For Children

Recently I’ve been trying a new approach in my teen Bible class, and it has really started to pay off. This new bookmark that is about to come out is one of the results of these changes. You can read the back story below, but here’s how to use the bookmark in a few different ways:

New bookmark available soon.

You can get some of these here.

Sunday

The children or teens will be in class, worship service, and evening service at most places. Give them the bookmark on Sunday morning and tell them the rules. 1) You can mark off any chapter that is said in any of the services. 2) The book and chapter have to be said but the teacher/preacher does not have to turn there, just mention the book and chapter. 3) I will be paying attention and marking my own card as a key. 4) You can also bring it back Wed. night and do the same thing. 4) The person with the most marked off next Sunday will win a prize.

Semester

I currently have my class doing this same concept, with the same rules, but for an entire semester. The prize needs to be bigger, and it teaches responsibility since they have to keep track of it.

Bible Reading

You can throw Bible reading into the mix and have them use one color for Bible reading and another for scripture mentioned in the various classes and sermons.

Not for Children Only

Just because it says it is for Children, doesn’t mean it is for children only. Feel free to use this yourself, and I think you will find yourself paying attention more to the sermons, and getting excited when scriptures are used.

The Back Story

I read an article by Justin Rogers which appeared in Gospel Advocate. The article describes how he teaches Bible classes and calls for us to get back into the Bible with our youth. The article prompted me to start thinking about how we teach, and how we could get our students to really respect what the Bible says.

I had been going through this line of thinking for awhile. I was hearing from the youth that they were sick of hearing the same lessons over and over. They said, basically, “we’ve heard about modesty, drinking, dancing, dating, sex before marriage, etc. and we want something else.” That’s not an exact quote, but it is really close to what they were telling me. I stopped teaching my class right then and asked them why they think we hit those topics so much. They gave an incredibly thoughtful response. “Because you think that’s what we are dealing with and what we need to hear, but our lives are more complicated than that.”  I said,  “It is because we teach on modesty and then see you on facebook and even at worship services dressed immodestly, or we teach on dancing, but you still go to the prom.”

Why is that?

This got me thinking, what we really need is to show them that the Bible is the real Word of God. We need to show them the fascinating depth of the Bible. We need to equip them to deal with real world problems because they have a great knowledge about the Bible.

What we need is an open and repentant heart.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we need some topical lessons. But what we really need is a change of heart and a depth of knowledge. What good does it do to teach on modesty or dancing again only to have them roll their eyes and harden their heart.

So, I started modifying my teaching.

child bibleFirst, I want to get them in the word. This bookmark is one way of doing that. It encourages them to pay attention to the Bible.

Second, I’ve started a memory challenge. I’m putting together a list of 100 verses and anyone who can memorize them by the end of the year will get a prize. I’ve also agreed to do something silly (*in this case wear red pants to class once. it’s a long story.) The verses I’ve picked are great verses for them to learn how to study with someone and get a greater foundation for why they believe what they believe.

Here’s the really important part on this. The memory work is comprehensive. I’m keeping track of what verses they come and tell me. When they add one to the list I go back to one or two they have already done and make them do those again. It is really memorized if they just do it before class and forget. I want this imprinted on their hearts.

Third, I’ve incorporated whole-brain teaching into my teaching style. This is a great method for getting the attention of your students, and even more importantly the Teach–>Okay command is incredibly useful for getting things to stick in their heads. There are a lot of good videos on youtube about how to do this, but here’s a good one to show it isn’t just for small children. It may seem a little silly at first, but you will be shocked at the level of attention and comprehension you suddenly receive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBeWEgvGm2Y

Fourth, we need to do prep work teachers. Just because we are going to use the scriptures and prompt discussion doesn’t mean we don’t need to prepare. We should have a good idea of where we want the discussion to go, so we can guide the conversation. At the same time, be willing and able to adapt when necessary.

Fifth, incorporate some technology. We are going to use studyblue to help with memorization http://www.studyblue.com/.  Use PowerPoint and video.  Use Prezi. Put some work into it!

Sixth, be honest and open with your kids. We aren’t brainwashing them here, we are teaching them there is more to life and that they can think for themselves. Your kids are smarter and more capable than you think. CHALLENGE THEM! They want to know, “Why.” They want to accomplish goals. Let them know that you care.

Let them know this very important truth. They are the future of the church. They are the future elders, deacons, Bible class teachers, preachers, mothers, fathers, and members of the Lord’s church and it will be up to them to carry the truth to the next generation. Without them the church will not be successful. 

Tell them that you love them and care about their souls. Let them know they can contact you. Get involved in social media and make sure you are connected to them.

Work?!?

You might be saying, all of this sounds like a lot of work. I agree. It is some of the most rewarding work you will do. Post other ideas in the comments below or send them to me via email to Luke@housetohouse.com.

Let’s get to work teaching our children that the Bible is the greatest. As usual, I think you will find the teacher learns even more than the students.