Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Simply Serving: What Do I Teach?

   I love a good story..even more so if it is a true one. Guess what..children do too. There is a growing concern in my heart over the mindset that children cannot handle stories from the Bible, but instead need cartoon edited, watered down happy thoughts. They don't. I have never seen benefit or purpose in using such 'curriculum'...therefore I do not intend to. So, instead of the 'popular trend' what do I teach?
   Since the beginning of my journey of serving through teaching it has been my practice and passion to teach the Bible..as it is in its true form..line upon line, precept upon precept as it is written. Period. From creation to crucifixion to His glorious revelation the Bible itself is filled with amazing stories, truths, and instructions little ears need to hear and know. Can they handle it? Yes.
    When I prepare for a lesson my first step is to read it. I read my text as soon as I know it is my task then I read it again and again over the days until I teach it. Familiarity with a passage lends me freedom to engage my group with eye contact and interaction..it frees me from being 'tied to the page'.
     Once the passage starts to become familiar I ponder the setting, the historical surroundings and happenings..get in touch with the background of the timeline. These things are important and very interesting, not only to me, but to the children. Example, when discussing the fact that Jesus grew, the children were fascinated to hear what a house from that time would have looked like..the furniture, the kitchen.
     My next focus of preparation is application..what does this mean for me today? Everything in the Bible is given to us to glean from and apply...and the earlier we are introduced to this concept the better. We learn that Jesus grew and learned and served..those are lessons and examples to guide our own growth and behavior.
     As my day draws near to teach, I seriously consider my audience..the personalities and behaviors of the age group. Here is where I start to consider objects and activities to engage their eyes, ears, hands and even their wiggly little bodies. Action, play and repetition are keys to learning..why not apply them here?
     I firmly believe that I need to know it before I teach it..so I do place a lot of time and emphasis on searching out the Word. This happens long before Saturday night...but, what about those days when the phone rings right before bed..a teacher needs a sub. No problem. I have been teaching and learning for many years. Since I am teaching straight from God's Word there is no worry over what I need or passing along curriculum. As for activities..and entire shelf of my sewing room is set aside for teaching items. Things I use and have used over the years reside here for my gathering. Any child I have ever taught will tell you ..she has boxes. Guess what's in those boxes..lots of wonderful things to help guild our learning and our remembering.
      This is my heart. This is where God has burdened and grown me. No greater joy- aside from teaching my own children- has ever been found in me than sharing with others. Oddly enough, even when I teach adults I use the same format..same layout..the objects and activities are just different. I am ever so grateful for the opportunities He has given..and for the opportunity to share it with you.


Heidi- The White Wolf Summit FarmGirl said...

The Lord definitely gifted you with a passion and the skill to teach. I admire your gift.

Michelle said...

You are truly blessed. I would of loved to have you as my teacher in Sunday school.

Dicky Bird said...

I agree with Heidi and Michelle. Blessings from Wisconsin.

Simply Scaife Family said...

Thank you..each for your kindness and encouragement..I love teaching almost as much as I love learning. To me, they go hand in hand and are life long endeavors.