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Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?

Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.—Psalm 145:3-4

Intergenerational classes are a wonderful way to gather families to learn together. It is not the last resort when babysitters are not available, but an opportunity for both children and adults to be teachers and both to be learners.

I think God’s intent for the generations is that we should bless one another, support one another, encourage one another and enrich each other’s lives.

Intergenerational doesn’t mean dumbing down material so that children can understand it but the adults are bored. But it also doesn’t mean teaching a normal adult class with the hope that the children present may get a tidbit.

True intergenerational teaching conscientiously takes into account that there are learners of different ages and experiences present in the classroom and seeks to teach the hearts of all of them. It’s beneficial to the adults and to the children because the uniqueness of the situation provides some opportunities for both generations to understand the material differently and to benefit from a different perspective.

A positive experience in an intergenerational class can encourage a dad who has never lead a family devotional time to launch out at home in bringing the Word to his family.—Sally Michael

Intergenerational_Quote2Intergenerational classes work ideally for parents with children in first grade and older who can read and participate in class activities. Junior and senior high students can be included, but teachers and parents will need to be careful to ensure the material and illustrations engaging for them or provide them with extra responsibility to help lead in class. It works best for preschool and kindergarten students to remain in a separate age-specific class so parents’ focus can be on having deeper spiritual conversations with their older children rather than trying to keep the youngest ones engaged. These mixed generation learning environments can be introduced to a variety of settings such as Sunday morning or evening services, Wednesday night programs, summer Sunday school classes, family camps or small group settings.

In her seminar Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?, Sally shares these and other benefits to an intergenerational teach model:

  1. Relational: It can remove barriers between age groups crumble and provide an opportunity to be the church—a united body of believers.
  2. Cognitive: Children can think outside the box and provide different perspectives for the adults as well as ask questions that adults never think of or are reluctant to ask. This helps bring insight and understanding to the material for all ages.
  3. Conversational: Good intergeneration learning experiences can open communication between adults and children and prompt engaging spiritual conversations.
  4. Emotional: Little children can remind adults to learn with their hearts as well as with their heads.
  5. Simplicity: Adults can get caught up in fine tuning theological points and children can help remind them of the important, basic truths like Jesus died for sinners or love one another.
  6. Application and Response: Seeing the eager acceptance and concrete responses of children is a wonderful way in which adults can be challenged to respond in obedience and faith to the truth.

Listen to the full seminar by Sally to learn more about the benefits of intergenerational teaching, how to teach the intergeneration curriculum from Children Desiring God and practical tips on how to adapt your existing curriculum for an intergenerational setting.

Listen Now: Intergeneration Teaching: Why and How?

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SallyMichaelSally Michael is a co-founder of Children Desiring God, where she has a passion for developing God-centered resources for the spiritual development of children in the home and church. She is an author of curriculum, parenting resources and children’s books published by Children Desiring God and P&R Publishing. Sally and her husband David have two daughters, Amy and Kristi, and three grandchildren.

Do they See Jesus as Master and Lord?

Do they See You as Master and Lord?

Submission to authority is one of the primary disciplines that parents must teach their children. Even in submitting to the seemingly little commands of parents, children learn important truths that will better prepare them for a fulfilling and happy life. However, the main reason we should teach our children about submission is to help them understand the necessity of submitting to Jesus and His absolute, good, wise, and loving authority. Furthermore, we must teach and model that submission to Jesus and His ways does not quash our joy—it enables our joy.

As parents and teachers, we ought to be very careful and intentional in communicating this important concept to our children and students. As we rightfully impress upon them their need for Jesus’ redeeming work—trusting in Him alone as Savior—we must not neglect to also highlight Jesus as Master and Lord. All who truly trust in Jesus are called to learn from Him, submit to Him, and follow in all His ways. This is a life-long endeavor for the Christian. It is a call to grace-dependent, Spirit-empowered discipleship.

Getting Practical—Here are a few texts to read and discuss, and questions to ask your children:

  • Jesus’ Authority—Read Matthew 28:18; Revelation 4:11; 19:16. What do these verses tell us about Jesus’ authority? Could someone say that they love and trust Jesus as their Savior, but they don’t need to actually follow and obey Him as their Master and Lord? Why wouldn’t this make sense? Read and talk about 1 John 2:3, 6. 
  • Learning from Jesus—Point out that the best teachers teach their students by not only teaching with words, but also by example. Ask: Can you think of some of the things that Jesus taught His disciples? Some of His commands? (Also, you could read a few verses from Luke 6:27-28, 35-36) In what ways did Jesus give us an example to follow, too? How did He do what He commanded? Why is this helpful for His disciples? But is it still difficult for us to follow at times? Why? Are there things in our life that make us less or more likely to want to listen and obey? Is there anything that can help us? 
  • Jesus is a Compassionate Master and Teacher—Briefly share an example of a harsh teacher or bossone who “lorded over” his students or employees by making unreasonable demands. Is this the type of Master and Lord that Jesus is? Read and talk about Matthew 11:28-29. Do you see Jesus as a kind of Master and Lord? What does this show us about who He is and what He is like? What does He also know and understand about us? Does that mean He doesn’t care about our obedience? What is a yoke? Do Jesus’ disciples still need a yoke? Why? But what kind of yoke does He give His disciples? How can this help us see the goodness of submitting to Jesushow is submission for our good? 
  • Submitting Your Will to Jesus—Read and talk about Matthew 16:24. Give an example of a command from Jesus that is often hard to submit to. Suppose your brother or sister took your new game to a friends’ house without asking you. When he or she brought the game back it was missing pieces. What might be your first reaction? What if he or she says she’s really sorry and will go back and find the pieces? Jesus says, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). Why might it be hard to submit to this command? What does it show us about our hearts? Is submitting to Jesus optional—something to do only when it’s not too difficult or when we feel like it? When we are struggling to submit to Jesus, what might be helpful to remember about Him? 
  • Following Jesus Wherever He Leads Us—Read the story of Simon meeting Jesus from Luke 5:1-6. At the end of the story, Jesus called for Simon, James, and John to follow Him. What did they leave behind in order to follow Jesus? [everything] What does that mean? Explain that following Jesus means that you love Him most of all so that you listen, obey, and follow wherever He leads you. Does Jesus lead His disciples along the exact same circumstances? Point out that Jesus later gave Simon the name, Peter. Does anyone know what Peter did later in life as a follower of Jesus? [became the leader of the early church, suffered persecution for being a Christian, etc.] Did Jesus also give us an example of enduring great suffering? Peter followed Jesus’ example—even to his death. Can you think of other people who followed Jesus even through very hard circumstances? How can their example help us? What gave them the strength and determination to keep following Jesus?

Teach and Model Submission

 

Parenting and Teaching from a Thankful Heart

Parenting and Teaching from a Thankful Heart

Pastor David Michael recently shared these words from C.H. Spurgeon during Children Desiring God staff devotion time. I wonder what impact it would have on our parenting and teaching ministries if we carefully reflected on Spurgeon’s remarks and questions regarding Psalm 103:2—“Forget not all his benefits.”

It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe

his goodness in delivering them,
his mercy in pardoning them,
and his faithfulness in keeping his covenant with them.

But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least

as full of God,
as full of his goodness and of his truth,
as much a proof of his faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before?

Parenting and Teaching from a Thankful HeartWe do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that he wrought all his mighty acts, and showed himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare his arm for the saints who are now upon the earth.

Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God.

Have you had no deliverances?
Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence?
Have you walked through no fires unharmed?
Have you had no manifestations?
Have you had no choice favours?
The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, hath he never listened to you and answered your requests?
That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things,” hath he never satiated you with fatness?
Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures?
Have you never been led by the still waters?

Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old.

Let us, then, weave his mercies into a song.
Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus.
Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David’s harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endureth for ever.

(The “Morning” devotion from Morning and Evening for  July 9, retrieved at www.spurgeon.org)

Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers

Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers

Have you prayed for your children today? Do you only pray for them when you are with them? How often do you pray for or with your students on Sunday morning?

“It is easy for us to set our days on cruise control and completely push the Lord out. Prayer is our only vehicle that will give us wisdom, strength and the correct words to reach the next generation.” —Kristin Gilbert

In this seminar, Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers, Kristin Gilbert discusses some of the obstacles we face that prevent us from having a fervent prayer life such as wandering minds, fear, laziness and busyness. She equips you with practical steps to fight these obstacles and encourages you to pray through specific areas of your children’s ministry as she shares testimonies of answered prayers in her church.

“When I step into my office, the first thing I do, before I open up my computer and see the list of emails, is to pray for 15 minutes. Schedule time into your day to pray.” —Kristin Gilbert

Not only is it important for you as a children’s ministry leader or parent to spend time praying for the next generation, you also have the opportunity to be a role model to your children as you teach them to pray. Kristin shares a simple way small group leaders or parents can walk children through prayer based on the ACTS prayer model—adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

  1. I love you, Lord. Why do we love the Lord?
  2. I am sorry. What have I done that I need to ask forgiveness for?
  3. Thank you. Thank the Lord for who He is, His forgiveness and answered prayers.
  4. Please. We have a God who wants us to come to him and ask him for things.

“If you teach children to pray, they will do it. We need to be role models of this.”—Kristin Gilbert

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Tab6_9_KristinGilbertKristin serves as the Director of Children’s Ministries at College Park Church in Indianapolis. Her prayer is that the next generation would passionately follow Jesus! She desires to come alongside the church body to continue to lay a foundation of truth for the next generation to build their faith upon. Kristin enjoys engaging with the children and volunteers she works with on Sunday mornings and encouraging them to fix their eyes on our One True God.

Walking Children Through Prayer

From Genesis to Revelation: Disability and His Sure Promises of Help

From Genesis to Revelation: Disability and His Sure Promises of Help

When a child or adult with disabilities comes to your church, are you filled with excited anticipation or dread? Are you glad they have come, but afraid of doing or saying something wrong—which prevents you from doing anything at all?

Through over 450 references, the Bible unashamedly address God’s sovereignty over disease and disability. God equips His people to serve and be served by those who live atypical lives.

God Equips His PeopleWe live in a culture which denigrates people with disabilities, prefers that we kill them before they are born, or that we kill them when they are toward the end of their life and their usefulness. God has a different perspective about this. Those He creates in His image, who live atypical lives, are intended to be agents of change in our churches.

Disability is a spectrum we cannot understand and God has made each person unique—with or without a disability. Because of this, there is no program or one size fits all approach to disability ministry. In this seminar, John Knight casts a vision for ministering to families dealing with disability and gives you practical steps to begin: gathering a prayer team, thinking counter-culturally, knowing the specific needs of your families, training your people, being willing to make mistakes in love as you figure things out and persevering in ministry.

Listen Now

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John Knight is the Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God in Minneapolis. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children. John’s son Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder. John writes on issues of disability, the Bible and the church at  TheWorksOfGod.com

As we welcome children with disabilities into our church and classrooms, we are training students to respect that God has made certain children differently than other children. It is good, and sometimes it is hard, but we are not afraid.

Teaching Means Active Engagement

Teaching Means Active Engagement

In college, I had to take a dreaded year of physics. I cringed at the thought of it! But much to my amazement, I ended up enjoying that year. It became one of my favorite classes. Why the change of heart? Because I had a great teacher who actively engaged us in the subject matter. He had us thinking, questioning, and seeing the relevance of physics to almost every aspect of life: Content + Teaching Style…both mattered.

I recently read a Bible lesson written for older elementary students. What was disheartening is not the content per se—it was biblically accurate and theologically sound—but the manner in which it was communicated to the students. The material was simply “presented.” The students were “talked at.” They were not encouraged in any meaningful way to engage with the text (or even open their Bibles), or with the teacher. Why is this a problem? Because, among other things…

  • It does not promote personal biblical literacy in the students—the ability to rightly read and understand the Bible. Teachers must help students in this process by asking questions of the text, interacting with student responses, and walking the students step-by-step through a proper interpretation of the text.
  • It hinders active learning—it fails to encourage students to discover, analyze, question, examine, draw conclusions, and make application of the text.
  • It “de-motivates” students to make personal application of biblical truth—heart transformation. If students are not encouraged to be actively engaged, they are more likely to feel “talked at” than to be personally interested and challenged by the content.

At Children Desiring God, our goal and desire is to develop biblically rich, doctrinally sound, God-centered, Christ-exalting materials that are designed to TEACH students. Our lessons are structured to encourage active engagement between teacher, student, and the Bible. Yes, at first it may seem a little overwhelming—especially for a new teacher. Students who are not accustomed to an interactive teaching style may be slow to respond at first. But over time both teacher and students will be pleasantly surprised by the rich benefits of this active engagement. We want to motivate our students to eagerly dive into God’s Word, with the hope and prayer that by doing so, they will come to see and delight in God Himself, through Christ.

Teaching Means Active Engagement

 

 

Not Merely a Death on Behalf of Others

Not Merely a Death on Behalf of Others

Here are a few questions to ask your children and students (elementary age and older):

Why did Jesus die on the cross?

Why would it be wrong for God to simply pretend that your sin is no big deal?

How does Jesus’ death on the cross show that God is right in punishing sin and forgiving sinners?

What did Jesus experience on the cross? Why is this important to know?

Why is it also important that Jesus gives His people His own perfect righteousness?

If you were to appear in a courtroom today in which God was sitting as the judge, what verdict do you think He would pronounce over you, “Guilty” or “Not guilty”? Why?

Not Merely a Death on Behalf of OthersWhy are these questions important to ask? Because our children and students need to see and understand the uniqueness of Jesus’ death on the cross. They need to be taught the meaning of justification. No justification = no Gospel. While it may be age-appropriate for a preschooler to simply learn and recite that “Jesus died on the cross to save sinners,” as our children age and mature they need reasons that provide a biblical foundation for understanding the necessity of Jesus’ death and what it accomplished. If students hear over and over again simply that “Jesus died for sinners,” will that encourage them to be more or less amazed by His death? Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here—that simple statement is glorious beyond measure. But…

(more…)

“Repent and Believe”—A Call for Clarity

Repent and Believe - A Call for Clarity

We fill words with meaning. The more important the word and what it relates to, the more essential to “fill it” and interpret it with the intended meaning. When it comes to our children’s and students’ response to the Gospel, two words require careful attention: repent and believe. We must be very intentional and careful to communicate these terms in a way that doesn’t diminish the intended meaning. These words convey a serious weightiness—calling for and resulting in a complete transformation of a person’s mind, heart, and will. True saving repentance and belief—conversion, as it is commonly called—is much more than an acknowledgment of true facts about the Person and work of Jesus. Furthermore, while rightly emphasizing what it means to “believe in Jesus,” repentance is often minimized when instructing children. Pastor Art Murphy has some very wise advice for us as we seek to discern a child’s profession of faith:

Repent_QuoteDoes the child demonstrate a personal need or desire to repent of his sin? Is the child ashamed of the sin in his life? Knowing what sin is, is not the same as being ashamed of sin. If a child is not repentant but goes ahead and makes a decision to become a Christian, then his decision is premature and incomplete. Letting a child think he can become a Christian without repentance gives him false assurance. As a result, he may never repent and therefore never completely finish becoming a Christian.

Loving Jesus is an important part of becoming a Christian, but that is not enough. If a child is led to think that he can be a Christian without repentance, he does not fully understand the need for a Savior. He may love Jesus but not feel the need for Him in his life. He may live his life thinking that everything is OK when it is not.

(From, The Faith of a Child: A Step-by-Step Guide to Salvation for Your Child, copyright©2000, pages 75-76)

At Children Desiring God, we have been concerned about this for some time. One thing we have done to address this issue is to be very careful and intentional in our curriculum by repeatedly incorporating the following concepts in the lessons:

  • Highlight the love of God within the context of His holiness.
  • Stress God’s rightful rule over us, to which we are called to submit.
  • Present the problem and extent of sin in a very serious and weighty manner.
  • Emphasize the Person and work of Jesus and what it means that He is both Lord and Savior.
  • Give an age-appropriate, yet deep and rich presentation of the Gospel—one that clearly explains the meaning and significance of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
  • Content that states the clear demand and explanation of biblical repentance and belief.
  • Instructions for teachers to use non-inclusive language when indicated so that students don’t “assume” faith, emphasizing the need for them to personally respond in true repentance and belief.
  • Provide thoughtful Small Group Application discussion questions that go beyond merely recalling lesson facts, but serve to aim toward the students’ hearts.
  • Include helpful supplementary material for teachers and small group leaders in the curricula Introduction and Appendix on understanding the Gospel presentation and sharing the Gospel with children.

Helping Children to Understand the GospelBut we also believe that the Gospel call to repent and believe should be communicated first, and foremost, by parents to their children. Our resource, Helping Children to Understand the Gospel, is a tool for parents to use in the home. In it, much is said regarding repentance and belief, and how a parent might communicate these truths in an age-appropriate manner, and tips for helping parents discern their child’s response to the Gospel.

 

Teaching Preschoolers with a Flannelgraph

Teaching Preschoolers with a Flannelgraph

For preschool classes using the He Established a Testimony or He Has Spoken by His Son curricula, we recommend using felt visuals with a flannel board for the presentation of the Bible lesson. One source of these visuals is through Betty Lukens.

With young children, it is very important to use visuals to hold their attention and help them visualize things that are unfamiliar. For example, showing a picture or felt figures of Abram on a camel in a caravan will help children understand the unusual mode of transportation and the barren conditions of the slow journey Abram faced.

Tips for Teaching with a Flannelgraph

Less is more when using a flannelgraph. Sometimes spiritual truths can get lost in the busyness of illustrating the story. For example, using enough male figures to show all of Joseph’s brothers takes more time than their role warrants. A single group of men can represent the “brothers,” even if it only shows a few. You may discover that you cannot show Pharaoh’s chariots following Israel into the Red Sea because the chariot faces the wrong direction and is four inches taller than the parted walls of water. But, you can use the chariot piece to show what a chariot is.

While teaching, be sure children know the story is coming from the Bible. Keep your Bible open in front of you while teaching and read verses directly from your Bible where appropriate as you tell the story.

Before class, it is helpful to stack the felt pieces in the order that you will use them and set up your background. Start out simply by just putting key figures on the board, or moving a figure from one spot to another to demonstrate movement. The short attention span of a preschooler is better filled with God-themes than a technically precise depiction of everything that happened in a story.

The manual that comes with the Betty Lukens flannelgraph set is helpful in finding and choosing the felt pieces that fit particular Bible stories. Detailed information about preparing to teach the preschool lessons is included in He Established a Testimony and He Has Spoken by His Son. We do no recommend teaching the Bible stories from the Betty Lukens manual.

Flannel board and felt pieces can be very versatile and customizable to the story. Betty Lukens pieces are available in two sizes. The 6-inch size is easier to use and works well with small groups of children. But, if you have a large group of children, the 12-inch size is easier for the children to see. Having an interior and exterior board is very helpful, but you can substitute the dark, plain board (intended for night sky scenes) with a dark flannel cloth placed over another board.

Betty Lukens offers a filing system for the pieces that is well worth the price. If you are new to using the flannelgraph, take the time to browse the filing system so you have in mind the range of pieces available. The felt pieces will arrive printed on sheets that need to be cut out. Recruit some help to cut out all the pieces and file them before the year starts; your weekly preparation time is better spent studying the Word than cutting out pieces. The Deluxe Bible Set is best to accompany the full, chronological Bible overview found in the Children Desiring God preschool curriculum.

To learn more about teaching preschoolers and see an example lesson being taught with using the flannelgraph, we recommend watching the Preschool Lesson Preparation and Preschool Teaching and Small Group Leading seminars.

Alternative Preschool Visual Options

For some situations, flannelgraph may not be practical or within your budget. Here are some other options to use when teaching the preschool lessons:

  • New Tribes Missions: They provide a variety of Bible pictures, maps and charts and coloring pictures to supplement your teaching. We recommend considering their chronological Bible picture sets which are available in a variety of print options or electronically.  
  • Free Bible Images: These downloadable photos and illustrations that you can print out are a free starting point, but they will not cover all of the stories in the preschool lessons.

 

Encouraging Active Minds in the “Knowing” Process

Encouraging Active Minds in the Learning Process

I am fully convinced that one of the great challenges we have before us in teaching the next generation to know, honor, and treasure Christ comes in regards to the “know” part. While humbling acknowledging that only God can bring about genuine saving faith, we as parents and teachers, have a sacred responsibility to provide our children and students with the essential knowledge they need to understand the Bible and the message of the Gospel. After all, you cannot honor and treasure that which you do not know. Furthermore, that knowledge must go beyond a simple “rote” memorization of facts. The Christian walk requires the mind to interact with the Bible. Consider this statement by Dr. Albert Mohler:

Christian faithfulness requires the development of the believer’s intellectual capacities in order that we may understand the Christian faith, develop habits of Christian thought, form intuitions that are based upon biblical truth, and live in faithfulness to all that Christ teaches. This is no easy task, to be sure. Just as Christian discipleship requires growth and development, intellectual faithfulness requires a lifetime of devoted study, consecrated thinking, and analytical reflection.

(“The Glory of God in the Life of the Mind,” at albertmohler.com )

This statement reflects a serious commitment to a rigorous training of the mind. Helping our children and students really learn how to think, and not merely absorb information. Here are a few practical ways that you and your church can encourage this type of mind engagement. (Note: Children Desiring God curricula is written with all the following incorporated into our lessons.

1. Choose curricula that fosters active learning.

  • Look for both solid content and a teaching style that engages the mind.

2. Make sure your lesson has a logical order and structure.

  • Children and youth will be more engaged if they see a logical progression in the subject matter. The subject matter is easier to recall and understand.
  • A logical flow helps students actively learn by encouraging organized thought patterns. This becomes increasing important as our students examine more and more complex texts and topics.

3. Understand the cognitive abilities of the age group you are teaching, and use age-appropriate teaching methods and language.

  • Make an intentional, concentrated effort to restore, train, and stretch our students’ ability to pay attention.

Consider the following from Garry Williams of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals:

Meditation is a divinely commanded duty and delight. We are commanded not to flit around. But, we may wonder, if people’s brains are trained out of sustained attention, won’t doing it put them off? I think we have no choice. We have to be teachers not only of the content of revelation, but also of its prescribed form.

(“The World in the Church: A Distracted World, a Distracted Church?,”www.reformation21.org)

4. Capture their attention with meaningful “hooks” in order to ignite their minds and direct their thoughts toward learning biblical truth.

Encouraging Active Minds in the Knowing Process5. Use a question-and-answer format that encourages students to observe, ponder, analyze, discover, evaluate, imagine, summarize, organize, and arrive at correct conclusions and appropriate applications—all while interacting with the actual text of the Bible.

  • Start with simple questions and move to more complex ones that then also become more personally challenging.

6. Incorporate visuals, charts, illustrations, and real-life scenarios that help the mind process and understand biblical concepts.

  • These tools encourage active minds. They use concrete concepts to spur more abstract thinking.
  • They help the mind to look at the biblical text, observe it carefully, discover its meaning, and make meaningful applications.

7. Use” heart” (emotional) response as a means to engage the mind.

8. Incorporate competition and challenge as a mental motivator.

9. Restate questions in a different way—use opposites, analogies, exaggerations, etc. to spur thinking and encourage responses.

10. Encourage honest student feedback and use it to help them reason and respond biblically.

 

Please note: Teaching in this manner is HARD WORK for both student and teacher. It goes against the flow of many popular resources designed for children’s and youth ministry. Sunday school may almost come have a “school” feel to it, and not just a fun place to hang out on Sunday’s with friends. But the stakes are huge! Consider this quote from John Piper:

There is an odd notion that, if we use our minds to grow in our knowledge of God, mystery will diminish, and with it a sense of wonder and reverence. I call this notion odd for two reasons. One is that, no matter how many millions of ages I use my mind to know more and more of God’s majesty, his glories will never be in danger of being exhausted. What is not yet known of God by finite creatures will always be limitless. You honor this truth more by shameless growth in the knowledge of God.

 And the second reason I find the notion odd that thinking about God and knowing more and more of God jeopardizes our worship of God, is that without knowing him we can’t worship in a way that honors him. God is not honored when people get excited about how little they know of him.

(John Piper, “The Life of the Mind and the Love of God,” www.desiringGod.org)

For more information on this topic, you can download this handout from my seminar “Encouraging Active Minds in the Learning Process.”

 

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