"More Sword Drills, Please!"

ID-100159550 Many years ago, I taught 2nd-grade Sunday school. At that time, we were just beginning to implement a new strategy to more intentionally present our children with a God-centered, Bible-saturated focus in our Sunday school classes. In order to maximize our classroom time toward that goal, we began moving away from the regular and time-consuming crafts to which the children had grown accustomed. However, not all teachers were convinced that this was the best thing to do. Won't the children be upset? Won't they grow "bored" if we don't have some fun, hands-on crafts each Sunday? So we tried an "experiment." We decided to do crafts every other week. Then, on "no crafts week" we would work on Bible skills during that time. I taught the children how to do "Sword Drills," and we used these to help the children look up various verses throughout the Bible. We even had Sword Drill competitions with boys versus girls or teachers versus the children, etc. Over time, guess what happened? The children started to complain. But their complaint wasn't about the lack of craft time.

"Mrs. Nelson, can we do Sword Drills instead of crafts?"

So yes, it is possible to get children really excited about doing Bible skills activities in the classroom. That's not to say that doing crafts is never warranted—especially with younger children. Even older children can benefit from a craft that is geared toward helping them visualize and better understand a particular spiritual truth. However, craft or no craft, consider how you might maximize your classroom time toward things that will have a lasting impact on their lives. Taking class time to teach children basic Bible skills can be as fun, interactive, and "hands-on" as any craft...or might be even more exciting based on the opinion of those 2nd graders. Want some ideas to get you started? Here is a list of Bible and Memory Verse Activities that can be used in your classroom or home. (Photo courtesy of Digidreamgrafix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
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