As you have probably noticed from recent posts, we believe our classrooms should be structured to maximize two basic things: biblical instruction and spiritual discussion. There are, however, a range of ways to do this more effectively. How do you instruct the mind with biblical truth in a way that doesn’t come across as dry information? How do you initiate and foster conversations that engage the heart and point a child to genuine dependence on Christ?
Fortunately, there are a number of excellent resources to help teachers, small group leaders, and other classroom volunteers become more effective in communicating spiritual truth to children and young people. Following are some of our top recommendations:
Teaching to Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive (Howard Hendricks) I love this short book! It has been an immense help to me as a teacher. You can read more about it here.
Creative Bible Teaching (Lawrence O. Richards and Gary J. Bredfeldt) If you want to go deeper into how children learn both mentally and spiritually at various ages, this is a really helpful resource with lots of valuable insights.
Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith (Wayne Grudem) This is one of those must-have books, in my opinion. Teachers and volunteers who understand basic doctrines are better equipped to explain these doctrines to their students.
Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know (Wayne Grudem) If the above book seems too massive, this 158-page book will be the next best thing.
Foundations for God-Centered Ministry: A Vision for Encouraging Faith in Christ in the Next Generation A 15-minute video by David and Sally Michael that gives a quick but compelling overview of the need to aim toward faith in Christ in our teaching.
Reaching the Heart: The Importance of Application This free seminar by Sally Michael is filled with wisdom and practical examples of how to initiate and sustain spiritual discussions with children.
Helping Children to Understand the Gospel (Truth78) An invaluable resource to give to all of your classroom volunteers, if at all possible. In the first half of the booklet, Sally Michael explains the need for understanding various stages in a child’s development and how you can prepare the heart and mind of a child to receive gospel truth. The second half of the booklet presents 10 essential gospel truths.
The Greatest Treasure (Truth78) This small, colorful mini-booklet succinctly summarizes and explains the essential truths of the gospel in a child-friendly manner. An affordable resource to give to every classroom volunteer.