Hi there! Here I hope to share ideas for teaching the Bible to children, either that I have come up with or “borrowed” from someone else. I hope they are helpful. I’m in no way an expert, but I know that sometimes another person comes up with an idea that we might not have thought of. Plus it saves time if we just share stuff, and I do love efficiency! Please comment if you need anything or if you have any further tips!
Christmas Alphabet (first posted November 2016):
Angels: But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
Bethlehem: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.’ Micah 5:2
Christ: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. Luke 2.11
David’s Town: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11 (See also: Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’ Luke 7:42; “He will reign on David’s throne’ Isaiah 9:7)
Everlasting Father: “For to us a child is born… And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Favour: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:14
Glory/Grace/Gold/Gift/Good news/Grace: We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Holy/Heavenly Host/Hope: Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:13-14
Immanuel: All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). Matthew 1:22-23
Joy/Jesus: But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
King: ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ Matthew 2:2
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
Messiah/Manger This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Noel/Nativity/News: But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
One & Only Son: We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Prince of Peace: For to us a child is born… And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Quiet/Quirinius: This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. Luke 2:2-3 (You could talk about the sovereignty of God, and the fact that these events happened in real history.) If you’re not keen on this, you could do “Quiet” and talk about how quietly God’s rescuing King came.
Rejoice/Revelation/Righteousness/Reigns The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:20 (also “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed” Matthew 2:10)
(or Revelation: No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:18)
Saviour: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2.11
Truth: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Unto Us a child is born “Unto to us a child is born,
to us a son is given…” Isaiah 9:6
Virgin: All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). Matthew 1:22-23
Wonderful/Worship: When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11)
X: Gloria in Excelsis Deo:
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:14
Yahweh: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Zeal: Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end…
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:7
Celebrating Reformation Day (31st October): I’m using the book the ABC of Church History above, which – as the title suggests – has a different character from church history for each letter of the alphabet. I’ve chosen six of these*, and between now and Monday we will look at one per day (we’ll just read their page from the book and thank God for them). We’ll do Luther last because I have a separate book about him (the little lights one) and it means we can dress up and pretend to nail something to the door, plus eat worm sweets and learn about his trial at Worms.
I drew a map (I’m not good at drawing but who cares really?), so that when we learn about a reformer we can cut out their head (so to speak) and stick it on the map. This will hopefully make it more fun and help the children remember it.
At some point, probably Sunday or Monday (31st is officially Reformation Day), we will do this craft to help them learn the “five solas” which are five phrases that help to sum up the Reformation. (I don’t think I’d heard of these before, thanks Rebecca Croft!). Here is a picture of the craft. If only I were good with technology I could let you download it, but if you have a compass and protractor you could make it yourself. A photocopier may help, depending on the size of your brood. (I will see if I can upload it but am away now until Saturday so it may be too late by then, sorry.)
A Bloody Easter – originally posted Easter 2015
I’d like to teach my children about the death and resurrection of Christ this Easter in light of the Old Testament substitutionary sacrifices (wow, big words). So just in case it’s helpful, here are my notes.
I hope to do these lessons next week, in the days leading up to Easter weekend. Am praying it will help them to see why Jesus died and why it’s wonderful news for us that he’s our sacrificial Lamb.
Let me know if you have any questions about it. Sorry about the formatting. I tried my best!
Memory verse: ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’
(Colin Buchanan, Romans 6:23 from Remember the Lord or Seeds Family Worship ‘Hey Man’ from Seeds of Faith (available on their website)) I will spend time explaining what this verse means.
I’m using the Jesus Storybook Bible, but I’m sure you could use another children’s Bible which include the relevant stories.
|Bible story||Questions/Discussion & Activity|
|The Present – JSB p. 62 (Abraham and Isaac)||Remind them about Abraham, the promise and the son of the promise, Isaac.
Read the story.
1. How do you think Abraham felt at the beginning? (Sad! Confused!)
2. Did he have to kill his son? (No!)
When we sin, the punishment is death. Someone has to die for our sin. But in this story. Isaac didn’t have to die – what died instead of Isaac? (The ram)
3. BUT, Abraham had said God would provide a LAMB. So where is the lamb?
Jesus is the Lamb that God provided. Jesus died for our sin so we don’t have to. He died for Abraham’s sin and Isaac’s sin too.
We’ll find out more about that later in the week. Pray and sing the memory verse.Activity – Popcorn RamsUse picture of ram (I shall ask my husband to copy a basic one from a colouring page online) and write ‘The Lord will provide’ under it.
Stick popcorn to the ram’s body (optional! Could just colour it in).
And/or colouring page such as:https://craftingthewordofgod.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/abraham-offers-isaac-coloring-page.pdf
|God to the Rescue! – JSB P. 84 (The Plagues, Passover and Exodus)||We learned last time about Abraham and his son Isaac. Isaac’s grandson was Joseph, and he and his brothers had loads of children so there were a lot of God’s people now. Let’s find out what happened to them.
Read the story.
Yes! Do you see that God provides something to die instead of his people. They deserve to be punished and die, BUT because they trust God and sacrifice an animal instead, God keeps them safe. Pray and sing memory verse.
Activity – Hand Lambs
|The Servant King – JSB p. 286.
The last supper
|Do you remember how God rescued his people from Egypt? (Recap on the Passover)
God’s people would celebrate the Passover every year by having a meal together and telling the story. They would eat a lamb and remember how the lamb had died instead of God’s people. In this story, Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples.Read story.
(Have props – bread and red juice – to talk them through this.)
1. What did Jesus say about the bread? (It is his body – it will break like the bread)
2. What did he say about the wine? (It’s like his blood – it will pour out)
3. Did Jesus know that he was about to be killed on the cross? (Yes!)Just as the Passover lamb died, now Jesus was going to die instead of the disciples. They wouldn’t have to kill a lamb and put the blood on their doors – Jesus would be their sacrifice instead.
We are like the disciples – we can be saved from death if we trust in the blood of Jesus.
Just like the ram was killed instead of Isaac.
Just like the lamb was killed instead of the sons in Egypt.
Jesus was killed on the cross, instead of you and me.
Pray and sing memory verse.Activity – Sacrifice collage
Colouring page – Jesus and bread/wine such as
http://www.kidsplaycolor.com/jesus-raise-his-grail-in-the-last-supper-coloring-page/On A3 paper (or two stuck together if you need them) stick their rams and their lambs and then draw arrows down to the picture Jesus with the bread and wine. Explain that Jesus is our sacrifice (write that underneath)
God to the Rescue (initially posted at Easter 2014)
I’ve been thinking about how I could teach the children leading up to Easter. I bought some Bible sticker books by Miles Kelly (My Bible Sticker Activity) from thebookpeople.co.uk, and they’re really good so I’ll use those as an activity each day. But if you don’t have the same sticker books, I’m sure you can Google craft activities or just print off a colouring sheet for the relevant Bible story. Or maybe you have a Bible activity book with a suitable page that hasn’t yet been filled in – I hope so!
Here goes, please find my little teaching outline below. BPSB is the Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm; BB is the Beginner’s Bible (from the Good Book Co I think?) and JSB is the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Sorry if there are bits missing or it’s unclear – I have another week to work on it but wanted to post this today in case your children are off next week.
Each day we will hang up a plastic egg (we have loads left over from a church egg hunt) with the day’s message written on it (using an address label probably, nothing fancy) in order to keep track of what we’ve learnt, and to make it a bit festive.
Theme: God to the Rescue
|Day||Message||Story / Lesson||Activity (from Miles Kelly My Bible Sticker Activity books)|
|Monday 14th||God rescued Noah from the flood||BPSB p. 58-65 / God punished the world and he saved Noah + family. (You might need to give background here, i.e. start from the beginning (creation and fall) on the days leading up to it)||Noah’s Ark p.22-23|
|Tuesday 15th||The Passover: God rescued his people from death||BPSB p. 114-129/ God’s people killed a lamb so that the lamb would die instead of their sons. God rescued his people from death by giving them ‘the great sign.’ (Again you may need to give a bit of context)||Moses and the Princess p.20-21|
|Wed 16th||The Red Sea:God rescued his people from Egypt.||BB p. 111-115/ God rescued his people from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea.||Moses and the Princess p. 22|
|Thurs 17th||David/Goliath: God rescued his people from their enemies.||BB p. 173-180 or JSB/ God rescued the Israelite army from the Philistines by sending David to defeat Goliath.||David and Goliath p.20-23|
|Friday 18th||Jesus came to raise the dead||Lazarus BPSB p. 338-352/Jesus came to rescue people from death||Colouring sheet (or Jesus and the Fishermen p. 8)|
|Saturday 19th||The Cross: God rescues his people from punishment.||p. 368-p. 373 (or just p. 373) Jesus died the death we deserve for sinning against God.||The First Easter p. 18-20|
|Sunday 20th||TheResurrection: God rescues his people from death.||JSB: God’s wonderful surprise.God has rescued us from death by raising Jesus from the dead. Because he rose from the dead, we will too if we trust in him.||The First Easter p. 21|
|Monday21st||New Life: We can be rescued from sin and death by believing in Jesus.||BPSB p. 414-423 (Pentecost)/ When we put our trust in Jesus, our old self dies and our new life begins, with God’s Holy Spirit living in us. (This is clearly a tricky concept for pre-schoolers, but it’s worth a go!)||The First Easter p. 22-23|