One of my favourite ways to teach Bible stories in Sunday school is with object lessons. They are a great way to capture everyone’s attention - plus they are fun! What better way to make a lesson come to life and help our kids see the big idea in God’s Word. Object lessons can be an amazing teaching tool that help a lesson stick.
I recently asked one of our Sunday school teachers some questions about her planning and the use of object lessons in Children’s ministry. Pat Webb has been teaching Sunday school for thirty-nine years and here are some things I found out.
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
What she enjoys about working in Children’s Ministry:
I’ve always enjoyed working with children and their honest questions and creative minds. My favourite part is when their faces light up with wonder when they start to realize how amazing God really is.
Why she likes object lessons:
Object lessons are a fun and exciting way to bring a Bible story to life or make a Bible truth understandable to children in a modern world.
Favourite object lesson so far:
I had the kids write their sins on pieces of flash paper, that looks like white tissue paper, and put them in a foil plate on double tin foil paper. When they were done, I lit the paper and it disappeared in a puff of flame. There was no ash or burn marks on the plate. It was a definitive way to show how completely God forgives our sins. The kids were amazed and thoughtful afterwards.
A funny teaching moment:
In order to demonstrate Jesus' power in a fun way, I once used a cardboard dummy that sat up when Jesus healed him. The kids named him ‘Clive’. They were startled when he ‘rose up’ but through the example they began to understand what mourners must have felt when their loved one sat up.
It was great getting to learn a little more about Pat, her experience over the years, and ultimately her heart for pointing our kids to Jesus. Overall, it’s fun to see how our entire team of teachers bring a collection of different gifts and teaching skills to our children’s ministry. We appreciate the thought and energy that they bring every week to make our Bible teachings creative and meaningful.
Tanya Chant, Director of Family & Children's Ministry
As I write this blog post it is now less than one week until Christmas. How does it sneak up so quickly? Are you organized and ready? I often wonder why we put so much pressure on ourselves to have things all done and put together just perfect. How there seems to be so many events and activities on the calendar at once with not enough time to get to everything. I know that I’m even guilty of this when planning Christmas ideas for our Children’s Ministry. I’m always looking for something fresh, some new ideas that have the ‘wow factor’. There were even a few articles I read about how to be more effective in ministry planning during the season. Some suggestions were: decorating your space, (check), having some Christmas lights in the classrooms, (check I have a tree with lights), have different snacks (check, our kids love crackers and cheese), well planned crafts (check, I love being crafty), and using perhaps a variety of games and activity stations, (check, I usually have lots planned).
While these ideas are all helpful and effective, I was reminded that the Christmas story, with its events and characters, is enough on its own. It doesn’t need anything extra or flashy. Even though it may be the same story every year- Jesus born in a stable manger, a Saviour for the world; this is the ‘wow factor’!!
Last week our younger Sunday school children learned about one of my favourite parts of the Christmas story. It’s when the shepherds are in the field and suddenly an angel appears to them. We used a nativity set and some picture scenes to re-tell the story. The image of some simple shepherds working out in a field when suddenly an angel is before them and then a host of angels- is incredible. They were so full of joy and excitement that they hurried off to find the baby. These shepherds were part of an amazing story, part of a plan. God sent us a special gift that is for everyone.
As we get ready for Christmas day, let’s pause and reflect on God’s perfect plan and the hope a tiny king would bring.
Glory to the Newborn King!
Tanya Chant, Family & Children's Ministry
Do we trust God every day? I like to think that I try to, but when there’s a bump in the road, a disappointment or something doesn’t go as planned, I’m often questioning what happened and why. I might complain, feel the circumstances are unfair, doubt, or try things my own way.
In Sunday school, our grades 2-5 have been on the journey with Moses as he leads the people through the desert to the Promised Land. I can’t even imagine the pressure and sense of responsibility Moses must have felt each day. To be chosen to lead a group of people who were sometimes doubtful, disobedient and difficult, would be tough for sure.
This Sunday we are at the part of the story where Moses is punished. As you may recall, God had asked Moses to gather the people at the rock with his staff and to speak to the rock. Moses did gather the people there, but ended up striking the rock twice. Moses perhaps was frustrated and disobeyed God’s instructions. As a result, he was told that he wouldn’t be the one to lead the people into the Promised Land.
I can totally relate to some of the people in this story. I can see myself lacking in trust for God’s provisions and showing doubt….and even complaining. I can see how Moses may have had a moment where he thought his way was best and became frustrated.
Even with all that, God still loved and cared for Moses and the people. I believe God understands when we fall short or have feelings of fear and doubt. We can definitely trust Him to meet our needs everyday.
Tanya Chant, Director of Family and Childrens Ministry
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults and with my song I give thanks to Him.
Psalm 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord have not forsaken those who seek You.
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