Is teaching Bible class really a big deal? Am I really making a difference in the church by teaching these rowdy seven year olds? The answers are “Yes and Yes”. It is a big deal and I am making a difference.
Of course, God has first given the responsibility of teaching children to the parents. Deuteronomy 6:7-9, makes it clear that parents are responsible for teaching children. However, I believe that a Bible class program is an extension of the home in teaching. It is an added opportunity for parents to give instruction to their children in another setting. I also know that there are many parents not fulfilling their job of teaching their children. I am not saying this is OK, but families are busy and many have displaced priorities. The sad reality of the situation is that Bible training comes at the bottom of many parents’ to do list. You as the Bible class teacher may be the only one teaching a child those exciting stories of Bible heroes. You may be the only one requiring a child to put God’s word into their hearts through memorization of Bible verses.
It is easy for us to sit and wring our hands with worry over the future state of the church. There are individuals and congregations who are falling away. Rather than wringing your hands, why not get involved in the future of the church? That ornery little boy sitting in your Bible class may become a great preacher or elder one day. The little girl who can’t stop talking to her friends in class and asks never ending questions may be your ladies Bible class teacher some day!
You may have heard many sermons throughout your life on evangelism where you have gone away feeling somewhat guilty. When you’re a young mother, you can’t leave your children to go off on mission trips to other countries. You may have a personality that is not comfortable going door knocking inviting strangers to church. However, find comfort in knowing that as a Bible class teacher, you are evangelizing. Whether it is cradle roll or adult classes, if you are telling someone else about God and spreading His message, you are doing His will. When you teach a baby to love and “Pat the Bible”, or you teach a toddler that Jesus loves them, or you teach the plan of salvation to a 4th grade student, you are giving foundation and you are making a difference!
Not only are we evangelizing through our Bible class teaching, but there are so many opportunities for edification. I knew of a teacher who regularly got her class of 3rd & 4th grade students together for cookouts, service projects, and pizza parties! She was a constant source of encouragement to the kids by sending them cards for birthdays, congratulations on achievements at school, or goody packages sent to camp. She even had all the girls get together for a sleep-over where they had a Bible story about Esther. They played games, did crafts, played dress-up, and got “make-overs” with their hair & nails being done by older teenage girls. They not only had a fantastic time, but they built relationships with one another and with older girls that provided great role models for them.
We also have opportunities for benevolence with our Bible class students. My 1st & 2nd grade class went with my friend’s 3rd & 4th grade class to take the names of a needy boy and girl at holiday time. We got the names from a list provided at the school where I taught. The children would bring in toys and gifts that were wrapped and distributed to those in need. The kids also brought in small toys and made cards for children in the hospital. They planted pots of flowers and made cards to take to the patients at the nursing home.
Possibilities are endless for the good you can do with your Bible class. So back to the original question. What are we doing here? We are doing God’s work that makes a difference now in the lives of our students and will make a difference in the future of the church! Now that is something worth my involvement!