Last year, we learned that the most valuable education a child can receive, and for that matter, any one of us can receive is learning the “Holy Scriptures” (II Tim. 3:15). But the facts are facts. The average child in this country will spend 1,000 hours per year in school. As children get older, the time they spend in front of a screen only increases. However, the number of hours per year they spend in Bible class — if they attended every Sunday morning and Wednesday night here at Tidewater — is 78.
Even when we consider the influence of peers, screen time and education, this is still a war that can be won. Children learn about God first, and best, from their parents. It is within the family environment that children learn together from their parents how to relate to God. The home is the starting point of developing valuable children into valuable members in the kingdom of God.
Which brings us to the church, and how the church can help in this battle. Too many people see children as a liability, a distraction, even an afterthought. But children are a blessing (Ps. 127:3-5) and they’re important. Bible classes aren’t just a way to fill time. Remember the question the Ethiopian eunuch posed to Philip in Acts 8:31: “How can I (understand), unless someone guides me?” Our children are asking us the same question. The goal is to lay a foundation for faith and knowledge of the Bible in the hearts of our children.
Here are six things how we, as teachers, can be effective:
Teachers must first be taught themselves (John 3:1, 10): If I asked you who taught you about Jesus, you’d likely say you were taught by someone else. That person, likely, was taught by someone else. Ultimately, the teachings must point back to Jesus.
Pray (James 1:5): Ask God to help you and give you wisdom.
Prepare (II Timothy 2:15): Teaching is not for lazy people. It’s hard. And those who prepare well typically do well.
Make God’s Word central (Hebrews 4:12): We aim to please God, not men (I Thess. 2:4).
Love people (Matt. 9:35-38): We must love the subject — the Word of God — but if we don’t have love and compassion for souls, we can’t be effective in our teaching.
A teacher’s work is never done (II Tim. 2:24-26): No one retires as a teacher of God. It’s a way of life.