A Place Grade School Children Don’t Want to Be

A Place Grade School Children Want to Bel


Bible teachers of grade school children can try to make their classes as fun and interesting as possible but if the children feel threatened in any way, excitement will wane. If this becomes a persistent problem week after week students will not look forward to returning.

Grade School Children will not want to be in a place where they experience the following:

1) sense of incompetence or failure

Part of a gradeschoolers psychosocial development is building a sense of competence. They need to believe they can handle the task before them or they develop a sense of inferiority. If they can’t read as well as others, take longer to complete projects, always seem to lose at games, etc., they won’t be feeling very competent. As a result, they could begin to dread coming to class. Bible teachers need to compensate for those who are struggling to keep up by giving them manageable goals for tasks, providing clear instructions, and coming alongside of them with guided conversation. If you do not help grade school students succeed in the various classroom activities, they very likely will not find it a place they want to be.

2) chaotic atmosphere

While grade school children are seeking independence and may act like they don’t like rules, they actually do want some form of discipline and structure. Classrooms where students are out of control are not pleasant places to be. Students may get to feeling as though the teacher doesn’t care. They may not feel safe. Bible teachers, work on your classroom management skills. If you don’t, your students may not view your class as somewhere they want to be.

3) unhealthy relating

Whether it is kids bullying or picking on one another or teachers belittling or embarrassing kids, students on the receiving end of this kind of treatment will not look forward to coming to class. Friendships are a motivational factor for children at this age. They need a sense of belonging and acceptance which is missing in dysfunctional classrooms. Bible teachers, work at helping your students understand Body Life principles so children develop Christ-like relationships with each other. If they find the same kind of treatment they experience from kids in school, why would your classroom be a place they would want to be?

Are your grade school classrooms places children find success, order, and wholesome friendships?

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A Place Grade School Children Want to Be

A Place Grade School Children Want to Bel

Most grade school students come to your Sunday School class, mid-week program, or other Bible study group because their parents bring them. How many truly want to be there? How many would stay home if their parents would let them? How many would be upset if their parents weren’t going to bring them?

Bible Classes that are characterized by the following will have a greater potential of being places grade school children want to be:

1) safe

If a child persistently gets picked on, is belittled when he doesn’t know answers, is asked to do something beyond his capabilities, is pressured into making spiritual decisions, or the like, the student will have little desire to come back for more of the same. But, when children feel boundaries are in place to keep them safe in these ways, they will be more prone to taking risks.

2) fun or at least interesting

When gradeschoolers are engaged, they tend to learn. These are lessons that include enough variety and creativity to not only get their attention but also keep it and that provide enough activity to meet their age level needs. When children find the class enjoyable, not boring, it is a place they will want to be.

3) choices

In a quest for independence, grade school students don’t always want to be told what to do and how to do it. An environment in which they are allowed to make some decisions is one in which they can thrive. It is a place they would want to be.

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A Place Youth Don’t Want to Be

A Place Teens Want to BeWhat youth Bible teacher doesn’t want their teens to come because their Sunday School class, youth group, or other Bible study group is a place teens WANT to be? You can be an excellent teacher who brings lots of creativity and relevance into the classroom but still miss the mark with today’s youth if they perceive the class to be the following:

1) a place that is cliquish

This is a place many youth do not want to be, unless they are part of the “in group”, as it does little to fill their needs to belong and be accepted. Teachers can be warm, friendly, and accepting but teens need to feel worth from their peer as well. — Work at breaking down the cliques by incorporating community building activities.

2) a place that treats them like children

This is a place youth don’t want to be as they are trying to break into the adult world. When they feel you are sheltering them from the harsh realities of life, they don’t sense a relevance to the life they know. When methods and topics are below their capabilities, they don’t feel much is expected of them. When they are surrounded by rules and can’t make choices in the learning process, they feel belittled. — Extend respect to them and treat them as responsible, even if they don’t always act that way.

3) a place that feels cultish to them

This is a place students don’t want to be since it leaves them feeling empty and awkward when out in the real world. They feel such a pressure to conform to the group and cut off friends on the outside that it can fill them with doubts and skepticism rather than protect them from other beliefs and ways of life as was intended. — Maintain an outward focus in your class whereby you teach them to live in the world but not of the world so they shine as lights. Remember Jesus’ prayer for his disciples, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (Jn. 17:15).

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A Place Youth Want to Be

A Place Teens Want to Be

Teenagers stand at the brink of adulthood. Going to church will then become more of a personal decision. Youth who are more likely to stay are those who have been in Sunday School classes, youth group, or other Bible study groups that seemed real.

Promote the following to make your class a place youth want to be:

1) relationship, not religion

This is a place youth want to be since it brings them to a greater reality than mere traditions. They find their innermost needs met by a God who loves them as they are and wants to work in them that which is for their good and His glory. This vertical relationship flows onto the horizontal plain and they begin to experience the caring of others in their lives like never before which also serves as a motivational factor to be there.

2) spirituality, not rules

This is a place teens want to be as many of them truly do want to know the life Jesus came to give (Jn. 10:10) but don’t want to feel boxed in to robotic obedience. They tend to be more open when it isn’t about measuring up to high standards but rather experiencing more and more of the fullness of life Jesus offers.¬†Grace-filled classes are a place they want to be. They find grace to be a greater motivation to grow spiritually and live for the Lord (Titus 2:11-13).

3) role models, not rhetoric

This is a place youth want to be because teachers who walk the talk are like a contagion. They can buy into what teachers say more because they have earned their respect by being authentic.

Youth long for something that is real to grab hold of and therefore tend to be drawn toward places that promote and produce the above Christian experience.

… in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. (Titus 2:10)

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