If you’re teaching the Bible to kids, sooner or later you probably are going to find yourself looking for various kinds of resources to help you in this important task. “Resources” can be anything from curriculum to craft supplies and will facilitate a unique, creative teaching and learning experience for children.
Resources of this nature can be helpful to the Christian parent or children’s Bible teacher because of two significant challenges we face in our efforts today, decreasing time and decreasing attention spans.
We are busy people. We have jobs (sometimes more than one), responsibilities, and demands on our time. And it’s not just parents. Families are busy with school, sports, and other extra-curricular activities. By the time we and the children actually get around to talking about the Bible, the time is very limited.
The fact is, most Bible teachers in the church will be glad if they’re getting to spend a full hour each week with any given child on a consistent basis. The diligent Christian parent may squeeze in a few hours of Bible teaching time each week, but that’s probably a rare exception rather than the norm.
In reality, we come to the Bible teaching “hour” with a keen awareness that we need to make the hour count. Even on a good day, an hour isn’t very much time We want to use the time well, and carefully selected resources can help us do that.
Decreasing Attention Spans
Most kids these days are being raised in a media-rich environment that exposes them to highly visual and interactive learning experiences. They are accustomed to significant amounts of mental and emotional stimulation as a result of TV, computer devices, advertising, etc. As a rule, most children these days are not exposed to long periods of someone simply talking to them. Consequently, their attention spans are shorter and their expectations of engagement are higher.
Educating children today typically demands a well-planned series of brief learning activities in order to keep the kids “moving” through the lesson so they stay attentive and engaged. This kind of interactive teaching plan will almost always be facilitated by a broad range of resources.
You Can Do It!
Yes, time and attention spans are shrinking, but don’t let that discourage you. These realities may be challenging, but they are pushing the typical parent or Bible teacher toward teaching models that are more engaging and interactive and this is not bad. If you were raised in a different time, you may struggle to understand the impact of interactive media on a child’s mind, but the need to adapt to such changes is nothing new. Parents and teachers have been doing this since the beginning.
At the end of the day, our goal is to help kids connect with the biblical narrative. We are still telling the same story that God’s people have been telling for centuries. The core elements of the story have not changed. The use of differing resources, whatever they may be, can help us engage kids with that story. That’s why we utilize resources in teaching kids the Bible.
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.