Ideas to Engage Kids Who Hate Sunday School
Bible teaching classes should reach the next generation with the message of the Bible. Most kids enjoy classroom interaction, but teachers sometimes encounter a child who simply hates being there. There could be many reasons for this. The child may be more mature than other children. This kid may be struggling at home or in school. The issue could be as simple as not being a morning person. Consider the following ideas to engage the child who dislikes Sunday School or the Bible class.
Assign The Child a Responsibility
A mature child may become bored with class. If you provide him or her the opportunity to utilize God-given skills to participate, he or she may start to shine! The role could be to advance the slide show for a youth group or to hand out papers for younger children. In 1Timothy 4:12-13, Paul warns Timothy not to let his age hinder his responsibilities as a Christ follower. Similarly, we should encourage children to fulfill age-appropriate responsibilities in Sunday School. A child who feels valued in the class is more likely to attend.
Encourage The Child to Move Around
Physical activity will stimulate drowsy children and help overactive children burn off excess energy. Psalm 149:3 states, “Let them praise his name with dancing…” Stand up and dance to worship God at the beginning of the class. Then conclude the class time with an active game. Fun games help contribute to a positive attitude about returning to class. It may even encourage them to bring a friend to join in the fun. More movement could be the key to enjoying the entire church experience.
The gospels record over three hundred questions asked by Jesus during his lifetime. Most teachers ask questions to make sure children comprehend the lesson. However, teachers should also ask personal questions to show love and make personal connections. A simple question like “Where did you get your shoes?” may result in a discussion about separated parents. Encouraging the child to open up in class can connect the child to the teacher and also to his or her peers. Children enjoy being places where they feel accepted.
Reward The Child’s Participation
Revelation 22:12 says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Adults are motivated by rewards and so are children. Teachers can encourage participation with rewards like points, play money, stickers, and gum. Incentives for might include the chance to win an oversized candy bar or a novelty gift. Rewards help children feel they have accomplished something worthwhile during their time in Sunday School.
Invite The Child to Commit to Christ
The reason a child may not be spiritually engaged in Sunday School could be that he or she never made a personal commitment to Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Depending on the age of the kids, consider providing an opportunity for children to give their lives to Christ every time you join together. Once the child commits to Christ, the Holy Spirit may fan into flame the obedient act of fellowship in the class room.
The Sunday School or Bible teaching class is a great opportunity for teachers to show children they are valued, loved, and accepted. When teachers demonstrate these things to the child who doesn’t really want to be there, he or she may experience a change in attitude and discover a lifelong love for church.
You can see a list of all of the articles Kim has written on Sunday School Zone.