Managing Time When Teaching Kids the Bible

Time constraints are a huge challenge for those teaching the Bible to kids. You have these kids maybe once or twice a week, and often you don’t get the same group two weeks in a row. It may feel as though teaching the Bible to these little ones is a losing battle in the face of massive time constraints.

How do you instill the immensity of God and His plan for us into the hearts and minds of wiggly kids in 60 minutes or less? Here are some suggestions that may point you in the right direction as you think about the task of managing time when teaching kids the Bible.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

If you go into your Bible teaching class with only a draft of an idea, hastily scrawled on the back of your grocery list, do not expect to have a time-efficient, spiritually effective class. If this class is important to you, then you will want to take the time to prepare your lesson. Know where you are going and know how you are going to get there.

Conquer Art Supplies

If crafts are to be a part of your lesson, get the needed supplies under control before the first little set of feet steps through your door. How much precious teaching time is lost looking for a pair of scissors or a runaway glue stick. Get it together, get it organized and get it ready to distribute before class time.

Don’t Forget Your Crystal Ball

Behavior issues can really drain class time, and when that happens no one wins. Not all behavior issues can be predicted, but if you have some “repeat offender,” you can pretty much anticipate how those behavior issues will affect an upcoming class time. Have a plan ready, even if you don’t need to use it. Choose seating carefully for kids that have ongoing interruptive tendencies. Establish and communicate concrete consequences for poor behavior, and be prepared to implement them as appropriate.

Beware of Rabbit Trails

Kids love rabbit trails. You know that spiraling conversation that gets started with something like, “Hey, one time me and my family went on vacation and we saw this alligator, eating this bird, and, and, and….” You get the idea. Rabbit trails have nothing to do with the lesson at hand, but they do have everything to do with a child’s need to communicate and feel that they are part of the group. So, make rabbit trails fun, by helping kids identify a rabbit trail, and then save it for before or after class. Perhaps “Rabbit Trail Hunting” can become a regular part of early arrival time. Give each kid a few minutes to run a Rabbit Trail and get it out of their system before class starts.

If you’ll give it some thought, you probably can come up with some ideas of your own that will help you maximize your time with these precious kids. The most important first step is simply recognizing the importance of this assignment, the infinite value of the kids, and the challenge of limited time.

Sarah Reeves

You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.

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