by John Hailes/ October 28, 2019
Teaching kids is hard! It can take a lot of time to deconstruct the complex themes of the Bible and simplify them to a child’s understanding. Often, after a long week of prep, Sunday can come and go and leave nothing but disappointment. It can often feel like the kids I’m teaching just don’t get that simple life lesson I’m trying to pass on.
Teaching kids can be really hard! That is exactly why I was relieved when God showed me that the Holy Spirit is the Teacher! No matter how great our illustrations or object lessons, I’ve learned that the most we can do is to convince a child’s mind of something. However, the Holy Spirit is a much more convincing teacher. He can take head knowledge and use it to transform a child’s heart and life. When He speaks, He is hard to resist!
In Tru Fire curriculum, we position the Holy Spirit as the Teacher for two primary reasons. First, He is a much more qualified and capable teacher. Secondly, He can be present with kids wherever they go. When the kids in my ministry look only to me for direction and leading, they are going to struggle, because I can’t always be with them to help them. However, the Holy Spirit is their one-on-one, personal-, available-anytime teacher!
The Holy Spirit will be the best teacher your kids could ever have, but only if you position Him as their Teacher.
Here are some tips on positioning the Holy Spirit as the Teacher in your kid’s ministry:
1. Teach kids to know how to hear God’s voice.
It’s hard for the Holy Spirit to teach kids when they aren’t taught to listen for His voice. We must explain to kids that He speaks with a still small voice, and that often He speaks to our heart more than to our ears. We must teach them that we can hear Him through Scripture. I usually instruct kids to find a quiet place, to clear their mind, focus their thoughts on Jesus and wait until they feel God speaking to their heart. It takes kids time and practice. It’s good for kids to make it a regular practice to journal (write or draw) what they feel God is speaking to them.
2. Keep God central in your preaching and instructing.
If the Holy Spirit is the Teacher, do we stop sharing God’s Word with kids? Definitely not! We just need to be mindful of the way in which we share our lessons with children. When we share the stories of the Bible with our children, we often focus on the people of the Bible. We focus on the heroes of the faith like Noah, Abraham, David, and others. However, a better way is to focus on how God is the hero of the Bible. We should teach kids that God is the center of every story and every story reveals something about God’s interaction with His people. When we teach these deeper truths about God, we leave space for the Holy Spirit to help kids apply these truths to their life. When the Holy Spirit reveals that application to them, it will be hard for anyone to convince them of something else.
3. Create space for kids to respond every week.
IF we truly believe that the Holy Spirit is the Teacher, then we must take time every week in our services to get out of the way and let Him teach! If we only give him time every quarter, then we are not showing our kids that He is the Teacher. We need to show kids that every time they hear God’s Word, they should respond by taking time to ask the Holy Spirit to teach them how it applies to their life. This can be done best through creative, interactive prayer stations that help give kids the right questions to ask God.
We will always have a responsibility to communicate God’s truth to the next generation! I hope you feel that responsibility, because God has chosen to use us to pass on His truth to others. However, there is only one Teacher and we should not keep getting in His way!