For our children’s ministry, we use a curriculum from a well know national company who specializes in writing children’s curriculum for churches. Frankly, the stuff they put out is great! The large group teaching, small group activities and variety of “extras” you can buy to go along with the curriculum are all outstanding. Each month we review a new biblical virtue and each week an aspect of that virtue is taught based upon a biblical story or passage.
Like all curriculum, this one serves as a road map to the weekly lesson, and each week I find myself tweaking the lesson (or sometimes rewriting it) to fit my circumstances. The first thing I have to do is rewrite the large group presentation (which generally includes two or more people) to be delivered by one person. This requires a little bit of creativity to find new ways to present the lesson each week without having the kids grow bored with just listening to me. I also tend to inject some of my own thoughts and ideas into the lesson as appropriate and necessary. The final step I go through every sing week, and the most important, is that I read through the revised lesson and ask myself, “Where is Jesus in this story?” Where do I need to inject more Jesus? How does the Bible story relate to or point to Jesus?
John 5:39-40 says:
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” [John 5:39-40 ESV]
Later in the same discourse, Jesus explains:
“For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” [John 5:46-47 ESV]
The point is clear! All of scripture points us directly towards Jesus. Based on my study of scripture, I believe that all scripture either points to, is about, or emanates from Jesus Christ. He is the focal point of history and the focal point of the Bible. You see, God calls us to place Jesus firmly at the center of our lives. Everything we do should be about Jesus. We should parent for Jesus. We should coach little league for Jesus. We should tell people about Jesus. We should live our lives and do everything we do as if we are doing it for God and not for men. Given that, it only makes sense that we must make him the center of any lesson we are presenting to God’s children.
When you are preparing your lesson for this weekend, or any weekend, I think you should ask the following ten questions about your lesson to assess whether or not it includes a sufficient amount of Jesus:
- Is Jesus the central point of your Bible lesson?
- Have you explained how Jesus fits into the biblical story you are using as part of your lesson?
- Does your teaching include a presentation of the gospel?
- What in your lesson would prompt an unsaved child to turn to Jesus?
- What in your lesson would prompt a saved child to rely on Jesus?
- How does your lesson challenge your audience to be a better follower of Jesus?
- What does the lesson teach the kids about their personal relationship with Jesus?
- In what way does your lesson encourage worship of Jesus?
- If you are teaching a biblical virtue or spiritual discipline, have you explained how it relates to a relationship with Jesus?
- Where is Jesus in this story?
You should also check out Tony’s post related to this topic called “Don’t miss the Gospel when sharing Jesus with kids” or this one by Charlie about “The importance of Jesus in every Bible lesson.”