Where do you find yourself devoting the most enthusiasm? Where is your passion? And how do you know what gives you the most drive? As football season rolls around, we see grown men lose all sense of dignity as they gather around a TV or a tailgate. We see entire towns come together in support of teams or schools. A Saturday afternoon in a football stadium can be a raucous showdown of crowd chaos and fanatic din. But what about Sunday morning? Does the eager joy and thrill continue? Rarely…most church services feature congregations that for all intents and purposes might still be only half awake. Or perhaps Sunday morning attendance dwindles slightly as the devoted fans who braved sun or storm for their beloved teams opt to skip church and rest sore throats (perhaps in anticipation of a Sunday afternoon game…).
So how can we encourage Sunday School hour to be more engaging and attractive? It doesn’t mean we need pennants or pom-poms, of course, but what if we had the same sense of excitement and enthusiasm for church as we do for our favorite activities? Naturally, the word of God should be the most exciting thing we study or pursue, but of course we have made it a chore and tarnished a valuable piece of our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
There are plenty of methods and manners that we can employ to get kids more eager about the Bible and about fellowship with fellow believers. Sure, there are gimmicks than can help…you might try making things competitive by holding contests for Bible Verse memorization or Bible fact study. This can also be a good opportunity for students who might be less athletically inclined to have a chance to shine. Or you can offer prizes for attendance or completion of assignments or “homework.”
However, these are external and temporary motivations. The best method for communicating the Bible’s significance is, quite simply, demonstrating how exciting it is. If you are exhibiting enthusiasm and affection for God and His Word, it will naturally rub off. The best teachers are ones who know their topic, understand it, and get excited about it! Kids are not easily fooled. They know sincerity and they can sense boredom. So share the genuine thrill of the Bible! It is a book of adventure, history, mystery, prophecy, romance…it is instruction and encouragement and beauty. But in the end, it speaks for itself best:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17
-For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. -Romans 15:4
This is only the beginning. There is a whole Bible full of tools to explore. Open up and cheer!