Tag Archives: Sunday school teaching

Teaching the Beatitudes

The Beatitudes were Jesus’ eight “blessed are” statements that start off the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. Comparing each to a Walt Disney character is a unique and fun way of teaching the Beatitudes. Kids often learn virtues best when they can point to a person who is like that. Use Walt Disney characters that everyone knows as follows, and it can help kids learn the Beatitudes with a great picture imprinted in their minds!

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven: This is a bit like Cinderella. She was poor while living with evil people, but she was still destined for royalty—so she kept her head up!

Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted: This is like the beast in Beauty and the Beast. He had a lonely and awful life until a sweet young girl brought him back to his royal self and all he was promised.

Blessed are the meek for they shall possess the earth: This is a bit like Mickey Mouse. He was Disney’s first character…who would have thought that a dear little mouse could be known in every house across the land?

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice for they shall be satisfied: In the Great Mouse Detective, Basil the mouse detective has devoted his life to solving crimes. He goes in pursuit of justice that ends up saving the queen, whose death would have meant death to the land!

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy: In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Esmerelda shows kindness and mercy to the hunchback Quasimodo, who in turn saves her life.

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God: The evil stepmother in Snow White hates the young princess because of her beauty and purity. After an attempt on Snow White’s life fails, the stepmother disguises herself and brings the young princess a poisoned apple. She is awakened from death by the kiss of a prince, which can be compared to Jesus awakening us from death so that we can live happily ever after with him!

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God: Among the most peaceful of animals are deer. Bambi was named Prince of the Forest. A lot like our Prince of Peace, he had to lead all the deer to safety so as not to be burned up in a hellish forest fire.

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven: A great example of a persecuted Disney character is Mulan, who did nothing wrong, unless being born female is wrong! Even though she trained well to be a soldier, she was sent home in disgrace when her “crime” (gender) was discovered. But when it came time to defeat the enemy, the Huns, Mulan saved the day. Similar to the Kingdom of Heaven was her being named “a woman so rare that she comes along once in a Dynasty.” Her battle with the Huns is reminiscent of David facing Goliath!

Many images of the Disney characters are available online, and so are trailers of all their movies. These can make great additions while teaching the Beatitudes in a way kids are likely to cherish!

5 Simple Rules For Better Kid’s Sermons

Many adults admit that when they hear the word sermon, they think: Boring!

These adults are also the first to admit that from the time they were born, their parents took them to church, where they were forced to sit still and not fidget during the sermon, which they considered the longest half hour of the week. 

A children’s sermon, that can grab a child’s interest in the first sentence and hold it until the last, is the ideal way to change this impression about sermons, and there are five tips  that will help you turn it into something so positive that children rush to hear it with the same enthusiasm they rush to the beach or their favorite swimming pool. 

Kids sermons
To make the story relevant to youth, it is imperative that you find some way to apply it to present day life.

First, let me tell you about a Sunday school teacher who reported an ingenious plan that totally cured this problem in her church.   The children there do not have this impression of sermons being boring, because the children never sat through an adult one. 

During what their church calls “Talk Time”, when neighbor greets neighbor, the children exit to a room nearby where they have “Kids Own Worship”.  Here they experience children’s worship through uplifting songs, fun and memorable Bible learning through children’s church lessons. 

While this plan has been tremendously successful in one church, it may not be possible in others.  However, the secret to successful children’s sermons consists of five basic steps that make the Bible relevant to youth.  

Creating an Engaging Sermon for Kids

1.   Be certain you know what the scripture means.  As one Sunday school teacher explained:  “I loved going to Sunday school as a child, and I adored Bible stories, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized what these stories really meant.  “Jonah and the Whale,” for example was one of my favorites, but I think I lost the meaning by confusing the story with Pinocchio, and I can still visualize that picture of Geppetto sitting in his boat in the whale’s belly. 

As an adult, I looked “Jonah and the Whale” up in my concordance, and I was shocked to discover that the point of “Jonah and the Whale” is:  You can not runaway or hide from God.  Now, before I prepare a lesson, I check the concordance first, so the children will not make the same mistakes I made.    

2. To make the story relevant to youth, it is imperative that you find some way to apply it to present day life.   While it wouldn’t be too difficult for you to dream up a tale about a boy who wouldn’t listen when God spoke to him and tried to hide, you might be surprised at the answers you get if you asked the students to come up with an example.  It would be wise to have a back up example ready, just in case, but students will amaze you with the experiences they have had in school or while playing sports, and you might find yourself with a dozen examples.    

3.  One of the most important things to remember if you want  the story to be relevant to youth is to tell it in their language.   As one Sunday school teacher explained, “One of the stories that impressed me most was called, “Moses Thinks He’s a Dork”, and from beginning to end, the story of Moses was told in today’s teen vernacular, and it made for delightful and entertaining reading.   

4.  Visual props will also be a great asset in making the story relevant.  Pictures can be used, or any prop that adds to the story like a soccer ball, a basket ball, a football helmet, or even a set of shoulder pads that make the person wearing them look gigantic and tough, when he’s actually no bigger than anyone else.   

5.  Leave them with one simple thought.   It can be an outgrowth of a scripture, but it should accent the event in a simple phrase, like:  “You cannot hide from God.”  You could even add: “You may go to the ends of the earth, but nowhere can you hide from God.” 

When Bible stories become relevant to the world today, they become something of value and far more than a history lesson.  In  each story there is a message that applies to life today as strongly as it did when it was written.

Texting Your Sunday School Students Keeps It Real

Statistics show that 82 million people are texting regularly, and from what parents say, 80 million of those people are kids.  This new means of communication has taken the youth by storm. And you’ll be surprised what will happen if you text your Sunday school students a couple times during the week.

Text Sunday School students to keep lessons alive all week

Texting is the way kids communicate with each other in their own world, using their own lingo.  Most are well aware of adult intimidation, which only makes texting more attractive.  With this vast difference in attitude about texting among youngsters and adults, if you text your students, you are proving two points that will make them sit up and take notice.

1. You’re not siding against them
2. You not only text, you know their mindset

Learn texting Lingo!  It’s fun!

If you simply send a sentence “blast” to your class it will have a reverse effect and do more harm than good.  Unless you can put your sentence into their language, you will come off as a bit phony, and it would be better not to send any message at all.

How to learn the texting lingo.

Texting is mostly abbreviations and acronyms, and an Internet search will bring up dozens for you to study. Many lists are available on the Internet.  Here are some examples:
• & = And
• NE = Any
• AML = All my love
• BRB = Be Right Back
• BCNU = Be seeing you
• BC = Because
• B4 = Before
• BFF = Best friends forever
• BF = Boyfriend
• BTW = By the way

And so it goes through the entire alphabet.  If you don’t have time to do all this translating, you can also have your computer translate your sentence for you.

Your computer can find the right lingo.

By typing the following question into Google, the results will surprise you:  Can you translate this sentence from English into texting lingo?  It will bring up several sites that allow to you type the regular English into a window, and the site will produce its text-lingual equivalent!  One such site is www.lingo2word.com, which translates on one click after you type.

Sometimes it’s best to make a simple statement to students like “Do not forget to pray…like we talked about!” That way you’re not threatening to “use their brains for something else” after a long day in school.  However complicated questions can fun sometimes because they use a variety of text lingo that the students will have to translate off their heads.

For example, let’s say you sent the following message through the text translator of www.lingo2word.com: “Which character from the Old Testament do you consider someone you admire for their achievements and admirable qualities?  Students would see this:

wich char frm d Old Testament do you considA yr hero? plz B prepd 2 tel me on Sunda

To text your Sunday school students, you need to ask for their cell phone numbers.  You ought to have these handy anyway for other purposes.  Use your own cell phone’s instructions to create a blast text “list” of your students, so that you only have to hit SEND once.  Then, twice a week or so, put Jesus back in front of them.  Use what you know about your own students to dictate how often you text them and what you will say, because the most important thing is to keep it fun and entertaining!

u shd txt yr sunday skool stdnts whnvr uv somit QL 2 sA!!