The most meaningful part of each day with my students is, hands down, reading the Bible with them. Colleagues who have popped into our classroom as we’re digging into God’s Word have commented on the sense of peace that rests within our walls. I guess that’s another way to describe this special time of the day – peaceful. It’s also so much more and I take no credit for it because I know why our mornings are filled with peace – and joy, and questions and challenges. The Word of God is alive and active! The Bible engages, makes us ask and wonder, dares us to change and fills us with awe at our Heavenly Father and our Saviour Jesus.
Giving my students every chance to read the Bible started with a worry I had. Overhearing a heartbreaking conversation among teenagers on a train, I was afraid that my students would in the future find themselves as lost and confused as these young people I was hearing. Then God reminded me that it’s His business to transform the hearts of my students and He works powerfully through His Word. So more than pep talks of my own conjuring, I do my best to lead my students straight to the source of all wisdom and life.
God reminded me that it’s His business to transform the hearts of my students and He works powerfully through His Word.
Here are four ways you and your students can soak up God’s Word in class. These may not sound phenomenal but remember how our Lord created the universe by the power of His Word? You’ll be amazed how regular reading of the Bible can create a whole new world!
Read it together. I told you it doesn’t sound groundbreaking! But that’s what you do with words. Books like Proverbs would be good for students to read out loud, one verse per child. For other passages, you might want your students to read ahead before you re-read it together.
Sing it together. My class memorised the whole of Psalm 139 because we learnt it as a song. I played the version by Sons of Korah which uses the NIV pretty much a word-per-word. As we listened, the students followed along using their Bibles.
Discuss it. Super important! If we as adults can have questions as we read, how much more will our students? Give them freedom to ask anything that does not make sense to them. In answering, make sure you are using the Bible as much as possible. If the Bible doesn’t give us a clue or an answer to a question, be honest and perhaps talk about how God has not revealed everything to us. He has, however, given us everything we need to know. Show them that asking questions is a good thing by the way you respond. Kids also love sharing their favourite verses. Finally, make sure you always ask, ‘How should we live if we believe what we’ve read?’
‘How should we live if we believe what we’ve read?’
Draw it. Audio Bibles abound and you’ll find a variety ready for use on YouTube. Play any book of as kids read along using their Bibles. After two chapters or so, let kids share highlights from the passage. A prompt such as ‘What do we learn about Jesus from this passge?’ may help them share their ideas. With their thoughts listed on the board, students then make a poster for that book of the Bible. They add to it bit by bit as you go through more chapters each week. An alternate way of doing this is whilst playing the audio Bible, students can draw and write as they listen.
The last idea is something I learnt from my friend and colleague, Louise Griffiths. Our team has been so blessed to work with her in 2015. As she focuses on being a wife to her Cameron and a Mum to two gorgeous kids this 2016, let me honour her as I give you a picture of why I am filled with gratefulness that I got to work with her:
The team will miss you, Louise! Thank you.