Musings on Past Sunday School Experiences and What I Got Out of It All

An Essay By Kenzie // 6/25/2008

I want to totally and completely take over a Sunday School class at our church. I recently looked back on my Church experiences and found that I couldn’t remember anything about being in class expect that I hated it, was bored and was sick of the same thing over and over again.

What?

That’s awful! I should look back on my learning experiences as being fortifying and interesting, fun yet reverent!

I realized that I had gained nothing but resentment for studying the Bible from my Sunday School classes.

Now those of you who know me well know that I have always been the “revolutionary type.” I’ve always wanted to start a movement and influence the world somehow. And I’ve always been determined to be different from everyone .

I’ve wanted to start a school because I’ve wanted to teach children in a way that would be different – more tailored to individual children’s needs, hands-on, fun and interesting. I’ve eagerly looked forward to being a parent because I want to do the same. And now, I realize (As I begin to dislike working in AWANA and our church’s other child-centered programs) that I really want to teach the kids about the Bible – my way.

Here’s the basic outline for my method – I only thought of it this morning so it’s still rough:

Basic Idea: Every class doesn’t have to be a strict Bible lesson. There’s no reason we have to sit still and simply read the Bible and fill out a work sheet. Let’s get outside of the box, but stick to the Scriptures.

We would alternate our lessons between these 10 examples:

1. Art: we would draw pictures of how we imagine scenes in the Bible with all different mediums. It would help the story or situation become ingrained into the child’s memory and there would be a record of what the child did.

2. Service: we’d learn about helping spontaneously or when we aren’t told to. We would go out and clean up some part of the church.

3. Experiments/hands-on: there’d be a lot of this. One example of something I would do would be the story of the man who built his house on sand and the man who built his house of rock. I would bring in sand and a chunk of rock and we would build some simple little houses out something or other. Somehow securing them to their foundation, we would then flood the two houses. Perhaps we would do the same with little figures of people. This would also be a lesson in architecture as well.

4. Life skills: we would make foods that are mentioned in the Bible. We would learn basic life skills, too, but mainly cooking.

5. Science/creation study: we would learn about certain elements mentioned in the Bible (thunder and lightning for example) and they’d be able to defend their faith with facts about creation.

6. Music – sometimes we would learn hymns.

7. Drama: we would often act out Psalms or Proverbs – the only thing I remember about Sunday school besides hating it, was that we once did a play in our classroom. Now doesn’t that tell you something?

8. Language: we would learn verses in another language once in a while. Would learn about the root of a word and go back to the original text to make things clearer sometimes.

9. Speech/reading: they’d learn how to read expressively, in front of other people etc.

10. Just plain reading the Bible: we’d just read the Bible – and not just Bible stories.

What do you think? I’m definitely going to draw up an outline of a couple of my lessons and pursue this some more, but I’m curious about your views on this.

Comments

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Well, first of all I want to say welcome to Apritcotpie!

I like your idea of Bible study. While "actual" Bible study (reading a passage, discussing, meditating) is good for adults, what you have mentioned is an excellent way to give kids a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Bible. In fact, from Monday to Friday this week at our church, I am helping out with a Bible School for kids; we do basically the same stuff you mentioned in your essay!

So I just wanted to say that I agree with you completely about this. Good job!

Clare Marie | Wed, 06/25/2008

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Hey Kenzie!

I like your ideas. Back when my family went to church, the only lesson in Sunday School I remember is when a missionary came to speak to us. I definitely think that kids need more hands-on stuff, but also as you get older you need to settle down to serious discussion of the Bible or do something similar to the teens in my small group are doing right now, a Christian apologetics series of DVDs and discussions. But yeah for younger kids I'd say your method would be cool!
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God wove a loveliness
Of clouds and stars and birds
But made not anything at all
So beautiful as words
~Anna Hempstead Branch

Heather | Wed, 06/25/2008

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And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Oh wow!

Thanks for the welcome, guys!

Last Sunday, I was promoted up to the highschool class. Previously, in our Jr. High group, we had gone off in the other room and basically goofed off, which I hated.

When I got to the highschool class, however, although we still watched the silly little video (which I hate, too - bleck!) beforehand, afterwards, we sat in a big circle and had a huge discussion. I think it was the best Sunday School experience I've ever had. Hurrah!

But I would, of course, do everything totally differently. =D

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I wonder if somewhere in my ramblings, summat philosophical and meaningful will appear...

Kenzie | Thu, 06/26/2008

"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire