Let’s talk about faith in the classroom. A brand new school year is about to begin (it’s already started in some places), and you might be wondering how to prepare your kids. How can you equip them to bring their faith along with new notebooks and fresh folders? Here are ways to prepare you, your kids, and their parents for a new school year that focuses on Jesus.
Say: We’re going to start today with a pop quiz. But this pop quiz is different from ones you usually have at school. I’ll ask a question. If you can answer “yes” to the question, “pop” onto your feet and then sit down.
Ask: • Have you ever asked God to help you at school?
• Have you ever talked about Jesus with a friend at school?
• Have you ever explained to a friend at school why you believe in God?
• Have you ever told a teacher what the Bible says about a subject you
• Have you ever prayed for a friend at school?
• Have you ever tried to see a subject you were studying from God’s perspective?
• Has a teacher ever made you feel uncomfortable because of your faith?
• Do you think it’s hard to be a Christian at school?
Then say: You’ve just taken a pop quiz that shows several ways we can take our faith to school. Today we’re going to take a closer look at what that means.
Have kids form small groups (a group can be one person). Give each group a random prop to work with (can be as simple as a shoe or a book…anything in your meeting room). Tell each group to read Proverbs 3:5-6 and prepare a creative presentation to help others learn these verses. For example, groups might put the words to a familiar tune like the theme song of a television show, make the verses into an opera, or create hand motions to go with the verses. Tell groups to include their props in their presentations. For example, groups might use the items as props, decorations, or microphones. Give everyone two minutes to get ready. After two minutes, have groups make their presentations. When all groups are done, ask:
• What goes through your mind when you think about taking your faith to school? How is that similar to or different from your thoughts during the presentations you just made? Why?
• How can learning the advice of Proverbs 3:5-6 and other Scriptures help you take your faith to school?
• What’s one thing you can do this week to take your faith to school?
United We Stand
Form new small groups. Have groups work together to perform the following task:
Have everyone in the group connect by linking[dh1] arms. Make sure each person is linked to another person. Then without breaking contact, have your group walk around the room while passing a book or other small item around the outside of the circle. Make sure you don’t let the item touch the floor.
Afterward, have group members take turns telling one positive quality they see in your group, such as enthusiasm, friendliness, or humor. Don’t let anyone repeat an answer someone else has said.
Have groups read Romans 15:1-6 and discuss these questions.
• How was Romans 15:1-6 illustrated in this activity?
• What did you think as we worked together to accomplish our tasks? Why?
• How can we work together to take our faith to school?
• How can the advice of Romans 15:1-6 help us take our faith to school?
Have kids form pairs. Tell pairs they’ll take turns pretending to be reflections in a mirror. When someone is a reflection, that person should imitate whatever his or her partner does. Tell pairs to choose who will be Player One and who Player Two. You’ll announce which partner leads and what activities the leader should act out. Have pairs spend 15 seconds acting out each of the following:
• Ones, brush your teeth. (Twos, mirror.)
• Twos, wash your hands. (Ones, mirror.)
• Ones, make strange faces. (Twos, mirror.)
• Twos, lift weights. (Ones, mirror.)
• Ones, put on makeup. (Twos, mirror.)
• Twos, style your hair. (Ones, mirror.)
After the activity, have pairs read 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Ephesians 5:1-2. Then discuss these questions as a group.
• How was imitating your partner like or unlike imitating Jesus?
• How do you react when you see someone who imitates Jesus?
• How can you “mirror” Jesus at your school this week?
• What are some results of taking your faith to school by mirroring Jesus there?
Tell the Good News
Have your kids form two or three groups (a group can be one person), and have each group choose a sports team or a popular movie. Tell groups that their teams or movies are candidates for “Best in the League” and that the groups have been selected to act as publicity managers. Give groups two minutes to come up with 30-second commercials for their teams or movies. After two minutes, have groups take turns presenting their commercials. When all groups have presented their commercials, have someone wearing blue read Acts 4:19-20. Then have your entire group discuss these questions.
• Which is easier, telling others about your favorite sports team or movie or telling others about Jesus? Why?
• Why is it sometimes difficult to tell others at school about your faith?
• How can Acts 4:19-20 encourage you to be as enthusiastic about telling others about Jesus as you were about telling about your sports team or movie?
Tape a sheet of newsprint to the wall. Have kids form groups of three. Give each group a sheet of paper and a pencil. Say: In your group, make a list of all the things that make it difficult to share your faith at school. Then narrow down the list to the two biggest things. Give kids about three minutes to come up with their lists. Then say: Choose a representative from your group to write on this sheet of newsprint the two biggest things that make it difficult to share your faith at school.
After kids finish writing, have them return to their groups to come up with a way to deal with each of their two biggest obstacles. While they’re working, tape another sheet of newsprint to the wall. Have each group choose a representative to write the group’s solutions on the newsprint. Then say: I’d like each of you to privately choose one of these solutions as a way to share your faith at school this week. During the week, pray that God will give you the opportunity to act on the solution you chose.
Ask: • How does a relationship with Jesus affect a person’s life?
• Why might someone you know at school benefit from knowing Jesus, too?
Say: Jesus loves each and every person on earth, and he wants everyone to experience his love. Telling people about Jesus is like introducing them to the best friend they’ll ever have. Jesus’ disciples Peter and John knew how wonderful it was to have a relationship with Jesus. That’s why they were so excited to tell people about him. This is what they said in Acts 4:20: “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” All it takes to tell someone about Jesus is to tell the person what you’ve seen and heard in your relationship with Jesus.
These ideas were modified from Hands-On Bible Curriculum. I love this line because of all the unique games, snacks, and crafts that are used to help kids learn about God. Kids retain more by interacting with a lesson rather than just hearing it. Jesus used everyday things to teach important truths and Hand-On Bible Curriculum allows you to do the same. Discovering the Bible will be a fun, hands-on experience that gets kids excited about coming to Sunday school.
How do you prepare your kids for school? Let us know using the comment section below!