May 21, 2015

3 Keys to Creating Lessons That Help Kids Grow Spiritually

Want to see kids' faith grow?  Here's 3 keys to creating lessons that will help kids grow spiritually.

Anchored to the Word.  The Word is what causes kids' faith to grow.  1 Peter 2:2 says, "Long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation."

The foundation of any lesson must be God's Word...not a value...not an object lesson...not a cute theme.  These can all be used to illustrate God's Word, but should not be the starting point.


Our lessons must be filled with the seed of God's Word.  When planted in the hearts of kid, it will result in spiritual growth. 

Application of the Word
Once the Word is planted in the hearts of kids, it must be applied to their life.


Information without application results in lack of transformation.  Obedience should always be the bottom line of the lesson.  Filling kids' head with knowledge without showing them how to apply it will short-circuit their faith.

James 1:22 says, "But don't just listen to God's Word.  You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves."  

If we don't challenge kids to live out what they hear, we are causing them to be hearers-only.  Hearers-only are like a person that looks in the mirror and sees they need to comb their hair, but quickly moves on without taking time to fix their appearance. 

Spend as much time teaching kids how to apply the truth as you do teaching them the facts of the truth.  How can they live this out at school?  How can they live this out in their neighborhood?  How can they live this out on their sports team?  How can they live this out at home?

Accountability to the Word
Psalm 1 tells us, "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers."

To help kids bear the kind of fruit we see in Psalm 1, we must hold them accountable to what we've ask them to apply.  Accountability will help kids develop spiritual growth habits that over time will shift to intrinsic spiritual disciplines.

Let's tie all three of these keys together in a practical example:

Anchored in the Word (start with a Bible passage):
Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.  So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.  When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept.  Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph.  "Look, we are your slaves!" they said.  But Joseph replied, "Don’t be afraid of me.  Am I God, that I can punish you?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.  He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.  No, don’t be afraid.  I will continue to take care of you and your children."  So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.
Genesis 50 

Explain the story of Joseph's brothers harming him.  He had to decide if he would obey God and forgive them or get revenge.  Joseph made the choice to forgive them. 

Application of the Word:
God wants us to forgive people when they hurt us.  Who do you need to forgive?  Will you forgive the person at school who tripped you?  Will you forgive your brother or sister who got you in trouble?  Will you forgive the kid on your team who called you a name?

If someone hurts you this week, will you forgive them?

Accountability of the Word:
The next week, take time at the beginning of the lesson to ask kids if they forgave anyone.  Have them share about it with their leader.  

These 3 keys will activate kids' faith and move them forward spiritually.   

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