Do you struggle to teach kids the Old Testament? It’s much more than just a bunch of stories, but how can we help kids apply it to their lives? Read on to find 3 tips to help you teach kids the Old Testament and a great resource you can use!
My husband and I lead the children’t worship service at our church each week. Our whole family participates, and we love helping kids understand the truth of the Bible and how it applies to their lives.
We want them to know that the Bible is more than just a bunch of stories.
It’s the key to understanding what God is doing in the world, in THEIR world.
This means that we have to make sure they know that what God did among his people so long ago still has implications for what he does among his people today.
Why should we teach kids the Old Testament?
Just before Easter, we led them through a study of the Old Testament Tabernacle. We wanted them to understand the importance of sacrifice so that they would better understand Jesus’ death on the cross.
Each week, we focused on a different item in the Tabernacle, starting with the Ark of the Covenant and proceeding outward from the Most Holy Place to the outer courtyard. We went “backwards” so they would understand that only through cleansing and sacrifice could the priests enter into God’s presence.
It was a perfect introduction to the fact that, through Christ, we can enter into the Most Holy Place.
Because in the Old Testament, God was always working toward redemption.
That’s one of the reasons I have always loved studying the Old Testament. It offers depth of understanding to the New, doesn’t it?
The cool thing about kids is the fact that they get that. We tend to think we should just teach them “stories” from the Old Testament with painted Sunday school pictures, but kids can go deeper than that. Our heart’s desire is to see them do it.
Over the years, we’ve learned a few things to help teach kids the Old Testament.
Tip #1 – Give them the facts.
When you plan a lesson to teach kids the Old Testament, don’t fall into the trap of telling “stories.” You are relating the history of God’s people, the nation of Israel, and God’s work of redemption in the world.
Anne Marie Gosnell, author of What God is Doing: Old Testament Object Lessons for Kids, says, “When you teach a lesson, try not to say words such as, ‘Our story today comes from…’ While the Bible is the story of God, it is more than a story.”
You want kids to understand that.
Tip #2 – Let them ask questions.
Sometimes, kids say the craziest things, don’t they? It’s enough to keep you from saying, “Any questions?”
Don’t be tempted to skip the Q&A though.
There will be some questions you can’t answer. It’s okay to admit that. Questions can set your whole group off on the adventure of searching for answers. We’ve started entire series because some kid asked, “Why?”
Tip #3 – Always point to Christ.
After all, the Old Testament does. Help them see the promise of Jesus from Genesis to Malachi. Even his return is in there because the Bible is a book about redemption, and until he returns, the story hasn’t ended.
What God is Doing: Old Testament Object Lessons for Kids can help you do that. Each lesson begins with an object lesson to get kids thinking and interested in what they’ll be learning that day. It includes questions to help review the Bible study and life application tips to help kids internalize and apply God’s word to their own lives.
Posters for each lesson are also available for download.
Lessons in What God is Doing: Old Testament Object Lessons for Kids start with creation and end with Christ. It’s a great outline you can use to teach kids the Old Testament.
In addition, the book includes tips for becoming a better Bible teach and leading kids to Christ.
If you’re looking for a way to teach kids the Old Testament at your church or in your homeschool, check it out. Anne Marie Gosnell has a master’s degree in education, focusing on curriculum development and a heart to see kids come to know Christ.
I’d love to know what tips you’d offer for how to teach kids the Old Testament. Do you have any favorite resources you’d recommend? Leave a comment and let me know!
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book but was not compensated otherwise for my review or expected to write a positive review. The opinions above are my own.