Of course you WANT the kids in your Sunday School or children’s ministry to know God. But are you at a loss about how to teach them from the Bible to know Him? It’s not hard–especially if you use the ideas described in this post. In fact, this is my absolute FAVORITE method for teaching kids about knowing God! Discover three key reasons to use this method, plus three practical tips for fun ways to teach children about God so that they will know Him and–more importantly–trust Him personally. Scroll down for details!
Teaching kids about knowing God
Have you heard the horrible statistics about the number of kids who lose their faith in high school and college?
More than 50% of young people leave the church after age 15, according to research from the Barna Group. More than HALF!!
Do you want your Sunday School class to follow the statistics?!
They very well might–unless you do something drastically different.
Yet maybe you’re at a loss. You know there’s nothing more important than introducing your children to God. You desperately want them to develop authentic faith. But you’re thinking:
How do I teach kids to know God?
Teaching kids to know God doesn’t have to be something difficult or elusive. I promise. ❤
Of course, only God can change children’s hearts and draw them to Himself. But you can use many fun ways to teach children about God, such as:
Everything on this whole site equips you to teach children about God using creative lesson plans, simple crafts, and unique activities! I’m all about fun, engaging, meaningful ideas for Sunday School, children’s church, and other children’s ministry. So feel free to browse through the other resources on this site!
How to teach kids to know God
Obviously, you’re teaching kids about knowing God every time you share Scripture with them in your Sunday School class or children’s ministry. But I have one special method for teaching kids to know God:
Teach kids to know God from the Old Testament.
3 reasons to teach the Old Testament to kids
This is, hands down, my favorite way to teach kids about knowing God! Why? Because the Old Testament is:
1. Easy to relate to
Stories make up a huge portion of the Old Testament–and stories are inherently fascinating! You’ll find it easy to teach stories to your kids… and they’ll naturally be drawn in.
Plus, it’s easy to identify with the biblical characters in the Old Testament stories. Your kids will quickly see how truths from the Old Testament narratives apply to their lives… which makes your job as a Bible teacher that much easier. 😉
2. A huge “body of evidence”
The Old Testament takes up more than half of the entire Bible. And it’s filled with account after account of God’s dealings with men.
When you teach the Old Testament, you don’t give your kids just one or two examples of God’s character. Instead, you show them overwhelming evidence about who God is and how He works.
The more they see of God through the Old Testament, the more confidence they’ll have in who He is. And that confidence makes all the difference!
3. A precursor to the New Testament
God gave us the Old Testament first for a reason: It lays a solid foundation for the truths of the New Testament.
When you skip teaching the Old Testament, you deprive your kids of all the “build up” to the New Testament. You give them a shaky (or non-existent!) foundation.
But when you thoroughly teach the Old Testament to your kids, you develop a solid foundation for knowing God. If you do a good job teaching the Old Testament, your kids will easily understand why Jesus came, why He died, and what it means for them.
Want a powerful example of how this works? Check out this incredible video from New Tribes Missions! They always teach chronologically through the Old Testament first. Then, by the time they reach the New Testament accounts, people are primed to understand and react to the truths about God and His Son.
Teaching the Old Testament primes your kids for personally responding to God’s offer of salvation. It lays the foundation for a personal relationship with God. And teaching the Old Testament prepares your kids for knowing God personally!
How can you NOT teach the Old Testament?!
Now can you see why this is my favorite method for teaching kids about God?
No doubt about it. Teaching the Old Testament is a powerful way to teach kids about knowing the Lord!!
3 practical tips for teaching the Old Testament
I hope you are sold on the idea of using the Old Testament for teaching kids about knowing God. Truly, I know of no better method for leading kids to trust the God of the Bible.
Now, let’s get into a few nitty-gritty, PRACTICAL ideas for how to teach kids to know God from the Old Testament.
1. Don’t just teach “cute” stories
This is the #1 mistake most people make. The Old Testament isn’t just cute stories. These stories are real. They really happened. And each one is included in the Bible to show us something about who God is and how He works… and to lead us to know Him and to trust Him!
Don’t do your kids the disservice of glossing over the Old Testament stories. Don’t treat them like cute fairy tales.
Teach your kids the stories, yes. And then show them the truths within the stories. Teach them how the principles from the stories apply to their own lives. Show them how they can know more about God through that story, and encourage them to react to that new knowledge of God personally.
Always choose Bible lessons for Sunday School that draw out the truths from the Old Testament stories. If your materials don’t do that, make sure you do it yourself.
Or use one of my free lessons (like this lesson plan for the Old Testament story of Isaac and Rebekah). In my lesson plans, I always focus on one key Bible truth that applies to life today. You can be confident that my materials will help you teach your kids to know God personally.
2. Be thorough
Did you watch the YouTube video about the Papua New Guinea tribe that responded en masse to the Gospel message? That only happened because they had been taught from Creation to Christ. They had the solid foundation they needed to instantly understand the significance of Christ’s death. That’s why they responded the way they did!
Do the same for your kids. Teach them the Old Testament from Creation to Christ. Along the way, you’ll also teach them to know and to trust God. And by the time you get to the New Testament, they’ll be primed to understand and respond to the Gospel message. Can you imagine anything better?
So again, choose your Bible lesson plans for children’s ministry carefully. Don’t go with a curriculum that only covers Creation, David and Goliath, and Jonah and the fish. Instead, select a Bible lesson series for kids that is thorough. Try to teach straight through from Creation to Christ.
3. Make the connection between the Old Testament and today
Application is THE most important part of any lesson!
What do I mean by “application”? I’m talking about questions and activities that help kids understand how biblical truth applies to their lives.
It’s useless to teach stories without following up. This is how kids who “know” the Bible backwards and forwards end up leaving the church. Knowledge alone is worthless. To be an effective Bible teacher and make an actual difference in your kids’ lives, you must help kids see how the Old Testament stories apply to their lives, right now, today.
So if your Sunday School curriculum skips over application, you might want to find a new curriculum. It’s that important. Alternatively, you can use application activities like this one to supplement your lessons. But honestly, I recommend finding a lesson series that includes application seamlessly with the rest of the lesson. It will be far more effective.
Teaching kids about knowing God from the Old Testament
In case you couldn’t tell, I am passionate about teaching kids to know God from the Old Testament! I believe it is the best way to teach kids who God is and how He works. It’s easier to trust someone you know. So do them an immense favor and introduce your kids to God through the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is easy to relate to. It gives kids a huge “body of evidence” about who God is and develops their confidence in Him. And it builds a solid foundation for the truths in the New Testament.
When you teach kids about knowing God through the Old Testament, make sure to choose lesson plans that don’t just teach cute stories. Instead, teach kids the major truths found within the stories!
Be thorough. Don’t skip around in the Old Testament. Teach from Creation to Christ so that your kids get a solid foundation.
Lead your kids to apply the truths from the Old Testament to their lives today. Use the Old Testament to teach kids about knowing God personally.
And ultimately, aim for success as a Bible teacher–strive to help your kids develop authentic faith in God.
I can’t imagine anything better. Can you? ❤