If I were to ask you, “What is the foundational part of Vacation Bible School?” what would you say?
Bible studies are a very important part of Vacation Bible School. The whole point of the stories is to lead into the studies. The end goal of any study is going to be to help children get to know Jesus.
[Note: This post is roughly a transcript of today’s video: “Vacation Bible School tips: Teaching children Bible–giving Bible studies”. You will find the video about halfway down the page.]
Vacation Bible School is just a beginning
At Vacation Bible School, we have the privilege of introducing them to Him—but we hope that, when they leave, they will open their Bibles for themselves and get to know Him better!
Keep in mind that as you give the children Bible studies, not only are you sharing precious truths with them; you are also introducing them to tools so that they will be able to study for themselves.
First of all, I want to encourage you to use the King James Version of the Bible. The more you spend time with something, the more comfortable you get with it. Our Bibles are no different. Don’t be afraid to use it with the children!
Plan your Bible study
Whenever it is possible—and it will be at Vacation Bible School—make sure you have a plan about what you are going to study about. Having some great worksheets is an excellent way to keep your plan in order.
You also want to make sure that you give time for the children to look things up. Just how much of that you want to do will depend on the age and abilities of the children in your class. They will possibly be comfortable with the Bible already, or they may be fairly new to it.
For younger children, you may only give one simple verse to look up in an easy-to-find book of the Bible, like Psalms or Genesis.
As the children get older, make sure they are looking up more. Expect the older children to open the Bible and find things for themselves. Do not get them dependent on hearing what somebody else says the Bible says to get their answers!
Processing the new Bible knowledge
As you find your answers and build on your subject, talk about what everyone is learning. Also, let the children know that even if they are doing studies for themselves at home, they should find someone to talk about it with! This simple step really helps the learning process.
Build on the children’s past knowledge, as well. Refer them to memory verses from past days—or if you have children returning from years past, refer them to memory verses from past years!
Give them a little challenge and get their minds thinking about how the different parts of the Bible connect together.
Bible study helps
Depending, again, on the ages and the abilities of the group that you are working with, at least mention at times that there are other helps available for the children’s Bible studies.
For example, in many Bibles, there are center-column references that refer you to other verses that talk about the same subject. There are concordances, which you could teach the children to use. And especially, do not neglect the dictionary. If you come across an unfamiliar word, strongly encourage the children to look it up in the dictionary and find out what the word is all about.
Bringing Vacation Bible School home
Make sure that you let the children know that these very same things that you are using to teach children Bible in class will be the very same things that the children will be able to do for themselves when doing their Bible studies at home, on their own.
Equip the children with little hints as you think of them, like how to look in the front of the Bible for the list of Bible books so that they can find the Bible books more easily at home.
Let the children know that it is important to spend time with the Lord in His Word—and not just at church and Vacation Bible School.
Encourage them to finish their extra Vacation Bible School worksheets when they have free time at home.
Encourage them to spend time with God every morning in prayer, studying His Word.
The Bible is the foundation of Vacation Bible School. What tips do you have for giving children Bible studies? I’d love to hear them in the comments! 🙂