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Using This One Word Will Make You a Better Children's Bible Teacher

Do you want to improve your skills as a Bible teacher? As a small group leader? As a parent? There's one word you can use that has been proven to make a big difference in communicating with children, helping them grasp what you're teaching and seeing them think about the subject on a deeper level. Before I share what the word is, let's look at some of the research behind it. A team of psychologists in California have been trying to find ways to help children learn more effectively. Their research has helped them uncover a simple, but powerful way to do just that. The psychologists gave children a set of blocks with different features. Some of the blocks played music when put in place. The children were then asked why they thought some of the blocks caused music to play, while other blocks didn't. Here's what they found. By simply following up the activity with the word "WHY," the kids were able to learn more effectively. This one word caused the kids to think on a deeper level because they were asking them to elaborate on something they have observed or been told. The word "why" also causes kids to focus on abstract information, like cause and effect. The result - kids learn more effectively. If you want to improve as a teacher, small group leader or parent, start incorporating the word "why" into your lessons and conversations. We know many kids are walking out of churches with a shallow faith that can't stand the test of humanism and a secular world view. Perhaps a big reason is because we haven't been using the word "why" enough. Teachers. Look at the lesson you're going to be teaching this weekend. Are there any "why's" in it? Small group leaders. Look at your discussion outline. Are there any "why's" in it? Parents. I know you hear the word "why" a lot. Especially if your children are younger. As you're reading them a devotion, you'll hear "Why this?" and "Why that?" Don't look at those "why's" as a bother, but rather as an opportunity to help your child build a strong faith foundation. In fact, don't wait for them to ask why. Take the initiative and ask them first. The truth is, if we'll start lecturing less and start guiding kids through the "why's," we can see a lot more kids develop a faith that will last. I was very intentional about writing in a lot of "why's" into the curriculum we developed. You can see samples and get it at this link. Think about this. Jesus asked a lot of questions when He taught, communicated and interacted with people. And often when asked a question, He would respond with a question. The Master Teacher knew the power of "why" long before the psychologists in California did. Here are just a few examples of the Master Teacher using the word "why."

  • Why are you anxious about clothes? (Matthew 6:28)