If you study the way Jesus taught, you will discover that His teaching was 85% application and 15% information.
We often tend to do the opposite. We think if we fill up kids' heads with lots of Bible knowledge that they will grow up to follow Jesus.
Now don't get me wrong. Bible knowledge is very, very important. Biblical illiteracy is causing us to lose many kids who grow up, get to college and have no answers for the tough questions about the Bible that they face.
But just as important as information is application. We must help kids understand how to live out the Biblical information that we impart to them.
A great way to do this is by creating application situations. Here's an example.
We wanted to teach the kids the importance of living for others and putting their needs ahead of their own. For the kids to really get this truth, we knew we would need to put them in a situation where they would have to make a decision with the information we had just provided them with.
So, here's what we did. After we finished giving them the "information," we dived into the application.
We gave each child a bag of candy. We told them the candy was theirs to keep. They could take it home and eat it.
We told them about a poverty stricken area that was about 30 minutes away. The kids and families in this area are very poor and it would feel like Christmas for them to get the candy.
I gave the kids that day two choices. You can keep the candy and take it home. It's yours to keep. No questions asked.
You can leave it at your seat during dismissal and we will take it to the kids living in the poor area and give it to them that week.
We had prayer and then with their heads bowed, the kids made the decision. Put it in their pocket and eat it themselves at home or leave it so it can be sent to the kids who were in poverty.
Wow! You could feel the tension in the room. And the tension was a good thing. We wanted them to feel the weight of their decision. We were providing them an immediate choice - to live for themselves or others.
The end result - most of the kids left the candy and yes...a few kept it...but all of them that day experienced and felt what it meant to apply the lesson.
I want to challenge you to always help kids apply what you teach them. When they apply it, it becomes sticky and the truth they applied finds a long-term space in their minds. The retention rate for a lesson that is just a information dump into their mind is very, very low...like 10% low. But when you have kids apply the truth to their life, the retention rate soars.
The candy application I just told you about comes from one of our curriculum lessons. All of our lessons are heavy on application which helps kids remember it and live it out long term. We have a year's worth of curriculum available as an instant download.
Below is the link to see the scope and sequence. The curriculum focus on 12 key truths that kids need to live for Jesus for a lifetime. There are also stand alone lessons for Easter and Christmas.
CLICK HERE to see lesson samples, videos, small group leader guides and more. This strategic curriculum will accelerate the spiritual growth of the kids in your ministry.