APPLIED CHRISTIANITY

Bible School Classes
7
       When we teach a class, do our students go out and apply in their personal lives what we have taught them?  
Remember, teaching does not occur until learning has occurred.  If we teach them we ought to be good to our
neighbors and they do not go out and do good things for their neighbors, they have not learned your lesson.  
Feeding someone does not occur unless someone eats.  We may poke food into someone's mouth, but unless they
swallow it, they are not being fed.    

        In most Bible classes, it goes something like this:  Begin with a brief discussion about the main point of the
lesson, then read the lesson from the Bible or story book, then discuss what it means, and finally close with a brief
discussion of how to apply these things to our lives.  End with a prayer asking God to help all to be better
Christians.  Then everyone goes home.    

        Our Lord did not say we should sit around together and just repeat the things he said.  He said we are to learn
them and DO the things he said.  Otherwise, our calling him Lord or Master is untrue.  In some respects, Jesus is
our employer and we are working for him.  What are we producing for him?  There are many possibilities, and they
can be easily taught in the classroom.  

        There are two ways you could adjust your classroom teaching to make sure the students have applied what
they learned.  You may go ahead and teach like you have been, and then that Wednesday evening when the class
assembles again, spend that whole period with a project that is appropriate to the lesson of the prior Sunday.  Or all
in the same class period you could spend fifteen or twenty minutes reading the lesson and discussing it to make
sure the students understand and remember it; then spend the remaining twenty or thirty minutes with a class
project applying the lesson.  

        Doing things together as a class is important, for there is strength in numbers.  You may tell your students to
do a certain good work during the week, but being alone s/he is not likely to do it, regardless of good intentions.  
Just as learning facts with other people is more encouraging and more fun, so learning actions with other people is
too.  Jesus always recommended that his disciples go out at least in twos.  Then an individual is more likely, once
having learned to do something with others, to do it when alone also.  This is genuine teaching.  

         In Appendix A of this book is an extensive list of good works your students could do in application of most of
the events in the Bible commonly taught in children's classes.  You will probably think of other works in some
instances, and whatever best fits your situation is what you should do.  You may wish to have a different good work
each week or one that covers an entire month.  You will notice that intermingled with the giving of time and talents is
the giving of money.  All three are part of giving and part of works, and children love to do all three.  

        Perhaps the day your children are to give money for a good cause, if they are very young, you could bring
soft drink bottles/cans to give them and let them "cash them in" at a pretend store with a toy cash register in the
corner of your room.  There are other ways you could show very young children how they could earn money for the
Lord when they are a little older.  

         For older children, a week before they are to bring money for a good work, you could put up a sign on the
bulletin board asking that anyone wanting some odd jobs done, such as raking leaves, could sign up.  If the parents
are willing to take the child to that house sometime during the week, that would give them an opportunity to visit with
Christian friends while waiting for their child to do the work.  The people having the work done just pay whatever
they wish.  

        However it is worked out, the children earn their own money and from this make a free-will offering.  
Discourage several of them going together in a project such as washing cars or a bake sale.  This would create the
impression the church is becoming a business.  The only examples we have in the Bible is of individuals raising their
own money, whether it be by contributing jewelry or selling land or going out and earning it.  1 Corinthians 16:2
explains, On the first day of every week, EACH ONE OF YOU should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his
income.  Giving is an individual responsibility.  This will teach much to the children.  

        Many of the projects suggested in the appendix are writing and drawing projects so the children may send
messages of concern and love to various people.  Generally the supplies you will need are:  [1] colored paper, [2]
crayons, [3] glue, [4] glitter, [5] paper doilies, etc. for decorations, [6] notebook paper, [7] pencils, [8] envelopes, [9]
stamps, [10] telephone book, [11] decorated box to collect food in, [12] box to collect clothing in, [13] Bible bank to
collect Bible money in, [14] magazines for pictures, [15] work smocks or shirts, [16] tape recorder and tapes, [17]
copy of a magazine listing missionaries, [18] camera.  

        The camera is an added item that is not necessary but nice to have.  Take pictures of your class working on
their good works.  Put the photos on your bulletin board.  Sometimes put them on the bulletin board used by the
whole congregation.  Make a scrap book.  

        Occasionally you may wish to write a news story and send it and a photo or two to your local newspaper.  
Christian magazines may be interested in a story and picture.  You will encourage non-Christians in your community
to want to be part of your class, as well as encourage other Christians to add such Christian works to their own
classes and lives.  

        One caution if you do send in newspaper articles.  Do not boast about what you and your class are doing.  
Christian works are not anything extra ~ they are a requirement to being a Christian.  By the grace of God you have
enough materials possessions that you can help others in these ways.  

        You are doing these things to bring a blessing on others and glory to your Savior, not to yourselves.  If you
receive the praise of people for doing these things, you already have your reward.  It is those who do things without
boasting, but in humility, who receive their reward later on from God (Matthew 6:5,6).  You cannot be rewarded by
both.  Just think of it this way:  It is not I, but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20) who is doing these things.  

        Those of you teaching older students may wish to make out a confidential questionnaire to give them.  Without
it you may teach them for two or three years and never realize some things about them that would be helpful to both
you and the class as a whole.  Here is a suggestion of what you could ask:  

1.         Name                                      Birthdate                            

2.         Address                                  Telephone  

3.         School                                     Grade  

4.         Favorite Subject  

5.         Hobbies and/or Pastimes  

6.         Favorite Reading Material  

7.         Club Memberships  

8.         Your Ideal Person                                                              

9.         Why?                                                                                  

10.       Favorite Type Music  

11.       Occupational Ambition                                                      

12.       Life's Goal  

13.       Plans for Next Summer                                                     

14.       Talents (even if you're the only one who thinks so)         

15.       Pet Peaves  

16.       Are you a Christian?                                                          

        If yes, when, where,by whom baptized                              

        If no, why?  

17.       What can you do for Jesus?  

18.       What would you like to learn to do for Jesus?  

19.       What subjects would you like to study in this class?  

20.       Are you willing to do homework for this class?                

21.       Please list your friends from Christian families who do not attend  ______________________________

         
_________________________________________________________________________________                                                                 

22.       Please list your friends from non-Christian families whom you would like the class to visit  ___________

        
_________________________________________________________________________________                           

        ___in a group?            ____on Sunday afternoons?            ___on weekday evening?
(which)                                      

23.       Other comments: ____________________________________________________________________    

        You may think of others questions to add or as substitutes, depending on your group.  At any rate, it would
give you an idea of where your class is spiritually and background wise.  For instance, if no one is interested in
visiting, they need extra teaching on this.  In the mean time, they can do works that are not so personal.  Also you
can work out some class projects for them based on their talents and interests, some projects you may not even
have thought of otherwise.  Probably with older students, this should be a unanimous selection of the class.  

        Here is another way to develop responsibility in your older students.  Arrange a confidential chart that no one
will ever see but them.  Use a half piece of paper inside a piece of colored paper folded with their name on the
front.  This half sheet will hold six months.  List months and Sundays along the top.  Along the side in a
double-spaced column list the following titles only.  Below that, relist the titles but also include percent values of
each.  

        ON TIME                                                   10%  

        BROUGHT BIBLE                                      10%  

        BROUGHT ASSIGNMENT                         10%  

        BROUGHT NOTEBOOK                            10%  

        BROUGHT GUEST                                   15%  

        CONTACTED ABSENTEE                        15%  

        READ BIBLE DAILY                                  15%  

        PRAYED FOR NON-CHRISTIAN               15%  

        TOTAL POSSIBLE                                  100%  

        For those still catching on to the idea of the Christian life of works such as these youngsters, often something
tangible such as this chart is helpful so they can see how they are progressing.  

        Have a supply of "We Missed You" postcards on hand for all the students to sign and send to anyone who
missed class.  Keep a record of what cards you sent to whom, so you do not duplicate any.  Religious supply stores
have this type of card in abundance.  

        Midweek classes are to just fill our time.  Right?  NO!  NO!  A thousand times NO!  Midweek classes can
provide the greatest opportunities of any time of the week, even above Sunday.  This is the time when you can
interest the most students in coming to your class who attend somewhere else on Sundays, or whose family goes
somewhere on the weekends, etc.  Especially during the long summer days is this a popular time, for kids want
somewhere to go that is not too late in the evening.  

        Make your midweek class especially interesting to outsiders.  Make it an evening Vacation Bible School that
never ends.  Make it a WEDNESDAY-CATION BIBLE SCHOOL.  Make this a special evening for them, an evening
they will not want to go home from because of all the fun they've had learning God's word and will for their lives.  
Have rewards for those who bring friends just as summer Vacation Bible School does.  Have rousing songs.  
Duplicate as much as possible what you do during VBS, and see Wednesday nights take on a new gusto.  Give
them real learning experiences and your class and the entire congregation ultimately will grow beyond your fondest
expectations.  

      When you have visitors to your class, regardless of the age of your students, do follow up with them.  Welcome
buttons or tags are nice to give them.  Then you could send a postcard or letter telling them how glad you were to
have them in class.  You could stop by to see them a few minutes or phone them during the week and get
acquainted with the rest of the family.  It would certainly reassure the family that they have available to them such
nice teachers as you who are interested in them personally.  Visiting is almost a lost custom today, at least in the
post-industrial countries.  If possible, show them it is not lost in Christianity.  

        Another nice custom to have in your class is a birthday remembrance.  Have birthday buttons on hand with a
Bible verse written on them if possible.  Pass a card around the classroom for the students to all sign, and give it to
the one with the birthday, or mail it the day before their birthday.  After all, we are indeed glad they were born, and
glad God brought them our way to bless our lives a little more.  

        Get your class together once a month or at least once quarterly, and go around in a carload, stopping by
briefly at the home of anyone who has been absent for a long time to let them know they are missed.  Tell them you
are all going to stop and get a coke after you visit two or three others and ask if they'd like to squeeze in the car and
join you.  Be sure you don't dress up too much for this outing so they will feel at ease to "come as you are."  Also if
there is a friend of one of your students who is interested in starting to class, stop by and see them a minute too
and invite them to go along.  

        At the end of each quarter you could have a Bible-times party and let the kids dress up like their favorite
character from the stories you have discussed in class.  You could play twenty questions to guess who they are.  
This would be a marvelous way to review.  Then have them sit on the floor and eat the foods Bible-times people
ate.  
         You could have a party with each one dressed up like one type person we can help, such as someone in the
hospital, a baby, someone elderly, someone in jail, someone with lots of children, etc.  Of, if your class has been
studying Paul's missionary journeys, or learning about missionaries all over the world today, each one could pretend
s/he is one of those missionaries and be called by that missionary's name.  Or they could dress like the people of a
particular country; then your games could center around those countries.  

        At the end of each party, after all games and refreshments, always have a brief devotional.  This will teach
your students that no matter what they are doing or where they are, God is there and should be thanked for all
things, even fun.  

        You are nearly to the end of this chapter.  It was a short one only because so much of it is continued in
Appendix A in the back of this book.  Technically, you will not be done with the chapter until you have looked it over.  
So, as soon as you come to the end of this page, look immediately at Appendix A for the real conclusion.  

        Jesus was a great teacher, a master teacher, and him we must follow.  Regardless of his message, he still
attracted people because he went about practicing what he taught and showing others how to practice it.  The other
teachers of his day were much like many of today's teachers ~ standing before a group, telling some things, and
then sending everyone on their way.  They were not good leaders and were jealous of Jesus.  

        Jesus lived what he taught and showed his followers step by step how to live what he taught them.  Coupled
with the greatest message on earth, he became the greatest teacher in the history of the world.  Follow his
examples and aspire to be like him.
H  O  M  E
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