Do you want to make Bible lessons for kids come to life in a meaningful way that will impact them forever?
Here are 5 secrets you probably haven’t thought of.
1000 pieces of the puzzle are dumped onto the table before you, and there’s NO BOX. Do you accept the challenge?
Oh, I forgot to tell you one thing. You’re putting together a picture of a giant ocean storm. Still in?
Sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. 1000 blue ocean pieces with nothing at all to help you figure out what the finished puzzle should look like? No thanks!
Sadly, this is exactly what we do to our kids when we cherry-pick cute stories and verses out of the Bible to teach them. It’s like dumping out a 1000-piece puzzle all over the place. We give them little glimpses of God’s people mixed in with a little bit of knowledge about who He is. Then we move on and do it over and over again.
The secret to putting together that impossible puzzle is to find the corners, then find the edges, and keep connecting from there. Teaching kids about the Bible is the same way. Bible lessons for kids must make connections!
We need to start with some very crucial and central truths (the 4 corners), but then we need to build on those truths, connecting the pieces one by one until we see the whole picture.
God has actually given us the box! Not the box to figure out all of life’s questions. He’s given us the box to help us to KNOW Him and become more like Him. Every single piece of the puzzle (or, in this case, verse in the Bible) is working together to form that picture!
The secret to making Bible lessons for kids come alive is to help them connect the pieces.
6 Ways to Make Connections in Bible Lessons for Kids
1. Connect every Bible lesson for kids back to God’s character
The Bible is a GIANT puzzle that reveals the story of God. That story is revealed through God’s character. If there’s one thing—one MOST important thing—we want our kids to know about the Bible, this is it.
Knowing who God is helps us trust Him with all of the details of our lives. As you read Scripture together, help your kids make connections between the stories and God’s character.
For example, David and Goliath is an epic battle story, but WHO is it really about? When we help our kids look for God in the story, they can better understand who He is and how He works in the lives of His people.
One really meaningful way to do this is to learn the different names of God found throughout the Bible. One of my favorites is Jehovah-Jireh. It means “the Lord will provide.” We find it in Genesis when God provides the ram for Abraham to sacrifice instead of Isaac, but if you look closely, you’ll see God as our provider all throughout the Bible!
2. Connect the books of the Bible together
If I gave you one blue puzzle piece, you probably wouldn’t have any idea what the puzzle would end up looking like. It could be an ocean, the sky, a whale, a beautiful flower, or even a ship. There are so many blue things. Unless I give you some context, you may never guess the puzzle.
Since the Bible is one giant “puzzle” or story revealing God to His people, we want to be regularly stepping back and connecting the pieces with our kids. How do the stories fit one with another to show us the WHOLE story of God?
When we treat Bible lessons for kids as stand-alone events, we get too caught up in the little things to notice the big picture. Imagine reading the book of Joshua without knowing the events that happened before it. It wouldn’t be that impressive that the Israelites got the land if you didn’t know that they were previously slaves, saved by God, who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
Helping kids make these connections will help them see the ultimate story that God wants us to know. (More on that in a minute.)
3. Connect the dots historically in your Bible lessons for kids
The first time I took a class on the Old Testament, I was blown away by how things fit together in history. I couldn’t believe that the Bible was an accurate retelling of all of creation because it had never been taught to me in that way.
Kids need to know that the Bible is the TRUE story of God, making every word in it history. In fact, I had no idea that all of the people I had learned about—Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Noah—were all part of the same big family!
It’s so important that we help kids see the historical connections in their Bible lessons because that’s the only way to really see God’s masterpiece. Without understanding where events fit in history, kids won’t see the beautiful puzzle unfolding right before their eyes.
Did you know that the books of the Bible are not in order historically? For example, Job is the 18th book in the Bible, but it was actually written during the time period of the book of Genesis! Before you even dig in, show your kids how the books of the Old Testament fit together historically.
Check out this really cool chart included in our daily apologetics course for families, Faithipedia.
4. Connect the prophecies of Jesus
Remember how I said that the Bible reveals the story of God? Well, the story of God is actually one giant love story where He creates people, gives them rules to live by, forgives them over and over again for breaking the rules, and finally sends His Son to save them from their inability to do the right thing.
Jesus is the story! All puzzle pieces point to Him! As you read the Old Testament, Jesus is revealed over and over again.
Make sure to help your kids connect the pieces of this puzzle, not just have a collection of Bible stories for kids etched in their memory. Consider keeping a notebook to track the mentions of Jesus as you study, or use a chart like this one.
5. Connect the Bible lessons for kids to everyday life
Sometimes it’s hard to relate to the stories in the Bible. I mean, we’ve never seen the Red Sea parted and can only imagine what the temple may have looked like.
The Bible is absolutely the most incredible way to know God’s story and should NEVER be replaced by anything! But, we can learn a lot from studying how God worked in the lives of others, such as hymn writers, missionaries, authors, pastors, and so many others.
Seeing how God works in their lives gives us practical examples of the biblical truth we find in God’s Word. This is super helpful for kids as they make the connections and put together the pieces of the puzzle. Every Bible lesson for kids needs a practical everyday life connection, so they can understand what these truths have to do with their lives today.
6. Connect the Bible words to meanings
Have you ever been a part of a conversation where two other people were speaking a language you didn’t know?
When adults start using big theology words around kids, they might as well be speaking a foreign language! Not only do kids feel left out, but they also miss out on an incredible opportunity to understand the puzzle!
When teaching a Bible lesson for kids, don’t assume your kids know the words they find in the Bible (or even the words we use at church). Help them make the connection between the word and its meaning. If I’m being honest, I’ll tell you this is hard to remember. We forget the words we’ve covered and the things our kids don’t really know.
First, encourage your kids to ask questions when they don’t know a word. But don’t leave it at that, be intentional to teach those big theology words. One of the ways we do that in our home is through the Faithipedia: Daily Apologetics for Families flipbook. Each week there is a new theology word for us to explore!
Whether you are a puzzle fan or not, putting the pieces of God’s story together is absolutely life-changing. As you connect the pieces with your kids, you will GROW in knowledge which strengthens your faith. Kick the old Bible lessons for kids to the curb and start making meaningful connections today!
You’re going to love putting those pieces together!
RESOURCE FOR MAKING THE BIBLE COME ALIVE
We’ve put together an incredible resource for families who want to connect the pieces to learn God’s story!
Faithipedia is daily apologetics for families, walking you through a bite-sized portion of study five days a week. Perfect for your morning time, this resource covers:
- God’s Books
- God’s Words
- God’s Character
- God’s Stories
- God’s Timeline
Pick up a set today and start connecting the pieces of God’s incredible story together as a family!
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.