Classroom Challenges:

As Christian workers try to share God’s word in classes they face all kinds of classroom challenges. Our adversary will try to distract teachers, workers and students by creating as much chaos and confusion in our classes as he can. He will also work to cause offenses in our class relationships and with our student’s parents, coworkers, and any others who may be involved. Some challenges come from the sinful nature of people. Other challenges come from the world too. We must be on guard to make sure we keep our classes focused on following the Lord.

At times it’s easy to get discouraged because of the great spiritual battle that is going on around us. But when we give the challenges to God, He will fight the battle for us and overcome the challenge. With wisdom, we can on occasion, find solutions to minor issues but we need to turn them all over to God and let Him do the work. We cannot change people but God can do all things. He can solve all of the problems and protect us from all danger.

As I share the testimonials, see what you can glean from them to help manage your classes. These are some of my classroom challenges:

Below you will find some challenges that I faced the classrooms when I taught:

Active Praise and Worship

Active praise and worship is a wonderful way to praise God. What I mean by active praise is singing praise and worship songs to God and incorporating appropriate physical activity such as clapping, lifting holy hands, waving banners or flags, and using appropriate hand motions such as those included with Christian children’s songs and Godly sign language. Adults and children alike get excited about worshiping God with active praise and worship.

At special times such as holidays and drama activities like skits and plays, objects can be used during praise and worship times. For example, during Christmas programs jingle bells or candles can be used for special effects. During one such program I participated in, our church put on a program in which we sang the song called “Carry the Light.”(1) Each of us carried a candle-shaped lamp with a clear Christmas tree light used to represent the flame. We marched around in the church sanctuary singing the song and carrying our lights. It was a great illustration about carrying the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.

In a segment of Children’s church I taught about Jesus being the light of the world. During this quarter each of the children were given a small flashlight to shine upward toward the ceiling during praise and worship time. We also turned off the lights in the room to increase the affect.

The flashlights were also used to present one object lesson each week, demonstrating the relationship and attributes of light and darkness. For example, we demonstrated that light shines in the darkness and that light exposes the darkness. We also taught the children about having the light of Jesus in their hearts. The children loved the object lessons and praise and worship time. For months afterwards, they kept asking me if they could use the flashlights again.

Objects and object lessons can be used to illustrate valuable Bible lessons and to create excitement and variety in the classroom. Any objects used to teach Bible must be appropriate for church use.

There are a variety of Children’s worship songs available and some of these even have hand motions the children can learn to use while singing the songs. Children love clapping and using hand motions during praise and worship.

Appropriate dance steps can also be used for praising and worshiping God. In 2 Samuel 6:13-23 David danced before the Lord. Psalm 149:3-4 KJV says, “Let them praise his name in the dance; let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”

  1. “Carry the Light” lyrics by Twila Paris. See

Confusion in the Ranks

One day, in Children’s Church, a challenge arose between a brother-in-the Lord and myself. This man was a friend of mine and a deacon in the church. We worked together many times, but this time he was helping in my class.

During one class session, the children kept asking me if they could do activities other than the lesson I had planned for that day. When I said “no” they would tell me that this friend told them they could do what they requested. I didn’t know if this was true or not, but I didn’t want to get in to a lengthy discussion with my friend during class time. The same confusion came up two or three times and I didn’t know how to properly handle the situation. Because of the confusion, I told my friend that I didn’t think he should help me in Children’s Church any more. I intended to talk with that brother later after I found out what to do. However, some other situations came up and I got distracted. Later this brother-in-the-Lord came back to me and asked me about the situation again. I apologized for not getting back to him sooner and explained what happened. I am thankful that he forgave me.

After this incident, the same authority conflict arose between me and two pastor’s wife, whom I understood was going to help me organize Children’s Church. I didn’t know how pastor’s wives fit in the order of authority in the church. Later some problems arose and I felt that these wives were trying to take over Children’s Church instead of simply helping me organize it. I did not know how to deal with “confusion in the ranks” so I stepped down from Children’s Church. Later I spoke my the pastor who told me to submit to their requests at the time and afterwards go talk to the authority about the situation. Consequently, when an authority comes into a ministry in which you are leading, make sure you work out the authority questions before issues threaten to ruin your relationships. Confusion and chaos in the ranks only hurt those involved in the situation.

To Wiggle or Not to Wiggle

One primary age curriculum I used revealed a challenge that is common in classes, especially those with children. The challenge of “wiggles” is a never-ending battle because children were made to wiggle, and keeping them from doing it is impossible!

This class consisted of eight to twelve primary-age students and two kindergarteners. The two younger children came to class with their older siblings because they were fearful of going to class by themselves. The older brothers helped their younger siblings with the lessons. It seemed to make them happy, and it made me smile to see them helping each other and learning about Jesus.

When I began using the curriculum, the challenge appeared. Each lesson began with a memory verse and a Bible story. Then it continued with a fictional story to present the application of the material learned in the lesson. By the time my students got through the memory work, the first story, and discussion about the Bible Story, they were extremely restless in their seats. I knew they would not be happy if they had to sit through another story! Therefore, I decided to do an activity with them instead.

From that day on, I always planned a Bible-learning activity that reinforced the lesson. By adding activity time, the students learned through “doing” rather than just sitting and listening. Though the children knew they had to work through the Bible story time, they knew they would be able to do a fun activity afterwards. The children were excited about coming to class because they always wondered what activity I had planned for the day. Also, by having activity time it gave the students time and opportunity to quietly visit and get to know one another.

The problem with the curriculum was that it did not fit the attention span of the students. As a result, the students were getting bored instead of enjoying learning God’s word. This boredom inspired talking, poking each other, leaning back on their chairs, and other forms of misbehavior.

One great way to overcome this “wiggle” problem is to include Bible-teaching activities and student participation as a regular part of your weekly lesson. These activities provide active learning experiences instead of only sitting and listening to someone else speak.

Bible-learning activities can include a variety of things as long as they apply to the lesson being taught. Through the activity, the power of the Holy Spirit will implant something from the lesson in the student’s mind. If the activity plants a “memory” in the student, they are going to remember the lesson better.

Some examples of Bible-teaching activities can include object lessons, educational games, scripture-memory activities, art activities, puzzles, hidden pictures, mazes, coloring activities, paper crafts such as making greeting cards, origami, food crafts, nature crafts and walks, field trips, and any other activity that reinforces the Bible lesson.

Some valuable sources of activities can be found on the internet, in Christian bookstores, and even in the activity books found in supermarkets. These are wonderful tools for enhancing the lesson so long as they add to the lesson and are not “time fillers” or “time killers.” (See the article entitled ‘Time Fillers, Time Killers, and Time Redeemers’ in the pages of curriculum challenges.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.