Adapting education to the child


that the bird mom lays a large, stirring caterpillar in front of her cub. She would enjoy this food, but the little one is not at all interested! What for? Because this caterpillar means nothing to him. He doesn’t know what to do with it, he doesn’t even want to, even though he’s very hungry.

In fact, (and fortunately for the chick, otherwise he would die) the bird mom gives him food adapted to his nesting abilities. It is the same food as hers, but it is presented in small pieces, or predigested and then regurgitated.

And then, the mother does not need to force the chick to eat: as soon as she arrives in the nest, he rushes towards her because he knows that he will be able to fully enjoy what she gives him: it’s easy to eat, it’s very good and it fills him.

The process is the same for the children we teach. We need to prepare and adapt what we bring to them:


  • To state the great biblical truths in a few carefully chosen words. It requires thinking in advance, to note the explanation, wondering if the child will understand.
  • Use a language that is understandable to the child (beware of “Christian jargon”). Do not hesitate to specify the meaning of any word out of the ordinary (leper, Pharisee…).
  • Use an easy-to-read version of the Bible. The verses, the truths that are stated have no “magical” power in themselves, it is the thought they convey that is powerful. It is not enough to hear or read them, you have to understand them to receive the message they convey.
  • It is best to use a translation within the reach of children’s limited vocabulary (e.g. Word of Life). Indeed, it is essential that the message is immediately accessible to them. It is also important that the child does not perceive the Bible as a medieval book, but as a word of God for him today, in his time, in his language.
  • Keep it short: when the time of the lesson is up (maximum 20 minutes), we can continue to teach the same theme, but in another form: activities, songs, questionnaires, games …
  • Diversify as much as possible! All the necessary preparation work will be greatly rewarded by the joy of seeing the children receive the Word of God and “enjoy” your teaching. For let us remember: they are hungry and thirsty and are just asking to receive.



Memorize Bible verses


This learning is not a memory contest or a religious duty, it is really an important stage of the session, with many implications.

Resisting temptation

First of all, the child needs to be equipped in order to be able to resist the tricks of the opponent. It is not by his own strength or will alone that the child can cope with situations of temptation. But he can learn to use the powerful Word of God to defend himself. Jesus himself used verses he had memorized to repel the devil during his temptation in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry. We Christians, past and present, are no stronger than Jesus, nor are we children! Let us arm them for times of temptation, present and future.

Making the right choices

Learning verses, remembering them, allows us to know what God thinks and wants. Every day, the concepts of the world, its values, its fashions reach children. If they do not know the Bible, if they have not learned what God expects of them, how can they make the right choices?

Being guided by God

We have certainly experienced how the Lord uses His Word, which we have memorized to remind us of certain things, to encourage us, to take us back, to guide us. Let us not deprive the children of this treasure.

Getting acquainted with the biblical text

We are committed to making children love the Bible. The first step towards this goal is to familiarize them with the biblical text. By memorizing a verse, the children first pronounce it, repeat it, meditate on it and then fix it in their memory. He is then part of themselves.

We can use a version of the Bible that is accessible to children. The biblical text has no “magical” power in itself, in the sense that it would exert a powerful action even if the listener does not understand the words or phrases used. By being confronted with obscure texts, long sentences and difficult to understand, children can have a false picture of the content of the Bible and become discouraged.

Remember, in practice

Let’s help them with games and media that will allow them to memorize with pleasure. Let’s create some emulation with team games. When motivated, children memorize more easily.

Ideally, children know the verse by heart as they leave the classroom. Even better: let the monitor know the verse by heart before the session!

Explaining salvation to children

The state of perdition and the path to salvation are the same for all human beings. However, it is clear that you will not speak to a child with the same terms as if you were talking to an adult. Some words and phrases that are familiar to us may mean nothing to a child. His vocabulary is very limited, his ability to listen too. It is therefore necessary to explain briefly and simply, without drowning the child in all kinds of developments:

1. The state of perdition

  • God loves you very much.
  • But because of the harm you’ve done, you’re separated from him forever.

2. The process to be saved

  • Recognize that it is because of the evil you have done that you are separated from God forever and ask forgiveness.
  • Believe that on the cross, Jesus was punished in your place for your sins.
  • Believe that Jesus has come back to life and that he is the Lord, the Master of everything.
  • Accept that he is the Lord of your life.

3. What God follows this process

  • It erases your sins forever.
  • Nothing can separate you from him anymore.
  • He gives you a new life, eternal life.
  • You become his son or daughter forever.

It is advisable, at first, not to develop these different points, except to answer a question from the child. After that, your job as a teacher will be to revisit these topics and develop them more precisely.


Teach biblical doctrine to children? Yes!


Given the number of hours spent in church, Sunday school and at home in contact with the Bible, this may seem surprising. On the other hand, if children, especially older children, are asked about the education they receive, we often hear this remark: “It’s always the same!” They may feel like they know the Bible, when in reality they have flown over it …

One wonders if, too often, children do not receive as spiritual food a set of stories: they know that David killed Goliath, that Daniel was protected from the lions, that Jesus fed five thousand men. They like to hear stories.

For the monitor or parent, it’s easier and more appealing to tell a story than to expose concepts!

 Indoctrinating – instilling – teaching

  • Indoctrination means forcing someone to adhere to a doctrine, ideas, propaganda, bludgeoning, poisoning. WIKIPEDIA Quote: “Indoctrination has long been defined as the act of instructing or the process by which a doctrine, attitude or method is instilled in students. With the evolution of society, the term has become pejorative. Indoctrination consists of regularly using various means of psychological pressure such as fear, hope, guilt or the indefinite pounding of the same assertions, socio-emotional training, etc. by working to short-circuit the critical thinking abilities of the one whose thoughts are proposed to change thoughts, or even personality. In general, indoctrination is therefore a form of mental manipulation.” Teaching doctrine does not mean indoctrinating. Let us avoid any psychological pressure, so easy when we address particularly receptive people like children. There is a healthy way to let children know what God is saying, leaving them the choice of decision, just as the Lord Jesus did during his earthly ministry (for example: recount of the encounter of Jesus and the rich young man Mark 10.17).
  • Instill: Get something into someone’s mind in a sustainable way. This word is found once in the Bible: Deuteronomy 6.7. It can also be translated by repeating, teaching, literally “trapping”.
  • Teaching: learning, guiding, teaching, initiating, showing, explaining, making known. These words are often found in the Bible.” Teach the young man in the way he must follow; even when he’s old, he won’t stray from it.” (Proverbs 22.6).

It is because we believe in the power of education and teaching that we ensure that our children can benefit from the best schools, the best teachers, whether in the school, arts or sports fields. Why not in the spiritual realm?

What is biblical doctrine?

It is a systematic, logical and orderly presentation of what we believe and teach as Christians. It is a set of truths on which everything we believe and do must be based Believers must know doctrine, study it, understand it, believe it, keep it, pass it on and teach it. Paul said to Timothy, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust it to trustworthy people who will in turn be able to teach it to others.” (2 Timothy 2.2).

Doctrine is the very foundation of the Church: “You were built on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the stone of the corner.” (Ephesians 2.20-21)

It has different names in the Bible: faith (1 Timothy 4.1), truth (1 Timothy 3.15), The Word (2 Timothy 4.2), the Gospel (1 Timothy 6.3), teaching (1 Timothy 6.3). It is mentioned at least 50 times in the New Testament.

The Importance of Doctrine

In his book “You better believe it”, (see this book) David PETTS, pastor of the Assemblies of God in England, elected president of the global Pentecost movement, said: “Some time ago, I was invited to bring the Word to an interfaith house group, a charismatic prayer group. During the conversation, a very sincere young woman remarked: I do not want doctrine. I want God.
His statement fully reflects the attitude of many Christians in today’s world, who are weeded from the deadly dryness of the dogmas of each denomination and sigh after a living reality of life in the Spirit. However, while this attitude is understandable, it is still fundamentally dangerous. Like sailboats, not only do we need the spirit wind (which is really necessary) to inflate our sails and move us forward for God, but we also need the heavy keel of sound doctrine to keep the ship straight from the waves of life. What we believe is of paramount importance.”

“So that we may be instructed of his doctrine, the Lord established teachers in his Church: “It was he who gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as forerators of the good news, others as shepherds and masters, to train the saints for the work of ministry, for the construction of the body of Christ, until we all reached the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God. , to the state of adult man, to the extent of Christ’s perfect stature. Thus we will no longer be toddlers tossed by the waves and trained in any wind of teaching, played and misplaced by the cunning and manoeuvring of the people; in telling the truth, in love we will grow in every respect in the one who is the head, Christ.” (Ephesians 4.11)

Teaching doctrine … children?

The early church was based on doctrine. The apostles knew that the first need of the new converts was teaching: “… on that day, about three thousand people were added to the Church. They were assiduous in the teaching of the apostles, in fraternal communion, in sharing bread and in prayers.” (Acts 2.42)

In a difficult world for children, the teaching of doctrine reassures them. Their faith is not based on what they think, see or feel only, but   what God said and wrote in His Word.

The teaching of doctrine allows them to have a fair vision of things: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” (Psalm 119.105)

Teaching helps them to develop harmoniously: “… From your earliest childhood, you have known the Sacred Scriptures; they can give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is inspired by God and useful to teach, to refute, to right, to educate in righteousness, so that the man of God may be up to the task, perfectly equipped for all good work.” (2 Timothy 3.16). “And Jesus progressed in wisdom, stature and grace with God and humans.” (Luke 2.52)

The teaching of truth makes them free: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8.32). Free to choose, free to reject the lies of the enemy, free from the power of sin, free from fear.

 Doctrine helps them to obey. “How will a young man make his path pure? By keeping your word.” (Psalm 119.9) But how can we obey the word if we don’t know what she’s saying? “My people perish because they don’t have the knowledge.” (Hosea 4.6)

Charles SPURGEON was a Baptist pastor in London in the 19th century, one of the greatest pastors and preachers of all time. He founded and developed many Sunday schools as well as a large orphanage. He was a firm believer in the conversion of children and encouraged all his Sunday school teachers to teach biblical doctrines. He said:

“We have heard from some that children cannot understand the great mysteries of religion. We even know some Sunday school instructors who carefully avoid mentioning the great doctrines of the gospel because they think that children are not prepared to receive them. I maintain that there is no doctrine of the Word of God that a child capable of being saved is not capable of receiving. I would like children to be taught all the great doctrines of truth without any exception so that they may later stand firm thanks to them.”

How do we do that?

Preparing to teach: in order to teach doctrine, we must understand it ourselves! Someone said, “If the teacher is in the fog, the students will be in darkness.”

Our main research is in the Bible, of course. But we can be helped by good books that present biblical truths in an orderly way. Indeed, doctrines are scattered throughout the Bible. Some have studied them at length in order to discern and understand them accurately. They have listed them in books accessible to all. Let us not neglect these treasures, let us not only have an “approximate” doctrine for our own lives first, but also for our teaching towards children! “Try to present yourself before God as a man who has proven himself, a worker who does not have to blush, but who is righteously exposed to the word of truth.” (Timothy 2.15)

The Holy Ghost helps us: “… it will lead you into the whole truth.” (John 16.13)

On the ground: Of course, as with everything we bring to children, we must teach in a simple, attractive, captivating way, adapted to their age. As far as doctrine is concerned, three points are essential for its teaching:

  • methodically: programs must be organized in such a way as to deal with most biblical doctrines, in relation to the age of children, of course. Biblical doctrine is logical, so it must be presented in a clear and structured way. The child understands better if each step of the lesson is based on the previous one. Of course, we cannot convince without the help of the Holy Spirit. However, a well-structured lesson helps children understand.
  • with precision: one truth at a time! One of the main mistakes of the instructors is to say too many things during a session, to bring too rich a teaching. One can rarely teach the whole of a biblical doctrine in one go…

  • practically: each doctrine must be applied to the daily lives of children. “But anyone who hears these words from me and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a madman who built his house on the sand.” (Matthew 7.26). When preparing a lesson, if you can’t find a practical application for the children, it’s because your teaching is not within their reach.

Children can be helped by training them to formulate the foundations of their faith. Ask questions regularly like: tell me why you are sure to be saved, why your sins are forgiven, why you have nothing to fear… Do it in a stimulating and encouraging way.

Songs also proclaim these truths. Encourage children to believe it with all their heart. Prayer is essential for the Holy Ghost to enlighten the minds of children, saved or not.

Key doctrines to be taught

The general curriculum for children should address each of these doctrines at least once, depending on age level:

One God, in three people
God is the creator
God is holy
God is righteous
God is love
God is almighty
God is faithful
God never changes
God is everywhere
God knows everything and sees everything
God is merciful and full of grace
God is patient

Jesus christ
He is God the Son, human and divine
The only mediator between God and men
He died on the cross punished for sinners
He’s risen, he’s triumphed
He has been glorified, he is Lord
He prays for believers
He’s preparing us for a place in heaven
He’s coming back

He is God the Holy Spirit
He lives in believers
It gives the assurance of salvation
It transforms in the image of Christ
He convinces of sinHe guides believers
It helps in the life and service of the believer
The baptism of the Holy Ghost, a promise expressed by speaking it in tongues
Spiritual gifts

It is the word of God, inspired by God
It is true, infallible
It reveals who God is
It is the mirror of the human being
It shows the way forward

It was created in the image of God
It was created pure and innocent
He fell into sin by wilful transgression
He is a sinner by nature and by his actions
He is loved by God Humanity remains in condemnation

Sin is a rebellion against God
He must be punished by God
It separates from God
It is universal

An invitation from God
God’s answer by faith in Jesus Christen turning away from his sin
The justification

Assembly of believers in Jesus Christ, the family of God
Jesus Christ is the head of the church
The local church – the universal church
The meal of the scene

When they die, believers enter the presence of God
The rescued will receive a new body
Jesus Christ will judge the service of believers
Heaven is the place where God resides, a place of joy and eternal glories
Hell is a place of punishment and eternal separation from God
God will make a new heaven and a new earth

The devil is the enemy of God and the people of God
Angels are spiritual beings at the service of believers
Death is the separation of soul and body

The Action of the Bible, God’s Word on the Child

Why did Jesus do this?

  • He had faith in the action of the Word
  • He knew it was a seed that carries life in itself
  • He knew the nature of his words
  • “The words I have told you are Spirit and Life.” (John 6.63) “So she acts in you, the believers.” (1Thessalonicians 2.13)

Some facts and acts assimilated by memory, will find their application later: “First of all, his disciples did not understand these facts; but when Jesus had been brought up to glory, they remembered that Scripture had announced this about him and that what it said had been done for him.” (John 12.16) “I remembered then what the Lord had said: “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 11.16).

Balance: “Thus Jesus gave his teaching using many such parables; he gave it according to what his listeners could understand. He did not speak to them without using parables; but when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.” (Mark 4.33-34)

Jesus taught on two levels:

  • parables for all listeners
  • explanation only to the disciples

How does speech work?

It is a seed that can regenerate: “Indeed, you are born again, not of mortal fathers, but through an immortal seed, thanks to the living and eternal word of God.” (1Peter 1.23)

“Let the lawless man renounce his practices! Let the malevolent individual renounce his wicked thoughts! Let them all return to the Lord, for he will have mercy on them! May they return to our God, for He grants broad forgiveness! Indeed, says the Lord, what I think has nothing in common with what you think, and your ways of acting have nothing in common with mine. There is as much distance between my way of acting and yours, between what I think and what you think, as between heaven and earth. Rain and snow fall from the sky, but they do not return without watering the earth, without having made it fertile, without having germinated the seeds. This provides them with what it takes to sow and what it takes to feed themselves. Well, it is the same for my word, for my promise: it does not come back to me without having produced effect, without having achieved what I wanted, without having achieved the goal I had set for it.” (Isaiah 55:7 to 11)

1. A double observation:

  • my different thoughts are of your thoughts
  • my ways of acting are different from the way you act
  • first the thoughts and then the ways.

2. A double order:

  • renounce its practices
  • then give up his thoughts
  • it is easier to abandon certain acts, but the work must be done deeper in terms of thoughts.

3. A double heavenly blessing:

  • rain: unpleasant, upsetting: God’s demands
  • snow: a subject of joy, a promise of pleasant activities: heavenly promises.

4. A double action:

  • watered and made fertile the land (land -heart)
  • germinates the plants: it’s visible, outside
  • the heart is changed first, it is hidden for now, an inner work. These are the acts that follow the transformation of the heart. Our work will always be focused on the heart, thoughts, actions and conduct will follow.

5. A double result:

  • seed to sower: the seed is made for work, to be distributed the first result: it is to serve God
  • bread: then comes personal satisfaction.

A formidable weapon: “it’s written”

1. To face temptations

Jesus knew the Word by heart, he could answer: “It is written …” (Matthew 4.4)

2. To defeat the Accuser

“For he was thrown out of heaven the accuser of our brethren, the one who accused them day and night before our God. Our brothers won over him thanks to the blood of the Lamb and the word they testified to.” (Revelation 12.10-11)

3. For the Holy Spirit to act, the Word must be

“… the word of God as a sword given by the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 6.17). At Cornelius, Peter proclaimed the Word and God was able to pour out his Spirit. “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Ghost descended upon all who listened to his speech.” (Acts 10.44)

4. Essential to succeed

“Repeat the teachings of the book of the law over and over again and meditate on them day and night in order to observe all that is written in them. Then you will carry out your projects and they will succeed.” (Joshua 1.8). That is why it will be necessary to arm the child for the future, by instilling in him the Word.

5. Its effectiveness

“Indeed, the word of God is alive and effective. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point where it separates soul and spirit, joins and marrow. She judges the desires and thoughts of the human heart.” (Heb 4.12). It decides between sin and justice, it penetrates the conscience, it judges…

Our condition to bring it

1. Believing in its effectiveness

“For we received the Word of God just like those who were in the wilderness. Now they heard this message without any benefit, for when they heard it they did not receive it with faith. We who believe, we will enter into this rest…”. (Hebrews 4.2-3)

2. Loving God

3. Living the Word

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength.” (Deuteronomy 6.5-9)

4. Loving the child…

… by our approach, our concern to satisfy his various needs, we work his heart to receive His Word well. “The farmer who has done the hard work must be the first to receive his share of the harvest.” (2 Timothy 2.6)