Gospel-Centered Teaching, Part 1

“Teacher, I want to ask Jesus to be my Savior.”

What would you give to hear those words from the mouth of a child in your Sunday school class?  Maybe the next question should be, “What would you do if you DID hear those words?”

In the next couple blogs, I want to share some ways I’ve learned over the years to keep the gospel front and center in your teaching, and then how to lead a child to Christ if they respond to your presentation of the gospel!

Let’s start with how you can share the gospel in just about any lesson that you happen to be teaching.

Rabbit Trail #1

The method I’ve learned is something akin to a “gospel rabbit-trail.” Let’s face it—the actual accounts of Jesus, the cross, and the empty tomb are restricted to a relatively small portion of the Bible.  So how do you weave the gospel story into the story of, say, the Battle of Jericho, without forcing something into the Bible that isn’t there?

The solution is gospel rabbit-trails.  The first gospel rabbit-trail is the “MAN’S NEED RABBIT-TRAIL.”

You see, every story in the Bible involves a problem of some sort.  That’s just one of the requirements of a good story.  Whether it’s a big wall, a big giant, or a horrible disease, every Bible story has some sort of conflict.  There may be multiple conflicts, but the one you want to look for is the God-sized conflict.  Look for the problem in the story that only God can solve.  When you find that, you’ve found the jumping-off spot for your first…

…rabbit trail.

This rabbit trail is the “sin” rabbit trail.  Let’s say you’re teaching the story of Naaman, the Syrian general in 2 Kings who had leprosy.  You could say something like, “Naaman had a disease that no doctor could cure.  Only God could get rid of it.  And YOU have a problem that only God can cure, too; it’s called sin.”

Voila!  You just jumped outside your storyline into the first part of the gospel: man’s NEED of a Savior.  Talk about sin for a while.  Give examples of what it looks like in kids’ lives. What does the Bible say about the punishment for sin?

Now, when you’re ready to go back into your story, just reverse the rabbit trail: “You and I have a sin problem that only God can solve.  Naaman had a skin disease that only God could heal.”  And you’re back on track!

Rabbit Trail #2

Now, you’re going to do the same thing with GOD’S SOLUTION FOR SIN.  Every Bible story with a God-sized problem has a God-sized solution that is offered.  This solution provides your jumping-off point for your second gospel rabbit-trail.

Let’s go back to the Naaman story.  You get to the place where Naaman comes up out of the Jordan River, and he’s clean!  From there, you segue with something like, “God took care of Naaman’s disease!  God was the only one who could do it, just as He is the only one who can take care of your sin problem.  You see, God made a way for your sins to be washed away.  He sent His son…”

Not too difficult, is it?  Just remember to look for the God-sized problem and the God-sized solution in each story and you’ll be able share God’s good news every time you teach!


Scott Allison
Scott is a pastoral intern at Faith Church. He and his wife Courtney work in Children's Ministries at the church.