You absolutely must grab the attention of your students at the beginning of your Bible lesson. That’s imperative. If you don’t, you have already lost the battle for their attention.
But how do you grab your students’ attention?
Try telling a personal story—kids love hearing about what happens in your life. But start it out by asking mysteriously, “Do you guys want to hear something really funny that happened to me?”
Wait for a reaction.
Then say, “Do you REALLY want to know?” By now the kids should be intrigued. “Then everyone needs to sit up and listen carefully…” Then start your story in an enthusiastic tone.
Here’s my first teaching imperative: When you start your Bible lesson, if you don’t grab your students’ attention, you probably won’t have much success keeping it later in the lesson.
A good way to do this is to jump to the most exciting part of your story first! Instead of starting the story of Ruth by talking about Elimelech and sons, you could burst into your story by yelling, “Naomi, Naomi! You’ll never believe what Boaz said to me!” Pause. Then transition, “Do you want to know what Boaz said?”
That reminds me of my first teaching imperative: Get your students’ attention right off the bat!
Something you might try for this is to do something startling or out of the ordinary. Let’s say you’re teaching the story of Noah. You could start by suddenly breaking into Lamech’s song in Genesis 4:23 where he brags about killing someone. Set it to some crazy tune, and if you have a terrible voice, that will only make the kids remember it more! They will never forget why God flooded the earth!
My second teaching imperative is, “Choose one major truth to drive home in many ways.”
Did you get that last one? If you didn’t, you’ll get it tomorrow. Good luck making your lessons “POP!”