About 3 years ago, we decided that we had to work to create a better Bible class curriculum for our congregation. Over the years, Steve had tested our high school students and found that most of them had an amazing LACK of Bible knowledge, even those who had been in Bible classes for most of their lives. Of course, we realize that it is first and foremost the parent's job to instruct their children at home. We decided that with the Biblical illitercy that we were seeing and the enormous number of kids that were leaving the church after highschool graduation, we needed to do something better in our classes. It was time to develop a new Bible class curriculum.
There were three sections to our curriculum. The first part was the Bible story. We had chronological lessons that we covered a two year period. Our second section was to learn what we call, "Drills & Skills". In this part, we included things such as books of the Bible, divisions of the Old & New Testaments, Days of Creation, Ten Commandments, the chronology of the Bible and much more. The third part of the curriculum was to learn memory verses. We wanted the verses to be important, relevent, "need to know the rest of your life" type verses. This included verses that teach doctrine as well as verses that are comforting and encouraging.
While we have had a little resistence from some parents who thought there were too many demands being placed on the children, most of the response has been VERY positive. Teachers are giving lots of encouragement and incentives to help students stay motivated. The result is that we have a MUCH more Bible literate group of children. The results are very encouraging. My belief is that children are little sponges waiting to be filled. They will learn anything and everything if we teach it and expect it. Just this week, I ran across an email from a lady who is a missionary in India. In the email was this link about a seven year old who has memorized all of Psalm 119.
This particular Psalm has 176 verses in it. Amazing?? Yes, but it was done. In our young classes, our children can quote Psalms 23, Psalms 100, all the Beatitudes and much more. How can children learn such long passages of scripture? They do it just like the expression that says, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." So, "How did a seven year old learn Psalms 119? One verse at a time!"