It’s the Lingering Feelings that Count

Marvae EikanasPositive Classroom

Years ago a pastor friend told me “Children will never remember what they are taught at church.” This is not what a creator of Bible curriculum wants to hear, but I do understand his point. The truth is that later we rarely remember the specifics of a class, a conference or a sermon, but we do remember the feeling we had while we were there. Those lingering feelings are what shape children’s impressions of God, church, and Christians.

Over the years I have met dozens of people who avoid church or refuse to get involved in a church because of poor experiences they had as a child at church. Those lingering feelings surly make God sad!

How can you cultivate a positive classroom experience for the children God entrusts you with? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Take time to connect with God. Our time with Him changes us and helps us be more of who He created us to be. Without time in His presence odds are we won’t reflect Him like we should.
  • Prepare well! An unprepared teacher is too busy to create a positive environment. Be sure to be there early, have things set up and ready to go so that you can give the kids the best of you while they are with you.
  • Welcome with intention. First impressions are powerful! Being noticed and greeted personally will set the tone for the rest of your time together.
  • Focus on the kids! It is easy to get sidetracked by chatting it up with the helpers. This sends the message that the kids aren’t important – and kids are very good at reading between the lines.
  • Remember that to a child you are a teacher whether you are in the classroom or outside of it. You would be surprised at how many kids have thought I slept at the church. Noticing a child outside of the classroom conveys how much you truly care about them. Everyone wants that lingering feeling!

Connecting children with God is why we teach or work with children in the first place. What is one thing you can do to cultivate that positive lingering feeling in the classroom?