Helping Children Celebrate Advent

We are upon the Christmas season, also known in the church calendar as Advent! What a wonderful time of the year this is as we remember God becoming man! Each week of advent we will be blogging about that week’s advent theme. We will also be posting a CEF missionary’s perspective on Christmas, so check back a couple of times each week in December.

The first week of advent focuses on hope. Hope. Anticipation. Prophesy. Looking Forward to. From Adam and Eve, to Moses, the prophets, and the shepherds, they were all looking forward to the coming Messiah! This advent how can we capture that same sense of anticipation of the the Newborn King? Isaiah 9:6-7 is a good place to start!  But how about the children in your life? Do you have children, grandchildren? Are you a Sunday School, Good News Club, or AWANA teacher? How can you help children to celebrate the Hope of our Coming King? Let’s do this by remembering a few key teaching tips.

Be ready when the time is right. All too often we like to instruct when we’re ready to teach instead of when children are ready to learn. So, instead of only being ready to teach your Christmas lesson this year, be ready to talk about the birth of Christ whenever it comes up in conversation, a child asks a questions about Christmas, or there is a real-life opportunity to talk about it (like driving past Christmas lights in the evening).

Children love to repeat fun experiences. In the next four weeks how many of you are trying to re-create that special feeling that you remember from being a child? So, make Christmas fun instead of a drudgery for children. Read children special stories, bring in a carafe of hot chocolate to your Sunday School, or hand out candy canes at the end of your time with children. Don’t be afraid to re-emphasize the main point of your lesson as you have fun so that children will remember.

Don’t forget the power of repetition! It may become boring for you to say the same thing over and over again, but children, especially young children thrive on repetition. Don’t be afraid to teach one thing, teach it again in a different way, and then review it by using a game at the end. You’ll be glad you did when children remember the important things that God is trying to teach them through His Word!

These are just a few ideas that you can use to help children celebrate the Hope that can only come through Christ. Will you use them to help kids in your life love and hope in Christ this season? Don’t forget to check back often to hear from our missionaries the rest of December. Merry Christmas!