Children bring a fresh, untrained eye and ear to any experience. Each week Child Evangelism Fellowship teacher Donna Allen presents a short lessons on the Bible to pre-schoolers and older students. She delights in relating some experiences with her students.
“They have really good questions. Their little minds are trying to grasp things.” Sometimes she catches their confusion while telling the story. For instance, one week she said, “We have a dirty heart and need Jesus to clean it.” As she spoke she noticed a little guy pulling on the neck of his t-shirt and looking down at his chest.
Another week she taught about Rahab and the Israelite spies. Rahab protected the spies from her countrymen. “I was explaining how she took them to the flat roof of her house and hid them under the pile of flax. “Flax is sort of like straw,” she explained to the children.
During the review at the end of the lesson “ I asked them ‘where did Rahab hide the spies?’”
One child immediately responded, “underneath the cow’s food.”
“It caught me by surprise, but he was right,” she said.
Another week Donna talked with the children about the prodigal son who had partied away all his money and could not eat until he found a job. She reminded them of the Apostle Paul’s teaching, “If you don’t work you shouldn’t eat. And that is important for you, too. Even at your age, 4, you have a job. For instance, your job tonight, when you take a bath, is to pick up your towel and hang it up. Don’t leave it laying on the floor.”
The next week when she returned to the school, four-year-old Elijah raised his hand and proudly told her, “I picked up my towel.” The lesson she taught the previous week had stuck with him.
“That was his first step of obedience to the Bible,” Donna said.
And then there was the little girl in chapel at West Side Christian School. She raised her hand and asked, “are you going to put those people up on the board?”
“She was looking for the flannelgraph figures we use,” Donna explained.
Recently she finished six weeks of lessons about Joseph who was sold into slavery in Egypt. During one lesson with young children, Donna said, “Pharaoh’s wife pressured him to be her boyfriend. Joseph kept refusing. He told the wife, ‘No, you belong to your husband Pharaoh.’”
She tells the exact same story at different schools At the one school she said, “they kept giggling cause I said ‘boyfriend’. They think I am funny. They laugh at me all the time.”
During a lesson about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Donna held up a picture of Jesus on the cross. One child studied it and commented, “He looks awfully skinny. Does he not eat?”
Not exactly the observation Donna expected.
The crucifixion has to be tailored to the various age groups. “I try to be nice about it. I told another group, ‘He got beat so bad …’” she started to say when a student interrupted, “what did he look like?”
Startled again, she replied, “Hamburger meat…” stopped and realized with this older group, she needed help, “Okay, go talk to Blake Dailey; he will tell you all about it.”
Blake is one of the volunteer teachers with CEF. He focuses on middle school and junior high students. The program began with daycare children and this year has expanded to include after school classes for elementary and middle school students and up. All older kids challenging teachers with their unique questions and comments.