Repetition Aids Learning and Creates Lifelong Memories
Make the Real Stories as Interesting as the Fantasy
These two principles will help you a lot as you tell Bible stories to children. Relax. You have 18-20 years to lead your children to God; you don’t have to know every story in the Bible today–much less figure out how to make it as compelling as Mickey Mouse.
Repetition means you can harp on one story, adding details, twists and turns, using visuals you find in the world and in your own home. It is amazing how much punch I’ve gotten out of that little story of David’s army crawling thorough the drain pipes to take over Jerusalem (see 1/11/10 blog). We’ve seen drains, sewage and water caps everywhere. I couldn’t believe the number in a strip mall right in the desert in Arizona. Look around you and use what you can. I’ll bet there are some near your Target.
The two year olds can recite: “Who took over Jerusalem and made it into a city of God?” “King David did.” “What did his men say when they came up out of the drain?” “Surprise!” You can imagine how much fun Benjamin (3/1/2) had with the ensuing sword fight using the foam swords I found at the Dollar Store.
Why would anyone care that they know these cute details about David? That brings us to a third principle:
Never Tell A Bible Story in Isolation Without Tying It to the Bible’s Main Themes and Jesus, the Savior.
David’s life is all about his personal relationship with the Promised Savior. In addition, read the songs he wrote to see how he was used as a Prophet telling us some details about Jesus’ life and death to come. (See Psalm 22.) David’s heart for justice and protection of his people as their King pictures for us Jesus’ heart to shepherd His people. He was the great warrior-King as well. In these ways, he is a “type” of Christ, a picture helping us focus on our Savior.
Amidst the foam sword fight, remind your pre-schooler of King David fighting for His people just like God defends and fights for His people today. Jesus is our Savior; He can fight even better than King David, and stands at the right hand of God pleading for us, protecting us; His Spirit never leaves His people without help, protection, provision. David used clever tactics to get control of the site he intended to make a city of God. A city where worship was central, where His laws were obeyed, where relationship with Him was personnel and hopeful. Jesus is even a better King than David was. His Kingdom is forever. You could read them Psalm 60 or 56.
The Bible is a wonderful book—filled with many books and thousands of stories of people who loved or rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. It is one book, united by one major theme of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Children need to know about this hope and promise and invitation.
Story Telling Principles:
Interesting and Fun
Connected to the Bible’s Themes