Let's take a moment to think about a word that not many people enjoy talking about--behavior. How is the behavior in your Bible classroom? Are we training our students or are they training themselves?
- Are your students respectful?
- Have they learned to be quiet during the quiet times?
- Do they know how to listen?
- Do they bring distractions to class?
- Can they sit still?
- Are the students interested in the lessons?
- Are there students who are disrupting other students' focus on the lesson?
- Do your students know any books of the Bible from memory?
- Do they know that the Bible is a book to be treasured, cared for, and loved because it is God's Word?
- Do they bring their Bibles to Bible class?
Students attend secular school for at least five hours a day, five days a week--or longer--and are expected to be respectful, to listen, to sit still, and are assigned memory work among other requirements. The Bible classroom should be no different. Lessons from God's holy Word are being taught in your Bible classroom; lessons that will last a lifetime. Are your students focused on what God has to say?
Usually Bible students are in Bible class for only one or two hours a week. That truly is not a long time to expect Bible students to listen and learn. No toys or other distractions are needed during this short time. Make certain the Bible teacher is prepared and knows the material well. If the students are engaged and interested in the Bible lesson, sixty minutes goes flying by!
If you are having behavior problems, try using the following four rules and the behavior in your Bible classroom should improve:
- Bible class time is the time to study the Bible. No distractions. It is not playtime. It is learning time. Make this short time a fun time, an interesting time, but focused on the Bible (1 Timothy 3:16, 17).
- Students are respectful at all times. Remember the disrespectful children who were mocking Elisha. In the lesson found in 2 Kings 2:23-25, there were extreme consequences for being disrespectful, showing that it is not to be tolerated. (Ephesians 4:32).
- Listening is required during 'listening' times. Even Jesus said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15). There is a time to listen (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
- Consequences are OK. Remembering that we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), sometimes we still need a consequence. As a last resort, have the student's mother sit next to her student in Bible class during the next lesson time. Or, I have been in a congregation that sent two young, misbehaving boys into a high school boys class. Nothing had to be formally said to the young boys. Everyone in the class knew why they were there. The next week, no misbehavior!