When it comes to teaching the Bible. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance, revelation, and inspiration to first impact our own hearts and then the hearts of our students. I learned a teaching technic years ago that made all the difference in my own life and in my teaching. It may be new to some of you. This new method will not only change the lives of our children but is guaranteed to change our lives too, as we hear, believe and live out the truth of our position in Christ.
When I was being trained by Child Evangelism Fellowship, I was taught that every lesson should contain a PAS (personal application to the saved) and a PAU (personal application to the unsaved). These thoughts are just one sentence of truth drawn from the lesson that you repeat at least 3 times for the saved and emphasize at least once for the unsaved as you weave the gospel message throughout the lesson. I have always enjoyed looking for these nuggets of truth in every passage of the Bible.
As I come to a lesson, before I ever begin to study, I pray. I ask the Lord to open my eyes to the main truth that He would have me live out as a confession of my faith. Then as He reveals that truth to me, I ask Him to give me a simple way of teaching that truth to the children.
This year, I realized just how many people have no real foundation in their position in Christ. Most believers understand the basics about salvation and life in Christ but how many dive down deep in their position in Christ? For those who haven’t been using the PAS and PAU method of driving the truth home in your lessons, I would challenge you this year to begin.
A PAS always starts with the qualifying phrase, “If you have asked Jesus into your heart…” This helps the child to know if the following statement pertains to them. Then the truth God has revealed to you can be added on to finish your thought using the most straightforward and simple language as possible. In thinking of our identity in Christ we might say something like, If you have asked Jesus into your heart the Bible says that God loves you as a Father; He has made you His child.” Every PAS should always have a Bible Verse that you can quote at least once as you repeat the phrase. In the case of the PAS I have suggested, I would follow up my statement with the verse John 1:12 “But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children.
As we search each passage to find the simple but profound truth of that passage that God would have our saved children remember, I would challenge us to find creative ways to add other foundational truths about God into each PAS. For example, the above PAS might be rewritten to say, “If you have asked Jesus into your heart, you are a child of the powerful God who created the World.”
Here are some foundational truths that we need to hammer deep into the fabric of the lives of believers:
The PAU, on the other hand, is the personal application to the unsaved child. It will always begin with something like, “If you have never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and live in your life then…” Sometimes a PAU is followed with a statement of our condition, like “…Your sins have separated you from God and His great love.” Other times a PAU might emphasize God’s desires, “…God wants to have a relationship with you, He wants to forgive your sins.” The PAU is best placed in the invitation where one emphasizes our sinful state followed by the PAU and finally given an opportunity to respond to that invitation. If you are giving the child the facts of their separation from God then, the PAU would come early in the lesson with verses on our sinful state. If you are emphasizing God’s desire to save them then it would come more toward the end of the Gospel message when you use verses that would encourage them to respond to God’s invitation. Every lesson should have one great emphasis for the unsaved child to identify with their need of a Savior.
Let’s get off to a good start in 2022 emphasizing to our children the great truths of God’s Word for them.