Helpful Hand Motions

I love teaching children. They can be so eager to learn. The little ones especially love to do actions with songs and Bible verses. I have developed some little teaching techniques as I have shared the Gospel with children over the years. I would like to share two promises that you can easily teach children using your hands to help them remember.  I would also like to share with you an acronym for helping them memorize the important things to do so they might grow in their faith.

The first promise I share as I am telling the Gospel to the child. At the end of my Gospel presentation, I read Rev. 3:20. I knock on something and I say, Jesus said that He stands at the door and knocks and that if we will hear His voice, (that is the Word of God the Bible) and open the door that is invite Jesus to come into the real us on the inside, Jesus promises that He will come into us and live with us and do life with us. I hold up my right hand and say, “Jesus made a promise. I touch my little finger on my right hand with my left pointer finger and say, “He said, I.”  I touch the ring finger and say, “will.” I touch the middle finger and say, “come.” I touch my fourth finger and say, “in.” I touch the thumb and say, “to. “I then use my thumb on my right hand to point at my heart. As I touch my chest with my thumb I say, “you.”

I then have them repeat it only this time I have them say, “Jesus will come in to me.” I ask them if Jesus can break a promise. Of course the answer is. “no.” So I say, “If we ask Him to come inside the real us on the inside of our body house, He will keep His promise and come in.”

Next I ask them if He will leave if they sin. I always get various answers on this one. I always assure them that God has made a promise to us about that as well. I then read to them Hebrews 13:5. Using the left hand this time I do the same thing again touching each finger on my left hand this time as I say these words, “I will NEVER leave you.” I always emphasize the word never. And as I say you on the thumb I pull it toward my heart and touch my chest. I then repeat it all again having them say, “Jesus will NEVER leave me.”

After I pray with a child who has just received Christ, I will quote John 1:12, “But to all who have received him—those who believe in his name[a]—he has given the right to become God’s children…” I then ask them how big they were when they were born into their family. They of course will say they were just little babies. I then tell them, “The same is true when we are born into God’s family. We are all just a little baby the day we trust in Jesus and God gives us the right to be His child.” And then I remind them that babies need to grow. To grow they have to eat and drink and move around and play so that their muscles grow strong. There are some things we need to do as God’s children if we want to grow big and strong in the Lord.

I then say it will be easy to remember if they can remember how to spell the word GROW.

G- go to church and pray.

R- read your Bible every day.

O- obey what God’s Word says to do.

W- witness: tell others what Jesus has done for you.

These “finger touching” hand promises and this acronym-rhyme have been joyfully said by many children over my 50 years in ministry. I trust it will be helpful to you as you teach the little ones the joy of receiving Christ and growing in the Lord.

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."

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