For several weeks leading up to Easter, Ryan’s lessons for the older youth (preteen/teen) and my lessons for the younger youth paved the way for the story of Easter. Ryan unvelied the personalities and history of each disciple as I taught the younger kids (ages 4+) various things about Jesus’s life. And more recently, I have been collaborating with Mrs. Graham on lessons for the children she cares for in the nursery (ages 0-3).
For the week of Easter, our groups joined together for the Easter lesson. Ryan’s most regular Sunday school attendee, Miriam, presented the other children with a lesson she prepared herself. The children have all been taught about Jesus’s birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection so her lesson focused on one of the most important things of all—how to live like Jesus.
Why did I entrust one of the most important lessons of the year to a youngster? Well to start, I enjoy being creative with my lessons. It keeps the kids interested and it makes church fun. Also, children learn best from other children. Her peers are much more interested in what she has to say than what I have to say. And sometimes the teacher learns just as much, if not more, than the student. In this case, Miriam applied what she had learned from Ryan about the disciples by actually being a disciple herself by teaching this lesson and spreading the word of God to the other children.
Jesus, as a teacher, had many ways in which he disciplined his students. And discipline does not mean punishment. God did not come to earth as man to punish us…he could have easily done that from above. He came down as Jesus to TEACH us a better way of living and to free us from our sins. In Latin, the word discipline actually means “to teach” and just as you would teach a child how to behave, Jesus taught us how to live.