Health & Spirit

Is my church class for kids simply babysitting?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I've been teaching our church's class for 5-year-olds the last few years, but I'm discouraged and I don't think I'll continue. They don't pay attention most of the time, and I've about decided that all they need is a good babysitter. Am I wrong? -- Mrs. L.T.

A: Let me ask you a question: Is a 5-year-old child too young to learn not to cross a busy street, or too young to be taught not to touch a hot stove?

No, of course not -- and neither is a 5-year-old too young to learn about God. That doesn't mean they can understand everything there is to know about God or Jesus -- but they can learn something, and God has given you the privilege of teaching it to them. Because they have experienced human love, for example, they can understand something of God's love. Because they see the wonders of the world around them, for example, they can understand something of God's power. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them" (Matthew 19:14).

Ask God to help you in your teaching -- to make it both interesting and understandable. Often a brief story from the Bible will capture their attention -- and will get across a simple but important spiritual truth. Don't speak down to them, and avoid complicated ideas or mere moralisms. Most of all, pray for them, and point them to Jesus.

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Not everyone is able to teach young children, I know -- but don't quit unless you know it's God's will, and that someone else can take your place. Seeds don't bear fruit in a day, and neither do the "seeds" of God's Word planted in the hearts of our children. But in time they do.


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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