But it is not fair to complain without offering solutions, so let's see if we can come up with some today. I hope you will join in the discussion if you have ideas to offer, too.
First, one of the readers on the earlier post suggested going over the pictures with the young students. I think this is an excellent idea. Even first graders, and possibly kindergarteners, can listen to the story being told and then pick out things in the picture that are wrong. Sesame Street does this all the time. "Which of these things doesn't belong?" You will need to carefully say the correct things, stressing them several times. For example, tell of the shepherds arriving the night Jesus was born, then stress that they were in a house sometime later when the wise men arrived. If they are old enough to understand time, you can also talk about Herod having the children two and under killed, but I am not sure 4 and 5 year olds will catch on since "years" may not be meaningful. Simply stressing "the first night at the stable" and then "the house later on" should do it. Then ask them, what is wrong with this picture—a typical nativity scene with both the shepherds and the wise men in attendance at the manger. Have them circle the wise men, or, perhaps, X them out before coloring the page.
I did something similar for the middle school class I usually taught. I told them that their first order of business was to read the scripture citations in the Bible before reading the workbook, and then find all the mistakes in the workbook. No matter how good the workbooks, you will always find some. Probably because we all have a little bit of rebel in us at that age, they loved that assignment! They came to class with their lists and we covered them first every week. Do you think maybe they got the message not to believe everything you read, except the Bible? And I never had trouble getting them to do their lessons either.
And finally, if you are an artist, or if one attends your congregation, ask them to read the passages and draw correct pictures for your classes, especially for the little ones who spend time coloring. It would be a great way to involve other people in the teaching program. Please note though: you will want to carefully spell out the details that you want to be shown correctly. You might, or might not, be surprised at how many adults learned these details wrong themselves. Or maybe there is a person out there who could come up with a whole book of accurate coloring sheets for us to buy and use in our Bible classes. I know several people who can draw circles and squares and triangles around me, and really, we are not looking for Rembrandt, just recognizable drawings, true to the facts of the Bible.
As I said, if you have other ideas, please share them with us. We hold our children's souls in our hands when we teach those classes. Let's help each other do it right.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth (2Tim 2:15). HCSB