We are in the third year of having our students competing in the Bible Champions Club. We meet daily after school on the corner of Cypress and La Jolla streets sitting on foldable chairs around picnic tables, in a makeshift open-air study hall. It’s a homework club that exists for several years to tutor, develop and keep the kids accountable for their academics. Well, after sitting in the classroom for most of the day, the last thing on their minds is for sitting two more hours and fixing homework. We needed help, so we reached for the Bible.
Three years ago, each month we picked another Fruit of the Spirit, and every Monday we gave them several verses to read and recite about that particular Christian character. They earned points and at Christmas time and at the end of the school year in June we rewarded their efforts with educational toys and picture Bibles. We got encouraged and thought to bring the Bible even closer to them by helping them apply it to their lives what they have learned from the Scripture.
The following school year we picked a handful of people from the Bible whose lives shown the traits we wanted our kids to identify with. We called these men and women Bible Heroes. Again, we gave the kids excerpts and short stories to read about said heroes and heroines, and the exact verses to recite after they listened to our presentations. We also introduced the opportunity to earn extra points if they told us the meaning of the story with their own words. On top of that they could draw pictures of the heroes and how they imagined the stories happened. Wow, the points were soaring to the thousands around June.
We are in the third year now. This year we are introducing and discussing the miracles of Jesus. We further improved our study with the creation of interactive worksheets with verses to recite, stories to read and re-tell, questions to answer, and pictures to draw. We found that we have more success in small groups or even individual setting rather than attempting to effectively work with them all at the same time. When we are in a one-on-one setting, they thrive. We talk about the Bible with them every day. These kids adore the individual exposure, the so called “me time” spent with Jesus’ words and life story, and we truly see the Holy Spirit working in their hearts. It is the best time of my day when I get out of my car on the Cypress cul-de-sac and see them running to me from the streets shouting: “Did you bring new verses?” . . .