Many of us have moved to teaching Bible study sessions online. For those of us who aren’t used to doing online lessons, this is uncharted territory. We really are learning how to provide quality online lessons for our kids and families as we go.
Why should we teach online? The answer may seem obvious: we can’t teach in person and stopping ministry is not an option. Or perhaps there aren’t as many people attending our church gatherings right now. So it may seem like a silly question, but let’s pause and think about it at a deeper level. Everything we do should have a deeper meaning. There should be a “why” that leads everything we do in our ministry.
So why are we teaching online? Bible study is at the heart of our ministry, and we want to provide our preschoolers and kids with the learning experiences that they need. We also need to help parents as they disciple kids in the home. How are we discipling our kids through this online Bible study, in partnership with their families?
How should we teach online?
We have two basic options for teaching online: recorded videos or live streams. Let’s briefly discuss the pros and cons of each option. Recorded videos afford you the opportunity to provide more polished content. You can stop when someone makes a goof, you can do things over again, you can bring in other features and make edits. In addition to these benefits, you can record the videos on your schedule—whenever it’s best for you.
Recorded video has so many wins, but there are some drawbacks. One is that there is minimal interaction, if any, with whoever is watching. So your preschoolers, kids, and families will be passive viewers rather than active participants if you provide pre-recorded videos.
Now let’s look at the live stream option. Live streams can be organic with interaction, and they can have an event feel to them that makes them fun. Lots of big wins! The downside is that a live stream is a live performance. If you make a mistake you cannot do it over and sometimes there are technical issues. The risk of something going wrong is much higher with live streams.
When you are looking at which of these two options to pursue, we hope you see how important it is to develop your “Why” first. For example, maybe your big “Why” is to develop content. You recognize that your kids and families need content delivered in an online format. That may steer you toward the pre-recorded video because you can protect the content better. Maybe your bigger “Why” is connecting. That may take you down the path of a live stream. Figure out the “Why” and that will lead you to figure out the “How” of your online teaching.