Encounter Bible class is one of my favourite classes to teach online to my K-4 students! Now, you may wonder how impactful Encounter class in early elementary really can be through a computer screen, but it is just as amazing as if we were all physically together. Encounter online has allowed for connection with students, development of relationships, and the building of a school community. I can often see and feel the Holy Spirit working.
Each week I am given the privilege and opportunity to share Jesus, not only with my students who live all over the world, but also with their families who often listen in the background. And when asked, Encounter is frequently my students’ favourite class, as well. Encounter class has offered my online students the opportunity to get to know Jesus and seek a relationship with Him in an engaging and fun way, no matter where they live!
Once Encounter live class is done, I know that it continues on in the students’ homes throughout the week as students share the stories, experiences, and treasure verses with their families and discuss what they have learned. The other day I received an email from a parent sharing, “We look forward to Encounter class every week…the whole family gathers around the computer to listen in!”
Recently, I finished a unit with my K-2 class on seeking Jesus and choosing to follow Him. My heart was heavy thinking about this powerful opportunity that I had been given to share Christ and lead His children to choose Him. What if I messed it up? What if my internet was glitchy? What if I presented the message and it wasn’t accepted or the students didn’t understand? I prayed and prayed and prayed over my students and the Google Slides I had prepared. That day in live class, students continued learning about how sin separates us from God but Jesus’ death has created a bridge for us to meet Him. Students wrote their sins on sticky notes and stuck them to a cross they had glued in their Encounter journals. After we talking about the beautiful gift Jesus has given us, we prayed together and the students took off their “sins,” crumpled them up, and threw them away. Later in the week, a parent shared how this activity profoundly affected on her Grade 1 child. When unkind words and actions happen, the student will now say, “That deserves a sticky note that you need to take to Jesus to get rid of.” Sometimes it’s not just the students who need the bravery to share Jesus, but me as the teacher to trust that no matter what, God will take my words, actions, presentation, and even my glitchy internet and use them to glorify Him.
Encounter class is so much more than just learning about stories from the Bible. It is a wonderful opportunity to introduce and invite students to a relationship with Jesus while also strengthening my own faith and trust in Him. I feel so humbled to have been given this opportunity for Christ to use me!