Teaching involves many skills that have little to do with natural gifting. Even if a person is very gifted, they may be using methods that have grown outdated with the children who are being taught. A person would never go to a medical doctor for help if the doctor were using Civil War era instruments or were not up to date on new medicines or procedures offered. Teachers in the classroom can quickly become irrelevant if they are not aware the culture around them.
There are several ways to help teachers, helpers, administrators, etc. to improve the skills they need within the church. There are yearly or monthly training opportunities led by the local church, mentoring/apprenticeship in the classroom or on-the-job training, local workshops sponsored by creditable childrenâ€™s ministry companies, and denominational training either locally or nationally.
Choun and Lawson explain, â€œTraining events introduce new materials, methods, and programs. Society is changing rapidly, and curriculum publishers are responding with materials tailored to the specific needs of todayâ€™s children.â€ While it is certainly true that â€œthe Word of our God stands foreverâ€ (Isa 40:8), the methods that were once very impacting and powerful do become obsolete. Some archaic methods can actually distract a student from learning instead of enhancing the learning experience. Training, therefore, should be designed to show teachers how to include culturally relevant materials to their students, and use the current cultural trends as a way to teach and expound Scripture. Understanding this concept Childrenâ€™s Ministry Magazine includes a section that is called â€œKeeping Current.â€ They define this section of the magazine as â€œWhat you need to know about todayâ€™s kids and their culture; plus creative lessons to use the current song, video, or news story.â€ Within this section there are often current movies given with teaching points based upon scenes from the movie. Different age groups are also broken down with specific cultural developments given in each age group. For example, a new toy that is popular among preschoolers or a video game among the pre-teens may be described. A teacher could reference this magazine to get an insiderâ€™s view of her studentâ€™s world in order to use it as an illustrative bridge to the Bible.
Since culture is always changing, a teacherâ€™s approach and methods (not the message) should always be changing. Training then becomes paramount in order to keep teachers informed of cultural trends. Being informed is also another way that a teacher can show her love for her students. She cares enough to take the time to craft a lesson that includes their world and is designed just for them.
 Robert Choun and Michael Lawson, The Christian Educators Handbook on Childrenâ€™s Ministry (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 288.
 Christine Yount Jones, ed., â€œKeeping Current,â€ Childrenâ€™s Ministry Magazine (May/June 2006 ): 6.