People who are committed to following Jesus have experiences of God acting in their life and others will benefit if they share those stories. Think prayerfully about what you will share, so it is right for your group. Make sure it is age-appropriate and that you tell it with sensitivity so every child feels safe.
The TRIM test is a useful check and a reminder to keep it brief.
True If you’re sharing your personal experience it needs to be true. You might be tempted to exaggerate to make it sound better, but if your story needs to be enhanced in order to fit the lesson, it’s not the time to tell it. Anything other than truth dishonours God.
Relevant It needs to be relevant to the lesson outcome and it needs to be relevant to the students. When we powerfully experience God in our life we want to share it, but make sure it will be meaningful to your students, not just meaningful to you. In your teaching role you share your experience for I benefit, not yours.
Interesting Children are generally interested in new and different things, including the spiritual, as long as those things intersect with their life in some way. They are often fascinated by things that they only partly understand. They like action, stories of other children, mysteries, and things they can imagine. Most will struggle to be interested in old people’s abstract words and ideas and situations that they can’t imagine.
Makes Sense If a lot of explanatory information is required in order for your personal story to make sense, your SRE/RI class is not the place for it to be shared. Think of what your group already knows about life and faith. If what you are thinking of sharing is too big a leap, the place to share it might be with your small group or others who would understand it better.
Finally, imagine the children’s parents and their school principal in the room listening to your brief personal story. Make sure you ground your belief statements and that you can show where it relates to your curriculum.