The overarching goal of children’s ministry is to provide kids with the encounters, relationships and knowledge that lead to a lifelong faith. Obviously, there are more aspects of robust faith than can ever be enumerated. However, starting today I thought I’d go over some of the basic knowledge I’m hoping our kids leave our ministry with, starting with the Bible.
After 12 years of church/Sunday School, the odds are that many of your kids will have attained a great deal of knowledge about the Bible. Even if they weren’t trying, if they spend enough time in church they’ll probably leave with a fair amount of Bible know-how. And that’s great, but random bits of Biblical knowledge are typically less than effective unless they’re tethered to some basic foundational knowledge.
With that in mind, here are some key truths our students need to understand if they’re going to be able to apply the Bible wisely across the span of their entire lives.
It’s infallible – because it reflects the nature of God
When it comes to the the doctrine of infallibility, it’s easy to get caught up in questions about specific words, meanings and translations. However, this tendency bypasses what actually makes scripture trustworthy – the instigator. We can trust scripture because (a) it is inspired by a perfect and infallible God (Exodus 15:11) and (b) God promises that it will always accomplish what he intends it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11). When it comes to trusting in the efficacy and reliability of Scripture, we can trust that it is a reflection of God Himself. If we believe that God is holy, unchanging and infallible, then it makes sense to believe the same thing about the scriptures that our faith is built upon.
It tells a big story
I love that there are so many children’s ministry curriculum options that walk through the entire range of Scripture. This is vital because it’s so easy to view the Bible as a collection of largely disconnected stories and moral lessons. It’s so easy to get familiar with the specific trees and have no idea that they are a part of a larger forest. As we introduce our kids to God’s Word, it’s important to give them an idea of how the stories they are learning are part of God’s overall planof redemption and restoration. Remind your students that, no matter where you are studying, you can see the continual unfolding of God’s redemptive plan!
It’s a living book
There are a lot of powerful books in the world, books that have the power to change lives. However, the Bible stands apart from all of them, because it’s not a book that has power in isolation. What makes Scripture powerful is the fact that God’s Spirit actively illuminates it to us. God uses his word and His Spirit to speak to us exactly where we’re at (Hebrews 4:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:13). This is vital for kids to grasp because our goal should be to see them not only know Scripture, but to be practiced in hearing the Spirit speak through it. God’s active Spirit is what makes the Bible truly alive.
To finish it off, we all want our kids to leave our programs with a love for the Bible. The best thing we can do as children’s ministers is make sure we provide a solid foundation for understanding what Scripture is, and what makes is unique. That way the knowledge that our kids acquire in children’s ministry and beyond has a healthy foundation to be built upon.
What about you? What do you think kids need to know about the Bible? How can we best share it with them?