We want our kids to be thinkers – that’s one of the main focuses of the blog.
Only when they think through what the Bible says and think through what Christ means to them personally – will their faith become their own. Only then will they have a heart-strong assurance of their beliefs, and not just parrot what their their parents and teachers have said.
We can encourage them in many ways – and we will be talking about those ways in upcoming posts. But today, we’ll focus on being intentional about what they’re learning at church … and making that part of the learning at home. Yes, the parents are the primary spiritual nurturers of a child – but one way we can get those conversations going is by talking about what they’ve learned from the pastor or teachers at church.
*** Looking up a word that the pastor (or their teacher) has used that they don’t quite understand. And, we can be examples by doing that ourselves with words we hear at church that we don’t completely understand.
*** Answering questions that they have about what they heard – don’t just brush them off. (Sometimes we do this because we’re busy and sometimes we do this because we don’t know the answers ourselves and don’t want to admit it.)
*** Taking their questions seriously. I remember a high school kid asking me a fairly easy question about the Bible. His youth pastor, (standing nearby) laughed and said, “Don’t bother her with that! You already know the answer.” Unbelievably the youth pastor, still laughing, walked away. I then answered the boy’s question … he truly didn’t know. If we don’t answer the seemingly simple questions, they won’t come to us with the hard ones.
*** Researching with them how to find the answer to questions through Bible concordances, commentaries, and dictionaries. Teach older kids how to access the Bible and Bible study guides online. Make a list of websites and resources that are Bible based and which you allow them to use. (We all know the web has a lot of junk on it and also a lot of “religious” sites that sound good on the surface, but really aren’t that good at all.)
*** Encouraging them to write down their questions and answers in a journal so they remember what they’ve learned.
*** Going to the pastor, a staff person or an adult for the answer. Yes, you have the answer or know where to get the answer, but kids also need to be familiar with asking a pastor or staff member questions. You (whether you’re the parent or teacher) won’t always be there to help the child. They need to know that there are people who are willing to help.
*** Teaching them that even when you (the parent, pastor or teacher) answer a question, they must always, ALWAYS, check it with God’s Word. Teach them to ask, “can you tell me the chapter and verse”?
Our goal is to teach out kids to be students of the Bible. We want to enable them to build a strong spiritual foundation that will not crumble even when they’re on their own.
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