Today I Saw God
Did you know that less than 50% of Americans can name the first book of the Bible?
Did you know that 12% of Christian Americans think Noah's wife was Joan of Arc?
Did you know that less than 1/3 of Americans know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount?
As the Director of Children's Ministry here at Floris I am faced with the daunting task of, "how do I convey excitement for and about the Bible and all that it contains to the children who I influence?"
I know that as a child I was given a Bible but it was the King James Version. If you've ever read the King James Version of the Bible you know how many "thous" and "begats" are in there. As a child I wondered how anyone could sit and read these stories let alone understand them.
So how do we as adults get excited about the Bible, stay excited about the Bible, and then convey that enthusiasm to our children and teens? One way I do this on Sunday mornings is to actually hold the Bible in my hands when I am telling a Bible story. Children need to understand that the incredible stories they are learning are not just made up or come from thin air, but are from the Bible and are part of God's story. And, if they are interested in the story you are telling, they might just pick up the Bible another time to see what other neat stories might be in there.
Another key idea we are implementing in Children's Ministry is to actually teach the children how to use the Bible. As I mentioned about my KJ Bible, many kids think the Bible is confusing and I can't blame them! Each Sunday we will be looking closely at the Bible to see how it is arranged, who wrote each book, and who the key players are in the Bible.
We need to show our children how the Bible holds the answers to many of the questions we have. What does God think about bullying? How was the world made? Why did God make me? The Bible has the answers to those and so many more questions, and if kids understand that the answers to those questions can be found in the Bible, it can be like a big scavenger hunt!
Along the same lines, find out what excites your child and show it to them in the Bible. Is your son interested in fire and brimstone from the sky, gross foods one can eat, or reading about weapons and Armies? Is your daughter interested in strong women such as Hannah or Esther, or what was it like to a woman of 12 or 13 years old, like Mary, to hear that you are pregnant but not yet married? As a girl I would love to read the stories where God sent in a woman to do a man's job!
It is so important that our children understand the Bible to be an exciting and RELEVANT book. While we want the stories to be interesting to them, unless our children develop a relationship with God the Bible, it will just be a book of interesting stories of which they will tire as they grow older instead of a source of revelation and inspiration.