When I was a kid, I loved watching Bill Nye the Science Guy. Not so much now. You may have seen in the news where Nye spoke out against creationism. “The biblical stories were presented to me, but they never seemed reasonable,” said Nye in an interview. His statements could be summed up to say it’s okay if I want to believe in a God who created everything, but don’t harm children by teaching them that falsehood.
How can we help kids be firm in their beliefs? How can we help them accomplish 1 Peter 3:15…always ready to explain their Christian hope? Here’s three ways to help your kids stand firm in their beliefs.
- Start with the heart. Faith isn’t a subject. Faith is a relationship. Think about your best friend. How did that relationship form? Did you jot down trivia about that person on study cards and go over them every night? No, you spent time with that person, talking and doing things together. If we want our kids to live for Jesus, we can’t make him a subject like spelling or math. Instead, we need to help kids grow in their relationship with God.
- Knowledge is power. Next is getting kids into the Bible and helping God’s Word stick in their hearts. When planning your lessons, make the Bible come to life in your kids’ eyes by using the multiple intelligences theory to connect with your kids in many different ways. And make sure to make your lessons R.E.A.L. What’s R.E.A.L. learning? The four keys of R.E.A.L. learning are Relational, Experiential, Applicable, and Learner-based (and that’s what Sunday school curriculum from Group excels at!).
- Put it together. So we have the head and the heart. Now it’s time to combine…which means letting kids take ownership of their faith. Don’t give them answers to life’s big questions…help kids discover them. Encourage discussion in your lessons (here are some great tips on sparking conversations). Help kids find what they have a God-given passion for and then help them do it! Have kids with a heart for missions? Give the guidance to find a project they can do locally. Have kids with a love for music? Start a kids’ choir. Give kids a chance to live out their faith.
What else can we do? Stop using “story” when referring to real events of the Bible. If you haven’t read Chris Yount Jones’ post on using the s-word, please take a moment to. After hearing Nye’s comments, I’m inclined to stop using that verbiage now more than ever.
Whenever I bring up using or not using “story,” it always seems to get people talking. What about you? What do you think? Share with us using the comment section below!