Around the world today, many children are being taught the Bible like it is just another subject in school. Often, they memorize whole chapters of the Bible, but it is never clarified to the children what those verses have to do with everyday living. Rather, the Bible is taught to children like it is a collection of fables or fairy tales. I think it is a tragedy that children are being taught the Word of God in a way that is disconnected from their real life.
But how can we connect the Bible to the real lives of children in a culture of Internet and video games? Or in cultures where some children spend their lives in front of the television, while others fall asleep to the sounds of artillery? How do we make the Word of God relevant to children living in refugee settlements, with no hope for their future? Or in a climate of hatred between Muslims and Christians?
Since 1993, God has led Every Generation Ministries in equipping children’s workers in His Church to uniquely connect the truth of God’s Word to the real lives of children. Children need to be taught the Bible in an experiential way that is practical, through meaningful relationships within the Church. Children should understand the Word of God as the handbook for living life.
The Word of God should affect what a child does with his hands. It should affect how a child thinks with her mind. No child should leave church not knowing how he can personally respond to the Word of God in day-to-day life.
For 23 years, Every Generation Ministries has provided innovative development programs and Bible teaching resources to children’s workers in thousands of churches. Countless children’s workers have been inspired and empowered to change the way they teach; departing from the traditional lecture or schooling model that has become endemic in the Church, and embracing the relational, experiential approach that Jesus modeled throughout His ministry. In the Gospels (Matt. 5:19; John 8:31; John 14:23), we see that the goal of Jesus’ teaching and message was not only the understanding of information, but the transformation of a person’s behavior. His desire was that His followers would know the truth and live out that truth in everyday life.
Connecting God’s Word to the everyday realities of children is a cornerstone of Every Generation Ministries.
By Quinton Hufferd, Curriculum Director