How to Teach Kids about God

Dear Reader,

I ran across this list that I wrote quite a while ago to clarify my own thoughts. I have rarely found a Sunday school or kids’ Bible curriculum that I am crazy about so I tend to make things up on my own. These are principles I would keep in mind when evaluating any curriculum:
1. use the Bible heavily; there is no need to go to extra-biblical stories when a child does not yet know his or her Bible
2. use narratives; stories appeal to kids; it is easy to say “so-and-so is kind” but we learn more about so-and-so’s kindness by hearing how he has been kind to others so narratives drive home more about God’s character than mere descriptions of His attributes; also the biblical model itself is to repeatedly recount God’s acts; there is no “thank you” in biblical Hebrew but to thank someone you recount their acts to others; our God is a God of history, not mere philosophy
3. honesty; theological truths must be adapted to a child’s level but not obscured in the process; we should not tell children that all humans are God’s people when they are not; we must not hide the need for salvation, for the child or their acquaintances
4. kids can handle more theological truths than you think; a child of 5 or 6 can understand the basics of TULIP; we can simplify without dumbing down too much
5. while a decision for God come come at some point in every life, our goal should not be a one time decision but a  life lived with God; it is better to teach a child to know God than merely to lead them to pray a “sinner’s prayer”
6. we all want good, obedient children but should be wary of emphasizing a legalistic list of rules before a child knows God Himself
7. Live it; all our words mean nothing if our kids don’t see our own faith lived out

There might be a few things about this I would tweak. It has been a while since I have looked at it. I will get back to you on it as I ponder it more.

Nebby

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