The focus of the Truth78 conference this month is "Biblical Literacy for the Next Generation." What is at stake in cultivating biblical literacy for the next generation?
Consider this exhortation from David and Sally Michael from an earlier conference message and what the implications are for children who would be guided by 2 Timothy 2:15:
Are you prepared when God, by His gracious and wise providence, brings a child from a non-Christian home into your classroom? How can you best minister to this child? What are some challenges that you may encounter?
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith, We are so thankful to have Suzy in our class this year. We would be overjoyed to have you visit our classroom…”
Have you ever sent out a personal invitation like this? During most of my years of teaching Sunday school, we had an open invitation to parents to visit the classroom. It’s sad to say, but very few parents took advantage of it. For those who did, their presence was overwhelmingly positive for everyone involved.
Teachers, what do you want to see happen in your classroom this year? What are your aspirations and goals for your students? Toward that end, what must you commit yourself to doing?
Discipline is helping children to grow, not controlling behavior. It is a long process that needs to be mostly positive in nature, but firm and loving. So, relationship building is incredibly important. Managing a classroom—keeping it under control, is something we can do the first time we ever walk into a group of children, and maintaining a well-run classroom achieves another goal—training our children in righteousness:
Attentive, well-behaved children sound like a teacher’s dream. However, our goal is not simply well-behaved children, but children who joyfully submit to God. It starts with an understanding of authority structure God has put in place, which brings about calm order and joyful submission.
There's a place for using a digital form of Scripture, whether it be on a device, PowerPoint, etc. and there are times and situations where digital may be preferred and beneficial, but in the classroom and for our children’s personal study and devotions, I believe the printed Word is preferable. ... More
At Truth78, we talk a lot about the need for “biblical literacy” for the next generation. But biblical literacy is more than just acquainting children with as much of the biblical text as possible. Yes, reading through the entire Bible by the time they reach adulthood is a worthy goal for our children. But we must also train them in how to study the Bible. What’s the difference, and why is it important?
Joe Carter has provided a really helpful article on this topic.
…while encouraging our children to read the Bible and teaching them how to do it well are necessary tasks, they are not sufficient for spiritual development. We also need to teach them how to study Scripture so that they “may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17).
…Two key differences between reading and study are pacing and focus. When we read the Bi
Some of the most unusual church experiences I’ve ever encountered took place within the context of youth ministry—wacky games and activities, students playing foosball during the Sunday school hour, edgy (but shallow) teaching, sleep-deprived retreats (with no parents allowed), and more. All done in the hope of being “relevant and fun” so youth would want to keep coming back. Yes, some students kept coming back, but many grew up and left the church—untouched by true saving faith and maturity—when the fun stopped.
That is why I found a recent article by 19-year-old Sara Barratt so refreshing. Here is her observation:
Instead of undiluted biblical truths and concrete theology, many [teens] are fed a watered-down message. They’re entertained at youth group and isolated from older, wiser Christ-followers. They’re drawn in with pizza parties, games, and programs, but leave with the burning issues of their hearts still unanswered.
She points to four core topics teens need to hear:
How can we help children know and love God?
In a seminar at the 2013 national conference, ”Teaching Children to Know and Love God by Knowing and Loving Theology,” Dr. Bruce Ware explained the importance of understanding the “progression of truth” as we teach our children. He lays out the progression as follows:
Head → Heart → Hands → Habitat
or another way of stating it…
Knowing → Loving → Living → Transforming
Why start with the “head”? Why not jump right to their heart? Dr. Ware explains,
The mind’s understanding (knowing the truth) is necessary for the heart’s engagement with that truth (loving the truth). Knowing the truth provides the possibility and basis for loving the truth.
With children, the first priority in what we can assis