My son and I spend a lot of time in the car. One of my favorite things to is listen to music or podcasts that speak to my heart and my son's heart. Our newest favorite is the Tiny Theologians podcast. And a long time favorite of his and mine is Seeds Family Worship. Both of these resources help me to teach him about God as we go. I was thinking about this the other day and remembered something that happened when Seeds Family Worship first came out.
Years ago when the Seeds of Character CD first came out the first time I heard the song Teach Them my understanding of what it means to disciple kids made a major shift. This song is based on Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and starts out with children’s voices singing ‘teach us well, teach us well, teach us well, teach us well.’ Right there in the car I got emotional as I imagined the kids my church begging us to teach them the Scriptures and to teach them well. And every time I hear that song I now think of the high calling of parents and children's ministry leaders.
It makes me think of 2 Timothy 4:3, which warns us that a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, but will instead gather teachers to teach what their itching ears want to here. It make me think of the girls small group I lead sometimes and their eagerness to learn and to discuss the Scriptures. It makes me think of my preschool son and how he is a sponge for God's Word. I'm so thankful that at this point in their lives they still want us to teach them well.
Back to Deuteronomy 6:4-7~ “Hear O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
First off I want to thank all of you who are children's ministry teachers for the diligent, faithful and creative ways that you teach the kids in your lives. Thank you for the ways that you have partnered with parents and encouraged what’s being taught in the home. Secondly, parents, thank you for the many ways that you are teaching your kids well at home. It’s evident when they come into churches around the world that they have parents who love the Word and love them enough to teach them the Word.
With all of that in mind, let’s get a conversation going here and think of some creative ways that either parents or volunteers can continue to diligently teach Scripture to kids….and teach them well.
Here are a few thoughts I had….
This article and all of these resources are great options to share with the families in your church.
Talk about them when you sit at home
- Family devotion time: Use a tool such as “Long Story Short” in your family devotion time. With toddlers and preschoolers, a great resource to work through is "Sing and Play Attributes of God."
- Keep a Bible in a basket on (or near the table) as a visual reminder to read the Bible during or after dinner.
- If your kids have screen time, look for videos that teach the truth. Some of my favorites are: “What’s in the Bible?,” “Adventures in Odyssey,” "Theo Presents"
- Use dinner time to pray for unreached people groups. You can download people group cards, joshuaproject.net. With younger kids, we've included a set of country prayer cards in the Prayer Prompt Cards set.
- Spend time as a family learning (or reviewing) the books of the Bible. You can download a set of Bible book cards as well as games to play with them with the Bible Games bundle.
When you walk (or drive) along the road- -
- Listen to the Tiny Theologians Podcast, God's Big Story Podcast, or the Biggest Story Podcast. You can also download coloring pages that go along with the Biggest Story podcast free here (for kids to color at home to review).
- Use drive time to learn Scripture: Seeds Family Worship is a great way to do this.
- Have an older kid read a Bible passage to the family while you drive.
- Listen to an audio Bible.
- Discuss a question of the day. One thought would be to work through a catechism, like the new city catechism (which has great songs for kids too).
- Play a Bible Travel Games… You can find lots of game ideas in the Family Roadtrip Toolkit.
When you lie down- -
- Use the time right before bed to read the Bible.
- If you have little ones who like lullabies, consider scripturelullabies.com.
- Read good books to read as “bedtime stories.” There are so many great options these days from storybook Bibles, books on church history, novels and more. Many of my favorites are on this list. Another great place to find good ideas for books is "The Good Book Mom."
And when you get up- -
- Encourage young readers to get in the habit now of reading the Bible first thing in the morning. If your kids aren't ready for reading the Biblical text, consider the Kaleidoscope Kids Bibles like this one.
- When kids are ready to read straight from the Bible, here are some ideas of what to read. (1) Have them read through a book of the Bible a chapter (or part of a chapter) a day. (2) Have them read the first few verses of what you’ll be reading later as a family. (3) They could read the verses on the take home page that goes along with your church's curriculum, or (4) Consider using a Bible reading plan.
- Use the breakfast table as a time to review memory verses that you’re learning as a family. Make cards of the verses you’re working on, put them on a ring and flip through them at breakfast. Let kids take turns quoting their verses, or say them all together.
A final resource that's full of ideas for any time of the day is 78 Everyday Gospel Conversation Starters.
This list just scratches the surface of ways to engage kids with the gospel throughout the day. This article could go on and on, however the point is to encourage everyone (teachers and parents alike) to think intentionally about the time we have with kids and work hard to make sure that we're doing everything we can to point kids to Christ.