The group of two-year-olds assigned to me on a recent Sunday were super cute and super, super, super busy. It was “story time”, the scheduled time for teaching the Bible lesson of the day. My fellow volunteer turned to me and said, “They won’t listen. And besides, two-year-olds don’t need to know this.”
I’ll admit it. The option of lecturing her or at least putting on my self-righteous facial expression crossed my mind. But if we are honest, all of us have had similar feelings. Do kids really need to know a particular Bible story? Or a Bible principle? Isn’t it over their heads? Whether you are a parent or on a children’s ministry team—or both—it’s an important question to ask yourself. What is the point of teaching the Bible to kids?
To answer the question, we need to back up and ask a bigger question. What’s the point of the Bible for any of us? Our favorite answer comes from the Bible itself. “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (CSB)
It’s certainly true in my own life that the words of the Bible are used to rebuke and correct me as well as to train and equip me for what God has for me. Probably this is true in your life too, but what about those little ones?
Look at the verses immediately preceding the familiar passage above. 2 Timothy 3:15 says this, “you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures…”. Wow! From infancy! I believe this is what God planned for Christian families. Knowledge of the Bible would begin so early and so naturally that there would not be a time our children weren’t familiar with it.
It’s important to remember the overarching purpose of scripture. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself. To us. The God of the Universe wrote a book so we could know him! It’s astonishing, isn’t it? He also reveals himself through the natural world and through the life of Christ. What a gracious God! He wants us to know him. There is no trick to it. He made sure his self-revelation was written down for us…and for our children.
Of course, none of us will see his fully in this life, but we can know him. I want that for our children, don’t you? That doesn’t mean we have to force those super busy two-year-olds to sit down for a Bible lesson. It means a little at a time, in natural ways, at church or at home, we teach them the Bible.
We teach them in the simplest conversation. We tell them stories in age-appropriate, engaging ways. We enjoy teaching them because we share with them the great joy of learning more and more about our God. Knowing God is the point! Teaching kids the Bible is the great shared privilege and responsibility of every parent and every Kids Ministry.