It’s very easy for us as leaders to want to tell Bible stories to children and talk about what God has done for the people we have read about. This is where the Bible can be seen as just another history book. We want it to have an impact on our children today, to speak to them and guide their lives. We want children to see that God’s word is purposeful and meaningful and to do this we need to make the stories we read not just stories but turn them into life changing opportunities by making the truth relevant to their lives.
When I grew up, I knew most of the well-known Bible stories, I knew that God led the Israelites to the Promised Land, I knew that Jesus healed the sick but I didn’t realise that God could lead me or heal me as a child. To me, what took place in the Bible happened years ago and I didn’t realise that God can do the same today as He could back then.
How can we help children today not only see the relevance of the Bible, but see God at work in their lives and making a difference?
We need to:
First of all, read the Bible and discuss what took place. E.g. What God did for those in the Bible or the impact that God had on the lives of the people He was with.
Discuss how God can do the same today for us as He did then or if the Bible story is about the character of a person living a lifestyle following Jesus, then discuss in what ways can we do the same.
Help the children to think through what this looks like for them in this coming week.
See if the children can set a specific goal for themselves that encourages them to put it into action.
Allow time the following week for feedback by asking how the children got on and how they felt God with them or they had grown in Him.
For example – If we read the story of Paul and Silas in prison, (Acts 16:16-34) we know that it was a really difficult time for them being chained up and locked away in awful conditions. Yet Paul and Silas, even in their darkest hour, didn’t get angry at people or cross with each other but continued to worship God.
How can we do the same today?
When we face difficult situations whether at home, in school or else-where, focusing on the positive of what God has done for us is far better than getting angry with those who may have made our situations hard or getting angry with our families. What does this look like for the coming week? If someone is unkind to us at school this week, how should we react in a way that would be pleasing to God? E.g. not to retaliate but go out of our way to be kind back to them. Setting a specific goal could be, if … is unkind to me, I’m going to go home, bake a cake and take it round to their house and give it to them. I will also pray for them.
When children can see the relevance of God in their lives and helping them live like Jesus, it helps to build their faith and their relationship with Him. We want to see children believing God can do great things because they’ve seen Him at work in their lives. With every opportunity we have of sharing the Bible, we need to allow opportunities for children to realise that God is the same today, yesterday and forever.