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The Bible Uncensored

Lauren Hunter

Build on Basics
The best course of action for children's ministers is to start simply and build upon repeated concepts as children develop. Teaching fundamental concepts first and adding to these as maturity allows makes perfect sense.

"Children learn best when they're allowed to build on knowledge they've already got," says Emeott.  "Children learn difficult concepts a little at a time and build on what they know. A first-grade teacher doesn't start math lessons with algebra, but by the sixth grade, algebra is part of the expected teaching plan. Math starts with addition and subtraction and then kids build on those learned skills with multiplication and division. Eventually, the learner is ready for the more complicated math of algebra."

The same theory applies with controversial concepts of the Bible. "As a child matures and grows, you can share more and more facts with deeper understanding of the events," says Emeott. "God wants to speak anew every time you read his Word. So even in Bible stories we think we understand fully, God can reveal new and fresh truths."

• • •

When we look at the amazing array of events in the Bible, it's all too easy to lean toward censoring the ones that make us uncomfortable. Rather than censoring or omitting, change your frame of reference. Everything in the Bible is there for a reason; it's up to us to seek out the ways to help kids find the meaning God has for them in his words. Rather than censor it, we can simplify concepts and de-select details so they don't become a distraction to the understanding kids can get from the basic story. Learn to release and hold back just the right amount for the kids you minister to.

"Should we censor the Bible?" ponders Brolsma. "Of course not. But we should use wisdom as we teach God's Word, gleaning applicable and meaningful truths from every portion of Scripture. It means we step out in faith, sharing God's Word honestly and simply in ways that today's kids can best understand."

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, a church technology consultant (lhpr.net) and the founder of the blog Church Tech Today (ChurchTechToday.com). She and her husband have four children and live in Roseville, California.

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