big way to destroy kids' faith in the Bible--and if you're doing
it, you may be doing more damage than you realize. It seems benign,
but I always think about the warning in Galatians that says "you
will reap what you sow." Are you sure you're sowing the right
things in kids' hearts when it comes to the Word of God that'll
bear fruit for a lifetime?
I'm always struck by how modern culture refers to things in the
Bible. They often call them "Sunday school stories." STORIES! Are
stories to be believed? A case in point: My son and I went to
the Avengers movie this weekend. One of the super-heroes asked
another, "Have you ever heard of the tale of Jonah?" THE TALE!? Is
a tale to be believed?
No! Stories, fables, tales, myths--all ficton.
So what do we do at church? We have Bible story books. We have
Bible story time. We refer to the truths in Scripture as Bible
stories! How are we to expect children to believe for a lifetime
that these things actually happened?
Even worse--I've heard many referring to the entire Bible as the
"Big God Story." Some in this camp even refer to God as the "main
character" in the "Big God Story."
Yikes! We will reap what we sow! If we are guilty of
fictionalizing God's Word, how will our children ever believe in
Here are a few things to change.
- Cut out Bible story lingo. Instead of saying, "In our Bible
story today," we write into our lessons, "In the Bible today."
- Never refer to anyone in the Bible as a character--especially
God! The people we read about in the Bible were actual people who
interacted with a living person--God. The Bible is a historical
account. Would we refer to Winston Churchill as a character from
- Change your lingo. In my 2-year-old class, we have "Bible time"
instead of "Bible storytime."
- Affirm the truth of Scripture. When you open up the Bible with
kids, tell them that "this is God's special book that he has
written to us." Treat the Bible with great honor and respect
because it is more than a book.
If I ruled the world--or at least the church (and I don't)--I'd
cleanse these things from our vocabulary in hopes that we'd turn
the tide that the truths in the Bible are just a collection of
"stories and tales." Rather, it is truth from God to stake our
For more insights, check out this article from Children's
Ministry Magazine: "Once
Upon the Bible."