2 Timothy 3:15-17 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
There is a movement in children’s ministry that troubles me. Among some, the Word of God is not being taught to children. Instead they’re entertained by elaborate gospel illusions and games or they’re taught Bible stories and Bible truths in a watered down fashion. Sometimes the stories don’t even come from the Bible but from video clips that teach values.
There’s nothing wrong with these methods if their main goal is to teach God’s Word to children in a way they can understand and accept. The problem is not in the methods but when the methods become more important than the message. God uses His Word to equip His people. We, as children’s pastors, need to teach God’s Word to children to equip them. If we don’t, we raise a generation of people who have gone to church all their lives but don’t know God, His Word, or His power.
One of the best ways to make sure you teach children God’s Word is to make a list of sound doctrine children need to know and understand before they leave children’s ministry. Here’s some suggestions I believe are vital.
Children need to know all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. They need to know God hates sin, but He loves us so much He sent Jesus to die for our sins. They need to know that they need to believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as their savior to be saved. They needs to know being good enough doesn’t work and that there’s no other way of salvation.
Children need to know who Jesus is. They need to know He is fully God and fully man. He is not just a prophet or another religious leader. He is the Son of God and the only way of salvation.
Children need to know that once they’re saved, God expects them to live holy lives. There are certain things they can’t do as Christians. Those things are called sin. They’re not mistakes or one person’s opinion, they are sin. Adultery, fornication, and homosexuality are sin. Lying and stealing are sin. Disobediance and rebellion are sin. Sanctification is the power God gives us to say yes to Him and no to sin.
Dig out the doctrinal statements of your church. Dust them off, find them in Scripture, and teach them to your children. One of the main things you need to teach children are the two greatest commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9(ICB) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you. Write them on your doors and gates.
Applications are the principles and messages behind the Bible stories. First teach the Scripture, then teach what it means, then teach the application or how children can apply this to their lives.
Children need to hear testimonies about how God’s Word has worked in the lives of people they know. They need to know how God’s Word has worked in the lives of their parents, their Sunday School teacher, and their children’s pastor. This will encourage and equip them to apply the Word of God to their lives.