Educators love their buzzwords. One of the latest trends in education is project based learning. Instead of the stereotypical classroom with paper, pencil and rote memorization, students participate in hands-on projects to learn the same skills and information. Trends in education come and go, but this one may have some staying power.
This particular trend has an invaluable tool for Christian parents, teachers and ministry leaders. Have you ever helped a child with a school project? You know, the one where you have to make a paper mache duck-billed platypus by Friday and you don’t have any idea how to make that gooey stuff?
Almost every Christian parent would say they want their children to read the Bible. Some may even read it together as a family. Yet how many of us have children who regularly pick up a Bible without prodding, and read it? How many of us still struggle with our own Bible reading?
Over the years, I started to realize there are some things we do, which actually discourage our kids from reading the Bible. Sometimes our Churches may make the Bible seem boring or irrelevant in the life of our children. What can we do to get our children interested enough in the Bible to read it for themselves?
People often have a hard time understanding the Bible, in part because they have no frame of reference. What is a cubit? How does it feel to wander in a wilderness? Why is it so exciting to find a well?
We can show pictures and tell stories, but the most vivd learning our children and teens will do is from what they experience. You may not live close enough to a wilderness to let a group of teens wander around for a few days, or have a nearby oasis for a field trip, but there are some easy things you can do to bring the Bible to life.
God can lead you down some interesting paths. Parenthood is one of them. The day your child is born is etched in your heart forever. You marvel as you watch your children grow into their personalities and gifts. Suddenly, they are old enough to understand the concept of sin and dedicating their lives to God. Now, what do you do?
The age of accountability is slightly different for every child. Only God and the child will ever really know when that age has been reached. As a Christian parent, the subject of baptism can be scary. What if you push it too soon? What if you wait until it is too late? How do you know when your child is ready? How can you encourage baptism without making it your decision instead of your child’s? The whole subject freezes many parents into total inaction.
When my daughter was about the age of accountability, I wanted to study with her. Unfortunately, my searches for a study on baptism hadn’t turned up anything I felt comfortable using. Either the study was outdated or juvenile looking or the theology wasn’t entirely sound. With a background in education, I had been trained to write lesson plans about a variety of subjects. Could God use those same skills to help me write a study about baptism parents could use with their children?
Early this summer I mentioned some of our children were creating a Bible Museum using plastic building bricks. The results were really creative, so I wanted to share them with you. The children were given the story and read the scriptures so they could get the details as close as possible to the real thing. As you will see, it still allowed for quite a bit of creativity. The kids had a blast doing it and the resulting museum was displayed for the congregation during our annual Day of the Child.