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?
If you knew your marriage would improve by thanking your husband for unloading the dishwasher or going to work each day, would you do it? If your husband knew you would be happier if he just put his arm around you in Church or held your hand, what would he do? What if you knew your marriage would be happier if you and your husband just spent more time doing things together?
As an adult, have your parents ever said something they obviously thought was common knowledge, but which surprised you? When you ask why you weren’t told, they will often say they thought you knew.
As parents, it is easy to assume your child will naturally pick up certain knowledge and skills. After all, they learned to talk didn’t they?
Some children are very savvy. They can be born into horrible environments with no support and turn out to be adults you would think had been raised with every possible advantage. The vast majority of kids though, need intentional training to develop the skills to be successful in life and in the Church.
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?
To me, one of the most interesting people in the Bible is Barnabas. What kind of person was he that he was best known for encouraging people? Was he just a cheerleader for everyone, or was there more to the story?
It would be great if we could raise children who were encouragers like Barnabas. But what exactly did Barnabas do that we could also teach our kids?
I went back and read everything in the Bible I could find about Barnabas. Barnabas was much, much more than the cheerleader we somehow picture. Here is what I found and how it could translate to skills we teach our own children: