As I was teaching John 15 last night to one of my Bible study groups, one of the subjects that we covered was “how do we abide in Christ in a practical manner?”. The answer is found in the passage itself, “abide in the Word of God and have the Word of God abide in us”. Our discussion was, “as I focus on making disciples, how to I connect them with the vine, as I am connected to the vine?” In other words, “how do we teach people to interact with God?” according to John 15. The group answer was, teach them to come face to face with God through His Word. If I am a disciple-maker, am I teaching people to interact with God through His Word or I am “telling them what the Word of God says” keeping them from coming face to face with God unfiltered?
I attended a teacher training this past weekend where teachers were “trained” to use a curriculum to teach children in children’s ministry. The presentation was interesting but as I sat through it, one thing stuck out to me and it was the fact that the kids received God’s ideas filtered through the teacher’s understanding and presentation of Biblical concepts. The children are not being taught to interact with the Word of God directly. I thought of this during the John 15 Bible study. If we are not teaching children to interact with God face to face through His Word, then what are we doing? If I interact with God through His Word but do not teach children how to do the same, am I really leading them to Christ? Am I really teaching them to connect to the vine so that they can grow and produce fruit? As you minister to children who can read and write, do you encourage them and teach them to interact with the Scripture or do you just tell them stories about the Bible? Are you teaching them to connect with the vine or something else?
I am so happy to be a part of a ministry called TTC (Treasure Trust Club) which is a ministry that teaches children how to study the Word of God for themselves. Our first year’s program is a study on II Timothy “Becoming God’s Champions“. The kids are discovering for themselves who Timothy is, who Paul is, and what God wants us to learn about being genuine disciples of Jesus Christ. So far, the kids have discovered that Paul taught other people about Jesus and how they could know Jesus and as a result, he was put in prison. They learned that Timothy was a faithful follower of Christ because of his grandmother and mother’s faithfulness to the Lord. They have already memorized II Timothy 1:14 and II Timothy 2:15.
How are you teaching the next generation to study God’s Word for themselves? How are you teaching children to connect to the vine, Jesus Christ? May the Lord help us be faithful and bring the children to Him so that He can change their lives.