In this installment of Kevin Shutterbug, our favorite roving reporter discovers the meaning of some RV jargon – when he learns the term boondocking! Thanks again to One Way Street for making Kevin’s report about the Martins and their life on the road a reality!!
Archive for June, 2011
As our family took in the amazing sights, sounds and smells of Yellowstone, our roving reporter friend, Kevin Shutterbug, did a little investigative research himself. He got himself into a few little jams, but we managed to help him get out of those troubles. Take a peak at the video for some picture highlights of his adventures. Many thanks to One Way Street for making Kevin’s reports possible!
There has been a lot of talk in the evangelical church world about the existence of heaven and hell. Along with these discussions there are other doctrines that many feel need a resurgence in emphasis in our churches. The virgin birth, the inerrancy of scripture, God’s creation of the earth and other core doctrines are being brought back to a place or importance in our sermons, writing, books and discussions.
While this interest in our core, historical doctrines is great, even if it is in response to some questioning of those said doctrines. Perhaps God has used some of the books and other pop-culture vehicles that have questioned these beliefs as a springboard to reaffirm what beliefs we all hold dear. As children’s pastors and leaders, we can use this time to examine how and when and why are we teaching these basic doctrines to the children in our church. What are those basic doctrines and at what ages are kids able to grasp them.
You may have your own plan for passing on the elements of our faith to kids under your care, but perhaps you don’t. The first place to start is to figure out what are those basics that all of evangelical Christians can agree on. From there you can explore what are your denominational or church doctrines that vary within our faith, but are still important for you to teach to the next generation.
Perhaps there are more, but here are seven basics that I believe every Christian church can agree on and should teach to all of their members, beginning with the kids! I have also included a suggested age when each doctrine could begin to be taught.
- God created the world, the universe and everything there is. This is one of the first things that can be taught, beginning as early as age two. We may not agree on when this happened, but surely we can agree that it did! God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
- God’s Word is the Bible and the Bible is inspired by Him and can be completely trusted. Also a concept that can be caught at an early age, beginning with two year olds.
- Every person since Adam has sinned, is born into a sinful nature and is completely lost in their sin. I would say by the age four this idea can be taught.
- Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a life completely without sin and was the only person born with no sin nature. By the age of seven or eight, depending on your willingness to explain virgin!
- Jesus died, was buried and rose again in three days. He did this to bring forgiveness of sins to all who follow him as Lord and Savior. He is the one true Way to forgiveness and eternal life. The basic elements of these doctrines can be taught as early as age three or four.
- Jesus is coming and will bring both eternal life for those who have believed and eternal judgement for those who have not believed. Early elementary kids can fully grasp this doctrine that so many adults try to explain away.
- God is three-person is one. the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One of the most difficult doctrines to teach any grade. I would suggest simply stating it as fact when they are five or six and finding creative ways to illustrate it when they are in fourth or fifth grade.
- God is the only eternal, perfect, all knowing and all-powerful Being ever. He has always existed. some of these concepts are again more difficult to grasp. You can start at an early age by teaching God is bigger and stronger than anyone in the preschool years and really flush out the concepts in the pre-teen years.
These are a few of the basic doctrines that I have tried to teach. Doctrine is a key element that has been missing from so many of the values based curriculum that has been the rage for the last decade, and one of the reasons I refused to embrace values-exclusive curriculum. While it is important to teach kids in our churches values like honesty and courage, we have to see our mission as so much bigger than this! We have the amazing opportunity to introduce them to a God beyond our wildest imagination!
I am interested to hear your approaches to teaching kids essential doctrine and how important you feel it is. How do we equip parents to bring these doctrinal studies? How do you bring them to life and make them memorable and understandable for kids?