You Don’t Need To Be Theologian To Teach Kids.

In my last post I made the case for systematic theology and why kids need it. I know many of you might be thinking that there is no way that you could teach your kids systematic theology because you don’t really even understand it yourself. Take heart you are not alone. The good news for you is there are many resources that are now available to help your kids and you understand the basic framework of our faith.

Theology is something that is scary for many parents as many of them were never taught theology because much of it was assumed when they were kids. Their parents assumed they understood things about God. The most important thing about our kids is what they think about God. Because that’s true we can leave nothing to chance.

So where do we start. I would not start with Systematic Theology for kids under 6 or 7 for them I would read them books that tell the large story of God as a Redeemer. To do that I would recommend the following books

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The Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

 

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The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

Once kids have an understanding of the big picture of scripture the parts will make sense. When your kids are between 7 and 8 I would working through a systematic theology with them. There are three that I would recommend this list is by no means exhaustive. I have broken them up into younger, slightly older and older again this is for connivance what is important is you find what works for you family and do that.

Youngest

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Everything a Child Should Know about God by Kenneth Taylor

Young

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The Ology by Marty Machowski

Older Elementary

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Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware

Teens

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Bible Doctrine: Essential Teaching of the Christian Faith by Wayne Grudem

 

3 Reasons Why Kids Need Systematic Theology

I know what you are thinking “Isn’t that a bit much for kids?” 50 years ago I would have agreed with you even 20 years ago. Today is a different day.  There are many reasons for this, but I think DA Carson’s analysis is most concise in this matter. He says,”One generation knows the gospel the next assumes the gospel the third generation denies the gospel.”

When I was growing up as a kid, and I believe even my first few years as a children’s pastor we lived in a season where the gospel was assumed. As a kid, there were no sports or school activities on Wednesday night so kids could go to youth group. Stores were closed on Sunday so people could spend time with family and observe the Sabbath. We lived in a culture that Christian ideas thoughts and standards for better or worse pervaded our country.  In the south, this is still true to some extent. I think the feeling when I was growing up was that you didn’t need to give kids as deep of a grounding in doctrine and truth because it was everywhere. There was stuff you learned for sure, but I think many things were assumed. As parents and as pastors we can no longer assume anything. We live in arguably the most secular age our country has ever seen. We must proactively teach our kids the stories of the Bible but also the truth underneath the stories and most importantly the person to whom those truths and stories point.

That is the context for why we need to teach our kids systematically here are a few reasons why it matters.

Gone but not forgotten.

Most leaders if they are honest will tell you one of their biggest fears is they would give their life and energy to someone or something only to be forgotten once they move on. I have thought about this a lot lately what will people take away from your contribution to your church, family, field.

Here are a few random thoughts I have been thinking and praying over.

1. When I leave a conversation do people think I am important or did I make them feel important

2. The people you poured into will always outlast anything you build.

Christ The Sure And Steady Anchor

I have been listening to this song nonstop. I need to remember that in the storms of life I have a sure and steady anchor. Though I am moved I waver and am tossed by the wind, He is never moved. If there is one thing I want my kids to remember when they have families of their own and I am gone is that Christ was my Anchor in every season of life. That the stability of my hope is founded in Christ alone.

Verse 1:
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
In the fury of the storm;
When the winds of doubt blow through me,
When my sails have all been torn.
In the suffering, in the sorrow,
When my sinking hopes are few;
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It will never be removed.

Verse 2:
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
While the tempest rages on;
When temptation claims the battle,
And it seems the night has won.
Deeper still then goes the anchor,
Though I justly stand accused;
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It shall never be removed.

Verse 3:
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
Through the floods of unbelief;
Hopeless somehow, O my soul, now,
Lift your eyes to Calvary.
This my ballast of assurance,
See his love forever proved.
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It will never be removed.

Verse 4.
Christ the sure and steady anchor,
As we face the wave of death;
When these trials give way to glory,
As we draw our final breath.
We will cross that great horizon,
Clouds behind and life secure;
And the calm will be the better,
For the storms that we endure.

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Christ the sure of our salvation,
Ever faithful, ever true!
We will hold fast to the anchor,
It shall never be removed.

Words & Music: Matt Boswell & Matt Papa
(C) 2015 Matt Boswell & Matt Papa

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