Here’s what I think about families today: We’re good at sharing information with our kids, but terrible at helping them see Jesus. We pass along facts with the hope that they’ll inspire passion. But this never happens, nor was it ever intended to.
It has been said, “Kids would rather see a sermon that hear one any day.” Meaning, we can do our very best at teaching our kids about Jesus, but at the end of the day, they will learn much more about the God we profess by watching the way we live.
This is true. But outside of the example of our lives – which is huge – what is the most simplistic, yet effective, way to teach our kids about Jesus?
Tell them stories.
Jesus did it. They were called parables. Jesus told simple stories using the surroundings of his “students” to teach them a single idea. And if it was good enough for Him, then it’s good enough for us.
(Here’s a picture of a man and a boy. Looks like they’re fishing. This would be a great place to tell a story) :)
What type of stories do I mean? Well here’s a few examples to start….
Tell them stories of how Jesus loved people. If I’m speaking to a group of people that are either young in their faith or are not believers, this is where I go. It seems most people have a picture of God being this distant “force” of sorts. Helping people see how Jesus blasted the religious, yet showed compassion to the sinners and outcasts, allows them to form a new category for the heart of God.
Tell them the story of how God transformed your life. Your story is powerful, yet most of us don’t share it with our kids. We end up simply transporting them to and from church even though our story validates that God really can meet our needs, fill our hearts, and transform the trajectory of our lives.
Tell them stories of your imperfections. Some of us really believe our kids think we’re perfect. Umm…no. They don’t. When we open up to tell them about our insecurities, our past – or present – struggles or even our former sin issues, we become more relatable. We don’t necessarily need to share specifics about something we did in the 10th grade, but we can use general stories of who we are or what we did to remind them that God’s grace can meet them where they are as well.
Tell them stories of God’s faithfulness in your life. It’s one thing for our kids to hear how God saved Daniel from the lions, or how he raised Jesus from the dead. But if we’re not careful, we inadvertently teach our kids something terrible – that God’s faithfulness was only experienced 2,000 years ago. And we both know this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Have you ever seen God provide for you and your family in a way that was outside of your control and possibilities? Has God comforted you through an extremely difficult trial or loss? Have you experienced God’s sustaining power through a scary “step of faith” type scenario. These are the stories that need to be passed on to show our kids that God is alive and active.
Are there are types of stories that you would add?