“So the next generation would know, and all the generations to come -Know the truth and tell the stories so their children can trust in God.” I have the privilege and awesome responsibility of teaching K.I.D.S. Club on Wednesday evenings at Warwick Valley Church of the Nazarene. K=kids, I=investigating, D=discovering, S = Scripture, Club = fun & friends. K.I.D.S. Club is also known as Bible Quizzing. I have included a brief explanation of Bible Quizzing but I really want to share is some “kid answers”. First the explanation, the Bible Quizzing program for the Church of the Nazarene is a 6 year curriculum for first through sixth graders. Year 1 is Genesis, year 2 is Exodus, year 3 is Joshua, Judges &Ruth, year 4 is I & II Samuel, year 5 is Matthew, year 6 is Acts. The program is Bible study and then quizzing – multiple choice questions with quiz boxes. The children are competing against a level (bronze, silver, gold) not against each other. Every child receives a ribbon and treat bag. At WVCN we meet once a week for our Bible study and then 3 times in the year we meet with other churches to quiz.”Hiding God’s word in your heart” is the emphasis. Since last September we have been studying the book of Matthew.
This past week I decided it was important to review the events of Holy Week since it is Holy Week. Our review didn’t make it through Holy Week. I read the scripture in Matthew 21 about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. We discussed the donkey and what is a colt and how kings ride into cities. Then I asked “why do you think the people laid the branches on the ground for the donkey to walk on?” Eager hands go up, waving back and forth. I picked a child to answer and he says “because it was Palm Sunday”. I make eye contact with my friend and fellow teacher and we smile. Another one of those great kid answers that you need to take and steer in the right direction towards the correct answer. I spend a lot of time on Wednesday nights steering answers towards the correct answer. I spend a lot of time answering questions that have a very loose connection to the subject manner.
Sometimes I don’t think we cover a 1/4 of the lesson but it isn’t really about a specific lesson. It is about life lessons. It is teaching my “students” that God loves them unconditionally – there is nothing they can do to make Him love them more or less. This was week it was naming each one of them individually and saying Jesus died for you. It is teaching that not everything can be explained and that God is big enough for their questions. Teaching that God can be trusted, that He is good and teaching that if you could understand everything about God He won’t be God. It is teaching them that they will have to decide who they will follow as their example of the way to live.
Recently when we were “studying” the events in Matthew 14 (John’s beheading), I said “what can you tell me about John?”. Many eager hands and smiling faces – “he was Jesus’ cousin”, “he wore camel-hair clothes” “he ate weird stuff” and “he was a Baptist”. Good answer but he wasn’t a Baptist, he was the Baptist. That kid answer makes me laugh and what I wanted to say but didn’t was ” Right, John was a Baptist and Jesus is a Nazarene” 🙂
Dr Wes Stafford in his book Too Small to Ignore- Why Children are the Next Big Thing tells the following story. “Late one evening D.L. Moody, the premier American evangelist of the 1800s, arrived home from speaking at a meeting. Emma, his wife, was already asleep. As her exhausted husband climbed into bed, she rolled over and murmured, “So how did it go tonight?” “Pretty well,” he replied. “Two and a half converts.” His wife lay silently for a moment pondering this response, then finally smiled. “That’s sweet,” she replied. “How old was the child?” “No, no, no,” Moody answered. “It was two children and one adult! The children have their whole lives in front of them. The adult’s life is already half-gone.”