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2 October 2019

Laying the kindling

Jane Watkins 2019 Jane Watkins Head of Children’s Ministry
Campfire - 2019

We teach our children all sorts of things about the world around them from very early on: who their family is, how plants grow, why they should clean their teeth, and so on. Children soak up information like sponges, and eagerly ask endless questions wanting to know the answers. 

Psalm 78 tells us that we should be teaching our children about God:

We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done. (Psalm 78:4)

Why?

Then they would put their trust in God (Psalm 78:7)

We teach a lot about God and the Bible informally, but it helps to do so in more structured ways, too. A set of questions and answers to teach us what the Bible has to say on different things is called a catechism.

We’re going to be looking at, and learning, some of these questions and answers in church this term. Last Sunday, we started with:

What is our only hope in life and death?

That we are no our own, but belong to God.

If you’re trusting in Jesus, you belong to God. We know that ours sins have been forgiven, and that whatever happens in life or death, we are safe because we belong to God. That’s a really important perspective to have.

I love the story of Glen Scrivener discussing with his Muslim barber who God is. Glen’s four-year-old daughter Ruby piped up, “God is a loving union of three: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” “All right,” the barber said with a shrug, “I’ll go with that then.”

The things that the children learn now can stay with them for years, and it gives them answers to some of those questions they will get asked. When we teach these big truths to children, we are laying the kindling, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will light the fire.

Why not have a go at learning some of the New City Catechism questions and answers in your family this term? It’s fun to do it together, not heavy! Download the free app on your phone. There is an adult’s mode or a children’s mode with a little song for young children to help them learn the questions and answers.


"New York YMCA Camp" (above) by New York YMCA Camp is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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