This last week I participated in Kingdom Rock Kid’s Camp at Central Bible Church as a leader for one of the 3-7 grade electives that was offered- Wild and Wacky Games- it was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed getting to know the kids, seeing them have fun, and teaching the Bible. On the first night I got to explain half of the Old Testament to them because they wanted to know the story of the Bible. That night we were talking about King David so in order to give them context I spent 15 minutes telling them how Israel had gotten to where they were in 1 Samuel 17. I was reminded of a few things this week:
1) Most people walking through our churches are biblically illiterate.
We live in a digital age and a spiritual world. The importance of this reminder is that most kids aren’t reading books- they are playing video games and doing many tasks with the use of computers rather than hard copies. Getting kids and their families the word of God in their household, helping people understand what God is trying to say in his word, and praying that the Holy Spirit would illuminate the truth in the lives of congregants must be a priority for churches. We live in a spiritual world that is interested in trying to find truth, especially outside of the church. In turn, as Christian pastors, leaders, and lay-people we must be biblically literate to share the story of God’s love with people in our neighborhood, work, and other spaces that we occupy.
2) Children need to know there is a God who loves them.
Every child and person born into this earth needs to hear that there is a God who loves them for who they are and that he wants to have a relationship with him. To say that God wants “friendship” with us is a simple way to put it for kids, but we must also realize that it is more than just friendship that God wants. He wants our worship and obedience to him. I really enjoyed Isaiah 26:4, one of the verses the kids memorized this week, because it expresses the love and faithfulness that God brings despite our own instability. It says, “Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” I really enjoyed getting to tell kids the gospel, especially those who had never been to church.
3) People have to encounter relationships at church- not programs.
Providing a program for a week so that kids can have fun and learn about God is good but I think that consistent follow-up and getting to know the parents, siblings, and kids on a basis outside of the one week is what is going to have a long-lasting effect. I hope that if you do a VBS program or camp for kids or youth this summer that you would really make an effort to pray over the student’s lives and reach out beyond that time with the hope that students would connect in relationships with other godly people in your church and ultimately so that they will begin a relationship of following Jesus Christ for their whole life!
(This post was typed before going on my trip to Bithlo so leave a comment and I will approve and reply when I get back)