What does theology have to do with Hannah Montana?

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

This article originally appeared as "Kids Have Questions. Do You Have Answers" by Jared Kennedy and Sam Luce in the May/June 2011 edition of K! Magazine. I just had a conversation with Jane. She’s in our children’s ministry. She’s excited because she’s going on a date with her dad tonight. They’re going to snack on Sprite and bananas and watch the latest episode of “Hannah Montana Forever.” It sounds like a blast! Right after that conversation, I came back to my office to write this essay on teaching theology to kids using a catechism. As I start to write, I can’t help but feel a little bit out of touch. Are kids today really interested in learning “theology”? If they are, is a centuries old catechism the best tool for teaching them? Can’t I find something more relevant for the generation of Miley Cyrus? After all, wouldn’t I rather watch TV than study an ancient doctrinal statement?

Do kids need to learn theology? We probably all agree that kids need to know Jesus, that they need to be changed by His love, and that they need to be welcomed and accepted by a Christian community. But do they really need to learn doctrine? Can’t the dry and boring stuff wait until they’re a little older? Maybe you’d never voiced that out loud in a staff meeting, but at least some of us have thought it. But have you ever wondered why we think of doctrine as dry and boring? I would suggest that it’s because we’ve failed to really understand the big truths of the faith and how they relate to salvation through Jesus.

The fact is that our kids already have theology. They have lots of thoughts about God. They’re thinking about spiritual things all of the time, and they have questions. When our children’s ministry studied the story of the cross from Matthew 27:32-54 last Sunday, the teacher read about how God turned His back on Jesus, because He could not look at our sin. John, a third grader, piped up and asked, “Isn’t Jesus God? How could God turn His back on Himself? There is only one God, right?” What great questions! But how many teachers or parents would be prepared to answer them? Read More!

Thursday Book Club: Catechism Resources in Spanish

UncategorizedJared Kennedy4 Comments

We got an e-mail this week asking about catechism resources in Spanish. I found out some great info on some excellent Bible teaching materials in Spanish from friends at Christian Focus. The excellent children’s catechism, My First Book of Questions and Answers, which has been widely used and commended by Sinclair Ferguson, John Piper, and Alistair Begg, has also been translated into Spanish and published by Editorial Peregrino, Spain.  You can find the Spanish version of the book here. In addition, Christian Focus' Biblewise and Bible Alive are available in Spanish through Biblica's STL Distribution. These are 32 page books in full color with a clear Biblical message and have been widely accepted across the world. Information sheets for these are attached here.

In how many persons does the one true God exist?

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

"3 Is The Magic Number" is a Schoolhouse Rock classic.  It last aired on TV in 1985.  The Kennedy family has been listening to Elizabeth Mitchell's version on her album, You Are My Sunshine for a few weeks now.  She leaves out the multiplication tables.

On February 5th, Mark Harper showed this video at the Children's Pastors' Conference (CPC) in San Diego, CA.  I am not attending (maybe next year), but I've been following closely through Twitter. Watch the song and listen to the mention of the Trinity; faith, hope, and charity; and a man and a woman having a baby. Ryan Frank (@r_frank) of KidzMatter asked, "What would happen if this aired today on children’s television?  Harper's message encouraged children’s pastors’ to renew their commitment to teaching children a biblical worldview.  Word.

One simple way to teach children basic bible truths is to use a series of questions and answers with Scripture references.  This is called a catechism.  I've put together a revision of the Catechism for Boys and Girls for our parents at Sojourn to use.  Here are the three questions (#s 6-8) on the Trinity:

6. Are there more gods than one? No.  There is only one true God. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Jeremiah 10:10; Mark 12:29; Acts 17:22-31)

7. In how many persons does this one true God exist? In three persons. (Matthew 3:16-17; John 5:23; 10:30; 14:9-10; 15:26; 16:13-15; 1 John 5:20, 2 John 9; Revelation 1:4, 5)

8. Who are they? God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Jude 20-21)

HT:The Way We See It