Did you know that if you want your son or daughter to become a teenager with authentic faith that lasts, then he/she first needs to be able to articulate their God-story? I got some great information from my oldest son’s pastor at church and I wanted to share it with you (with his permission.) He is reading a book called “Almost Christian” by Kenda Creasy Dean, and in this book they lay out an extensive survey on American teen spirituality, and found that being able to articulate a God-story is one of the keys of having faith that is consequential (meaning it lasts.)
What does is mean to articulate a God-story? I think of it as being able to articulate the big-picture story of what God is doing from creation to the end. Here’s how our youth pastor explained it: It …”means that your son or daughter needs to know a basic understanding of what God has done in history and what direction He is taking us. As Christians our God-story is based on the revelation of Scripture. I know that it is easy to feel inadequate and insecure about teaching the Bible to your children. We are uneasy because we don’t really know the story ourselves. The good news is that God doesn’t need you to be a Bible scholar or pastor to teach your children well. A simple, clear understanding of the flow of the Bible is what a middle schooler needs to understand. This is something you CAN help them with.”
Here is one basic overview of the Bible that may help you develop a God-story of your own:
1. God has created all things (including humans) for His glory and purposes.- Gen. 1-2
2. Humanity rebelled against God, causing a devastating rift in our relationship that leads to death and separation.- Gen. 3
3. In His great love, God chose Abraham and his descendants (Israel) to be His people through whom he would bless and save the world.- Genesis 12-Exodus
4. Israel failed to faithfully serve God and therefore a Messiah was needed to represent Israel and save the world.- Deuteronomy-Malachi
5. Jesus, fully God and fully man, came as the long awaited Messiah who fulfilled God’s promises to rescue us from our sin.- the Gospels
6. Jesus established his church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to continue His work on the earth until His return.- Acts – Jude
7. Jesus will return to earth to judge those on earth, completely destroy Satan and sin, and restore creation to an unhindered relationship with God.- Revelation
I hope this helps you as you lead your son or daughter as you talk about the Bible and Biblical truth and help them to see the “big picture.” I have found it helpful with my kids to always take them back to the big picure, then help them understand how the stories and lessons in the Bible fit in that story so they can see that God is working, He is in control, and that we are a part of a bigger plan.
By the way, if you have little kids, I know that Big Ideas just produced a series of dvds called “Whats in the Bible” to help little ones see the big story as well.
(Thanks to Kevin Libick, Middle School Pastor at Christ Chapel Bible Church for allowing me to share his thoughts!)