Most kids who have grown up in church can tell you the stories of the Old Testament heroes. They can tell you that David took down Goliath, they may even be able to explain the plight of Job to you, and they can definitely tell you about Noah and his ark. They can tell you stories about Jesus, too. They can tell you that he healed people and was friends with people. They can tell you that he died and rose again. They can tell you the details of his birth as retold every Christmas.
Then, suddenly, youth ministry happens and they’re told all about this crazy idea of penal substitutionary atonement. They’re probably told that same idea ever week. They learn about topics like suffering and salvation and sanctification.
Where’s the connection between the two ministries? Are they seeking to achieve the same aims? Well, yes. I think everyone would say yes.
I propose that was stop telling stories children’s ministry and start inviting kids to be part of the story. We should read the stories of the Scriptures and not teach them as standalone tales, but rather experience the telling of stories of the people whom God has used in the past, just as he uses us today.
Instead of learning just about Noah and his ark, we should tell of Noah and the God who was faithful to His people, and still is.
Instead of learning about David defeating Goliath, we should tell of David and the God who used the weak to lead the strong.
Don’t just tell stories. Invite children to be part of the story that God has been telling since the beginning and will be telling for the rest of eternity.