by Roger Fields
I travel frequently and nothing irritates me more than a pothole I didn’t see coming. Hit one hard enough and it will throw your wheels out of alignment. Aaaargh!
As you travel the kidmin curriculum road, watch out for these three sneaky potholes. I’ve hit them all myself at one time. Any one of them can throw your children’s ministry out of proper alignment.
1. Behavior Modification Pothole
Behavior is a fruit that grows from God’s Spirit within. Good behavior comes when one has a healthy relationship with the Lord. Making personal behavior the focus is like trying to make a tree grow a peach. Cultivate a peach tree and the peaches are much easier to grow. There is a reason the Bible calls it “fruit.” The Holy Spirit grows character from the inside out.
But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22,23)
2. Bible Facts Pothole
We are not called to produce Bible scholars with heads full of Bible facts. We are called to lead people/kids to Jesus. It is possible to be so focused on Bible stories and principles that we lose focus of Jesus. Ask me how I know.
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to COME TO ME that you may have life. (John 5:39,40 NKJV)
Jesus came to give us life, not help us pass a Bible knowledge quiz.
3. Historical Jesus Pothole
If your lessons about Jesus stop with the historical truths contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (as important as that is), then you limit kids’ ability to have a personal relationship with Jesus today. If you ONLY refer to the Jesus who walked this earth wearing a beard and sandals, then you relegate Him to the past. There is more to Jesus than the one who lived in human flesh on this earth for 33 years.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet NOW WE KNOW HIM THUS NO LONGER. (2 Corinthians 5:16 NKJV)
When Jesus becomes a present reality, not merely a Biblical character, your life takes on something new. When you grasp 2 Corinthians 5:16, then you begin to experience verse 17.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)
If your Jesus is limited to the bearded one of the Gospels, you might be failing to present the living Lord of today. We need to go beyond the cartoon Jesus shown on videos and present the Jesus who still leads, still acts and still saves. Personal relationship with Jesus means that He is alive today. When all kids hear us talk about is a Jesus who lived in a far away country a long time ago, they will not understand the reality of having a relationship with Him today.
Talk to kids about what Jesus is doing in you. Tell then what Jesus is saying to you. Explain how Jesus helped you in some way. Relate to them how Jesus has made you whole.
Watch out for these sneaky, curriculum potholes and you just might keep your rubber on the road.