How much do you teach them?

Confession:
My students will never win at Bible Jeopardy.

That’s not my goal.

I’d rather teach my preschoolers how to join in, participating alongside youth and adults, in that hour right before or after Sunday School called big church, morning worship, or mass.

If you desire head knowledge to become heart knowledge, 

If you believe that it is in our worship that God meets us,

If you want childlike faith to continue into the future,

Then I believe that you’ll best see your Christian education time as a partnership with and primary preparation for Eucharist.

And while I certainly believe that ongoing biblical studies are beneficial for a lifetime, I believe that it is the repetitious sacramental experiences with the church body that truly shape us and our faith.

Years ago, when I began compiling 52 Stories, I considered how each story answered three questions.

  • Who am I?
  • Who is God?
  • How should I live?

Let’s look at that creation beginning that I mentioned. (prior post in series here)

  • God is the creator of all things.
  • I am one of his creations.
  • Therefore, I should …

Praise him?

A child will ask, What is praise?”

I could explain, “A praise might be a great compliment.”

But, really, it may be much simpler to take this child by the hand and lead him into your sanctuary or chapel or to your mini-altar table.

It may be most effective to simply praise the creator of all things, bowing together within a place of beauty, and reciting a Creation Psalm, singing together The Doxology, or answering a common refrain such as this,

 

 

 

Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever.

 

What parts of worship would you include in your beginning unit on creation?





 

 

What I’d like to teach this year

I’d like to start at the very beginning and get that right.

 

Do you sing along with Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music like I do?

As the movie shares how Governess Maria brings joy to seven grief-stricken von Trapp children, I find myself longing for that playful, exuberant spirit in the children that I know.

And as those same movie children go on to experience real fears for safety and cling to each other, I find myself hoping for that same family rootedness and resolve in my own.

If we believe that faith, not sentimental story and song, is the basis for a life of peace and joy, of calm in chaos, then how do we teach faith?

What if we began with “God made me…”

Hear that. God made you. You are good.

Hear this, too. God made each person that you meet.

What if we added how “God made all things …”

Everything. Humongous things. Microscopic things. Intricate, detailed things. Beautiful things. Useful things.

Things visible and invisible.

What if instead of rushing to floods and clouds of fire and giants and sling shots and big fish that spit up men, we simply took a few weeks to settle into this great belief that God is creator of all things…

How much would it matter?

Each week we recite the words of the Nicene Creed.

Do we base our foundational teaching on it?

Why not?

My first unit of teaching preschoolers this year will find me saying these things.

Over and over.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

What difference does this belief make in your life…