Children Desiring God Pre-Conference, Session 3
Nurturing the Faith of the Next Generation: A Heart Response Centered on the Gospel
David and Sally Michael
Our goal is to reach a child’s heart through the instruction of his word (Colossians 1:9-10).
“It is your job to make clear how the truth you are teaching is practiced experientially.”—Lou Priollo
5 Levels of Learning—Lawrence O. Richards, Creative Bible Teaching, (Moody Press).
(1) ROTE—Ability to repeat without thought of meaning
(2) RECOGNITION—Ability to recognize Biblical concepts; comprehension; can answer a multiple-choice question. Often this is as far as we get, but we must go beyond facts to meaning and application.
(3) RESTATEMENT—Ability to express or relate concepts to biblical system of thought. Can answer “why” questions about the story.
(4) RELATION—Ability to relate biblical truth to life and see what a biblical response would be. Can make a connection to one’s own life. Can answer the question, “What difference does this make in my life?”
(5) REALIZATION/RESPONSE—Actualizing response: to apply biblical truths in daily life. Application can best be done by questioning. This is the way that they learn to think and understand. Share from your own life experience. Know your children, and it will help you guide them. Children need to know what they need to do in response to what you have heard today. This is a knowing that possesses us.
We must be faithful with the truth—beginning with the truth—then affecting the heart and emotions, and then moving the will.
Parents Seizing Opportunities
Parents are in the best position to help children apply to truth to the trials of life, that is, the homework that God gives them. God gives parents a unique position of influence in the lives of children. Parents must be clear on what their children are being taught so that they are in a position to apply these things to their lives. Parents who love God and his word seek to bring God into every situation. Take home sheets can be the difference between life and death for a child, because these are words of life for the child to believe and live or disbelieve and experience judgment. One of the best ways to bring a child to the point of response is to respond to it myself. This may require humbling myself, admitting my need, etc. One of the privileges we have when we teach children is that the Scriptures grip us.
Teach In Such a Way that Children Understand What Proper Responses Are
It is so much better for a child to learn a heart lesson though it cause her temporary pain than to experience eternal pain. Experience is a good teacher—both bad and good experiences. God brings these life experiences in order to teach our children that He is good.