During programs, we see our kids and youth get excited for a number of reasons.
Going to the outdoor courts to play basketball, playing tag with volunteers, or eating
poutine for dinner—our kids’ faces break into smiles when these things happen.
Elaine and I love their excitement and energy, but we rarely see the same delight
during our Bible times. It may be the I-have-to-sit-still-and-listen aspect of Bible
lessons. Or perhaps the familiarity. A good chunk of our kids grew up in programs
and they’ve heard many stories/lessons. They’ll answer the questions and say the
‘right’ things, but it’s rare to see kids express excitement and joy at the things they
learn during Bible. So when a kid is genuinely excited or curious about a Bible lesson
or a story, Elaine and I are thrilled.
One of the biggest highlights for me in the past few weeks has been reading the
Storybook Bible with one of our younger kids during our program down time. This
kid joined us halfway into the year and has had no encounter with the Bible or Jesus
prior to TCM. During our Easter Bible time, he gasped when he heard that Jesus was
arrested and crucified. After another lesson, he asked one of our volunteers, “What’s
the cost of sin?” When I led a discussion on communing with God, he wondered
aloud whether you could call God on the phone.
I began reading the Storybook Bible aloud with him to give him some more
context to the stories and lessons we were learning. His sincere engagement threw
me off a bit—because he would actually be excited to read the Bible together. He would get giddy and run to our reading couch. We went through the Creation story and he had so many questions while we read. Witnessing his genuine curiosity for God has been such a refreshing encouragement.
Elaine and I want to foster an authentic desire for God’s Word in our kids, but this
isn’t something that can be forced. There are real challenges like low literacy levels,
apathy, religious/cultural and familial backgrounds that are stumbling blocks for
our kids to engage with Scripture. In spite the challenges, pray that our kids and
youth would encounter God, that they would delight in Him and see the goodness of
His Word—moreso than basketball or games or poutine. Please pray that there
would be genuine curiosity and excitement for the gospel in this community.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!