Explore the Bible
We want the best for our kids. It’s one of the natural instincts in good parenting. We do whatever we can to give our kids excellent opportunities to grow. Every experienced parent knows that sometimes this boils down to making decisions between two good options. Soccer or football? 4-H or ballet? A summer family vacation to Yellowstone or the nation’s capital? Giving our kids every opportunity to grow requires making choices.
This last year our ministry staff at Grace has worked through this weighing-and-deciding process for our Children’s Ministry. We want to see all of our wonderful young people be given every opportunity to know Christ and grow into mature disciples, and we believe the curriculum we choose plays a large part in this. For many years our Kids BSH has used Children Desiring God curriculum. CDG is a theologically-driven program that roots children in the redemptive story of God’s sovereign work of grace. The strength of CDG has always been its sound theology and God-centered approach to handling Scripture. Over the last ten years a number of children’s curriculums have followed the lead set by CDG and produced materials that maintain biblical orthodoxy while also successfully achieving other related ends. An example of this is The Gospel Project, which we have used with great fruitfulness on Wednesday nights for the past three years. So, after considerable deliberation, we have decided to transition to a new kids BSH curriculum this fall called Explore the Bible. It is important to note that this change does not mark any theological shift in our church or Children’s Ministry, nor is it a negative reflection on Children Desiring God. This is simply an effort to wisely steward what God has given us with the aim that our children will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So what about Explore the Bible am I excited about?
1-It will expose our kids to every genre of biblical literature.
We live in an age where an increasing number of churched people are biblically illiterate. It’s too easy to avoid reading the harder sections of Scripture, or avoid reading the Bible at all. Without instruction and contextual understanding, many passages are – even for adults – confusing at best. How do we read the prophets? How does the law speak to believers today? As a pastor I feel burdened to see our young people exposed to every portion of the Word of God, from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, in context and with understanding.
Explore the Bible walks through the Bible book by book following an expositional format. Over a three-year cycle children will spend time in each genre of biblical literature, working through the prophets, psalms, gospels, narrative literature, and letters. Thus, if they are in the program from birth-6th grade they will have at least three cycles in every biblical genre, equipping them to be lifelong learners of all of Scripture. This actually mirrors the pulpit ministry we aim for at Grace, moving back and forth from the Old Testament to the New Testament, book by book.
2-It will get our kids into the Bible.
Our kids will actively take in the Bible with their own eyes, hands, and minds every week. There is nothing like watching someone learn how to move back and forth in the Word of God themselves, Bible in hand, mining the riches of God’s Word. This curriculum will encourage and require that every week! Explore the Bible teaches children how to use Scripture to interpret Scripture, so each week they will study the core passage, as well as several other passages relating to and supporting the truths exposed in the main text. This ability to read, search, study and learn from God’s Word is an invaluable tool to give our kids while they are young.
3-It will provide family connection and discipleship opportunities.
Explore the Bible is designed to be used in and beyond the church setting. We have your kids at church for an hour each Sunday. You have them in your family for life. ETB aims to provide you, the parent, with ample opportunities to connect with and disciple your children as you go throughout your daily lives. Family resources include memory verses, text truth discussion points, and activity suggestions to practice Bible skills throughout the week.
4-It is instructionally complete.
We all have different learning styles. Some of us learn best by reading, others by listening, and still others by doing. This curriculum centers on a weekly, live teaching but also includes interactive small group activities where students will engage with leaders and continue learning through a variety of ways. For elementary kids, each lesson includes an engaging supplementary video exploring a scientific, geographical, or historical element that will help bring the text alive to us who live thousands of years and more miles away from the original events, showing us how it relates to us today.
I have four kids in the program, and like many of you, I want the best for them. I am excited to see how Explore the Bible will help all of our kids grow in their love and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through interactive and expositional study of His Word. If you have any questions or would like to join the Kids BSH team as a teacher or small group leader, please feel free to contact myself or Hilary Beebe.
Grace and Peace,