By Ryan Weber
It was the most intimidating thing in the world to be thrust into a position where I was responsible for teaching kids the Bible. I was 17 years old, had just become a follower of Jesus Christ and wanted to serve Him by serving kids. The pastor told me that I should work with children and I ended up being the leader of a small group of twelve 4th-5th graders and it was my responsibility to take them through a curriculum designed to grow them in their faith.
I thought this was nothing short of impossible. I knew nothing of the Bible, couldn’t quote John 3:16 from memory, had no idea what communion was, and here I was expected to teach a bunch of kids what the Bible says and how to apply it to their lives. I wanted to crawl away.
But I didn’t.
And somehow, God used that situation and my inadequacy and my lack of knowledge to help change the lives of those twelve kiddos and see them become amazing followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.
I was so freaked out at the opportunity that I had that, in retrospect, I completely over-prepared for the lessons that I was to teach them every week. I read and I studied and I wrote and I asked questions of my parents and my pastors and my friends. I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of those kids because Wednesday nights always came and Sunday mornings always came and they counted on me to be their friend and work through the Bible with them.
Looking back, knowing nothing was the best thing I could have provided those kids. Because it forced me to figure out what the Bible actually said, it forced me to figure out who Jesus is and who God is.
The best part about all of that preparation for those kids’ Bible study is this: I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE BIBLE AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH JESUS CHRIST! I realized that the Bible is incredible and Jesus in unbelievably awesome. The more I read, the more I realized how great He is.
And the more I realized how great He is, the more I wanted to share what I was learning with the kids in my group. It became a partnership. In an odd and ironic way, I grew more in my faith in Jesus Christ by teaching lessons to elementary school kids than I feel like I would learn in a seminary classroom. Because those questions from those kids were real and raw, and I was real and raw.
When you want to teach and help your kids read the Bible, it all comes from you sitting down and making a concerted effort to see your children be trained up in the way of the Lord. I got freaked out that I had to meet with my kids twice a week and the responsibility that entailed.
I cannot imagine how freaked out you must be because you parents have that opportunity EVERY DAY! What a privilege. It’s one that I look forward to having some day when I have kids of my own and I can’t imagine having the opportunity to struggle to find the answers to your kid’s questions about the Bible.
You may not feel like you have the tools to help your kids grow in their faith in Jesus, that it’s something that should be left to the pastors and volunteers at church. But it’s when you feel inadequate and are thrust into a position to teach that God makes you most moldable and teachable yourself.
You have to be willing to step into the pages of the Bible and in front of your kids and tell them how awesome the Bible really is. Because I guarantee that the more time you spend reading it, the more you won’t be able to shut up about it to your kids (and everyone else in your life).
Your kids will catch your fire. That’s the nature of being a parent and that’s the nature of what the Bible does in our lives!