There seems to be a different curriculum for every church’s children ministry. Curriculums can vary based on the church’s values, mission and needs, but it’s hard to disagree that in any theologically based church the main theme that ties all curriculums together is the gospel. So why not spend 15 minutes at the beginning of class each week explaining the gospel and end class bringing the lesson back to the gospel?
Weave the gospel in
One day, as I waited for my wife in the foyer of our church, a mother whose third grade child is in my class approached me and called out my full name. Usually when a mom does that it does not go well. But she said, “You cannot stop teaching my son’s third through fifth grade class. Whatever you are doing, keep doing it.”
As she talked more, she explained that as she sat down to do a devotional with her children in 1 Peter, her third grader chimed in. He said, “Oh, 1 Peter 5:10.” The mom, surprised, said, “Yeah. Do you know this verse?” The child replied that it was about restoration. Intrigued, she asked, “What else do you know?” He went through the entire gospel and where to find each point in the Bible.
As I went through my day I was encouraged by this mother’s comments. My desire to disciple my class by focusing on the gospel is making an impact, and not just an impact on that child. Think about all the other children who will hear the gospel because of him — it’s multiplying!
Explain how the gospel fits
I have repeated the gospel countless times, and I have defined words and simplified concepts to help my class see the gospel weaved through the Scripture that we are studying. The great thing about such a presentation is that themes can be added, such as grace and mercy, resurrection, missions, and so on.
It’s reinforcing. Having constant gospel conversations engraves the minds and hearts of children with the truth. It helps bring the Bible together as one big storybook with the overarching theme of the gospel — the greatest love story of all time.
Everyone loves a beautiful building that can stand the test of time. For example, take Notre Dame or Westminster Abbey. You cannot have buildings such as these unless you take your time and build on something firm. You need perfect blueprints and patience. The same goes for the child. I think we can all agree that if Christ is the cornerstone of our faith (Ephesians 2:20) and we repeat that to our children, then a child’s theological foundation will indeed be strong.