You’ve just returned home from another encouraging Sunday of worship at Church. As your family gathers around the table for lunch, your parental excitement is brimming from the morning message. Your heart echoes the words of Psalm 119:162, “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” You desire to cultivate this same joy in your children, and so as you dig into your food, you ask your children, “What did you learn about in Church today?”
Your oldest child enthusiastically shares how they studied about Paul’s missionary journeys. Before you can reply, your 7-yr old jumps in with her animated face, explaining all about Joshua and the battle of Jericho. You begin to affirm your daughter, only for your 2-yr old to chime in, “And we learned about how David killed the giant named “Gu-giath.” You smile, but now your head is spinning. As a parent, you want to take this wonderful discussion deeper, but it seems impossible to effectively engage each of these Scripture passages in a meaningful way.
A scene like this frequently plays out in many of our homes. As a Church, it’s our desire to partner with parents in discipling their children. And so in response to this challenge, this Fall our children’s Sunday school program transitioned to using Answers Bible curriculum (ABC). The approach is an ideal fit, and ABC’s philosophy is simple:
“Whole Bible. Whole Family. Whole Truth. The material is chronological: it travels through the Bible in the order the events actually happened. Each age group is learning the same thing at the same time, just at varying levels of depth. It allows the whole family to learn and grow together. ABC is filled with Scripture. The focus is on God’s Word and allowing it to be our authority in all areas.”
We believe that this material will make it easier for parents and families to take the dialogue to an even deeper level as children share about what they’re learning on Sundays. ABC is a 4-year program that takes students chronologically through the Biblical texts of God’s plan of redemption. It contains strong apologetic elements which help the students use God’s Word to answer the big questions of life. Each lesson includes lots of great media resources, such as video clips that help reinforce the Bible story and memory verse songs to help children hide God’s Word in their hearts. We’re excited to see how this material will help train up the next generation and allow more effective partnership with parents at Maranatha.
We’ve also sought to apply this philosophy on Wednesday nights with our newly expanded children’s ministry. During this time the students review the previous Sunday’s Bible lesson, sing Scripture-based songs, and pray together in small groups. Instead of adding more variety of Scripture to each family’s dialogue, we believe this focus will give families opportunity for deeper, unified discussion of Biblical truth. This is another way we are seeking to live out our desire to be A Word-Filled Church.