They're here, but are they hearing, part 2
They’re here but are they hearing, part 2
by Pastor David
In part 2 of last week’s word, Joe Holland moves on to both practical and Gospel-centered advice.
“Engage your kids with open ended questions. You know the outline and you can keep to the main point. You know youʼre going to talk a ton about Jesus. Now engage your kids with any kind of question you can think of... except ones that can be answered, “yes” or “no”. Here are some examples:In the story questions: “What would have thought if you were an Israelite soldier and saw big olʼ Goliath walking up to little David?”Emotions questions: “If you were blind, how would you feel if Jesus put his hands on your eyes and fixed them so they could see?”Leading questions: “The rich young ruler was wrong because he thought he could earn Godʼs favor. Why is it silly to think we can earn Godʼs favor by doing enough good things?”Action questions: “What would you have done if Jesus had made a hurricane turn into a cool breeze right in front of you?”Application questions: “If Jesus has forgiven you, do you think you can forgive Tommy when he wings a Tonka truck at your head?”Use your imagination questions: You know your kids best. Make up some questions. Make sure the gospel is clear. Jesus died for sinners. Itʼs very simple and can get very complex. But no matter the passage, donʼt you dare teach your kids moralism. Tell them that Jesus has done everything necessary for them to know that God is overjoyed with them. When you tell them to do something, feel something, or think something, show them how those things are motivated by Godʼs love and not by fear, guilt, or pride.
Be the first to pray and confess. Talking to your kids about the sermon is as much letting them watch you learn from the sermon as it is teaching them about the sermon. If the preacher is helping your congregation diagnose sin, show your kids how it affected you. You could say, “You know, sometimes, daddy struggles with being angry. And itʼs then that I realize I really need Jesus.” And when it comes time to pray, let them pray after you. Model for them what it looks like for a Christian to talk to God.
Chase rabbit trails. Your kids will lead you down them. Go with them. Youʼll find out a ton about how they think. And you may just enjoy the unexpected stroll off the beaten path.
Remember the first two rules. After all this, it may be you feel like it was a complete waste of time. Itʼs at that point you must remember the first two rules:
They retain more than you think they do. They understand more than you think they do.
And I promise you this, they will remember these times with you. They will forget a ton. But they wonʼt forget Sunday afternoons with daddy and mommy talking about Jesus.”
I hope these ideas spur you on to consistently pursue intentional, helpful leadership with your kids as you teach them the value and worth of biblical preaching.