by Alycia Horn/ October 8, 2017
Have you ever wished you were fluent in a foreign language? I have. I have always wanted to be fluent in Spanish. I have played around a little over the years with learning some key words, only to forget them because I hardly ever used the words I learned.
Fluent: Able to speak or write with ease: Able to express oneself easily.
Imagine traveling to a foreign country where no one speaks your language. Think how defeated you would feel as you tried unsuccessfully to communicate or express yourself to others. It wouldn’t take long before you felt demoralized and began to withdraw. Many Christians venture out into the world this way every day. In this article, though, I’m talking about a different type of fluency – biblical fluency.
The Assemblies of God has developed 8 goals when it comes to children’s ministry. One of those goals is to help children become biblically fluent. We cannot afford to make the mistake of sending our children into a world where they will be faced with every type of adversity, and expect them to thrive or even survive if they are not biblically fluent.
Remember the definition of fluency above – Able to speak or write with ease; able to express oneself easily. When life’s challenges come to our children, the only way they will be able to stand strong is if they can effectively communicate the truth of God’s Word into their circumstances and express a lifestyle that is in accordance with God’s Word.
For many, biblical fluency simply means: Scripture memorization, knowing Bible facts, and understanding biblical timelines. While this is an important foundation for children to build on, it is important to understand there is so much more to biblical fluency than memorization. True fluency is when a child knows how to take the Scripture and apply it in real time to his/her life. Life application must be the goal of Bible engagement for children.
Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25, NIV).
As parents and children’s pastors, it is our job to come alongside our children and help them build a house that will stand through life’s storms. Every parent wants to shield their child from difficulty, but we know that isn’t possible. While we can’t control the storms of life, we can determine whether we build our house on the rock or on sand.
So what can we do?
1 – Rote memorization of Scripture may not be the end goal, but it is still vitally important. If we don’t know Scripture, we can’t quote or speak Scripture into our circumstances. If your child isn’t inclined to memorize Scripture, consider joining the Bible quiz team at your church. Junior Bible Quiz (JBQ) is a great way for children to begin memorizing and equipping themselves with Scripture.
2 - Begin taking advantage of every moment where your child has engaged Scripture in some way – children’s church, Sunday School, adult service, family time, etc. Ask your kids on the way home from church what they learned that day. As they describe what they learned, begin to talk with them about how they can apply that lesson to their own life. Kids need to realize at an early age that they are a part of God’s Big Story. This will help them move beyond simply seeing the Bible as a series of stories describing how God worked in the lives of others. As they begin to relate the lessons of Scripture into their own life, they will take ownership of their faith and see themselves as part of God’s Big Story.
When children move beyond rote memorization of the Word and begin applying Scripture into their own life, they are well on their way to building a strong house that will last!
Want to explore additional goals for your children’s ministry? Visit our 8 Goals for AG Kidmin.