You can’t have everything. Whether it is curriculum or programming or calendaring or resources, you can’t have everything. You can’t do everything. We have to make choices. We have to draw lines. Because you can’t do everything, something is going to be sacrificed. What will it be?
I am all for lessons that are fun and easy to teach. They all should be. But too often we sacrifice teaching kids deep truth because we focus on the fun.
I 100% believe that we should teach in a way that kids can walk into school on Monday and apply the truth they learned on Sunday. But too often we choose practicality and sacrifice theological depth.
Does it really matter? If we only have kids for an hour or two at church, why not primarily focus on the fun and the practical and just making sure they have a great experience?
Because there is so much at stake.
The world can give them a great experience. The world can be entertaining with a much larger budget and can make sure that they have fun. Paw Patrol can teach a good, moral lesson that is very practical.
We have the most beautiful and most important message for this generation. Jesus died for them and rose again. Jesus made a way for us to be made new and to be able to live with Him forever. Kids need to know this gospel more than anything else.
Jen Wilkin says, “The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” We can not assume that kids will grow up loving God if we focus more on them having fun at church and less on them truly learning who He is. For most of them, they aren’t going to learn who He is at school. They probably aren’t going to learn truth about Him via YouTube or social media. Yes, it is the parents’ responsibility first, but we are very next in line.
So leaders, don’t settle for easy. Don’t settle for light theology but big fun. Don’t settle for the cheap or free lesson that you find online that is cute but has very little spiritual depth. Your kids are worth the extra effort. Don’t sacrifice the gospel being at the center of everything you do.
I say often in our kids’ ministry that we will teach Jesus first and fun will be secondary. I love fun, but it needs to be in it’s proper place. Fun won’t change kids lives. Jesus will.
Is it harder to focus on spiritual depth and keeping the gospel central. Absolutely. But Jesus is worth it.
I’ve been teaching kids for over twenty years. Over the last year I have really worked to make sure every lesson has the gospel at the heart of it. After twenty years, I still have to work at it. I still have to fight for clarity to make sure kids can grasp the truth. Is it harder? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
So here’s the bottom line. Let’s be fun. Let’s simplify as we can and certainly make our planning the least complicated it can be. Let’s engage kids. Let’s give them bite-sized truth that they can apply and understand. But let’s never, ever sacrifice the importance of keeping the gospel at the forefront and helping kids learn the deep and life-changing truths of who God is.