Once per month we will be highlighting some of the awesome things that are happening around Atlantic Canada in your CBAC Youth & Family world. We want to showcase individuals who are attempting innovative ministry practices and strategies. In a fast pace and dynamic society, we as Next Generation ministry leaders are facing increasingly complex and challenging situations. Our guest bloggers will be highlighting stories of both success and failure, but with the focus being ‘innovation’. We need to be thinking of new innovative ways in sharing the Gospel of Jesus with the next generation. Whether this is in the context of programs, community initiatives, or even our approach to building relationships with students. Our hope is that these guest blogs are sources of encouragement and inspiration. To emphasize some innovative practices that perhaps you can incorporate in your context, as well as to affirm that not all ministry initiatives will be successful, but that we still need to try. Thank you for serving the next generation and for modelling what joining God in your Neighbourhood can look like. We are excited to have Kristen Price, Part-time Children’s Pastor at Stewiake Baptist Church, sharing with us about a new way that she is engaging with children in her neighbourhood.
Hey, I am Rev. Kristen Price. I serve as the Part-Time Children’s Pastor at Stewiacke Baptist Church. One area that I noticed was missing in our church (and in many of our churches) is time to dig deeper with the children. The 20 minutes of teaching on a Sunday Morning is not enough. This fall I started a Pre-Teen Bible Study with students in grades 4-6. For an hour on Sunday Evenings, the students sit around a big table with our Bibles open reading it, asking questions and digging deeper.
I felt called to do this because kids are hungry for more. They’ve had the basics from many years of hearing Bible stories, but often do not see the big picture. They lack the understanding of how it all fits together and how to read and use their Bible to apply it to their life. The importance of Scripture in the spiritual development of kids cannot be understated (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 119:105). Therefore, it is important to teach the children that the Bible is a tool for them, a tool to help them draw closer to God and to guide them each day.
During our hour together, we take 10 minutes to warm up our minds and hearts, either with a quiet activity or taking time with God at a prayer station. We then join at our table, open our Bibles to the passage we have read during the week and we dig in. I ask the kids to find key words and to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions as we read through each verse. I print the Scripture off for them so they can write notes as we go along. We also take a few minutes at the end to talk about how it applies to our lives. When we close our time, we stand and come together in a circle to pray.
We started the year off by sharing our favourite Bible stories and verses. We made a list and we are working through that list (see attached pictures). As a result, each week the kids are interested in the study because they have picked the passage. What also worked well is breaking up the hour into the 3 sections, in 3 different locations within the church to keep them engaged during those times. By the time these kids head into youth group, they should have a solid foundation of God’s Word and how to use it in everyday life. This gives them the chance to join the youth pastor in discipling their peers.
The kids and I are enjoying our time together exploring God’s Word. I am excited to continue to take them deeper each week and would love for your church to take the challenge and begin your own Pre-Teen Bible Study.
Thank you for joining God in your neighbourhood!