As a parent, my overarching concern for my children is for them to come to love Christ, and this is no small matter. We see the stats paraded in front of us every day. Children are raised in the church, only to walk away in adulthood. If the internet is to be believed, it will be almost impossible for any child growing to adulthood to continue faithful to Jesus. We’re bombarded by this fear from every side. Between video games, social media, materialistic consumerism, hypocritical Christians, theological drift, overidentification with political ideologies, what hope do our children have? As the great Charles Spurgeon once said,
“There is no need for you to defend a lion when he is being attacked. All you need to do is to open the gate and let him out.”Charles Spurgeon
In other words, the bible has a power of its own and we need not stand quaking and wringing our hands. While we can’t absolutely guarantee that our children will come to a lively faith in Jesus, we can trust God by placing the word before them in all its beauty. All too often, however, we don’t try to teach our children the gospel simply because we don’t feel qualified, we don’t know how to break the faith down for our kids. We don’t know how to get them to interact with the great (and often puzzling) texts of the bible.
The Swedish Bible Study Method might just be the tool many of us have been hoping for. The method’s genius is in its simplicity. You simply read the text together, then have a time when you and whomever you’re studying with can read it alone, as you do so taking note of three things summarized by a simple graphic:
What “shines” from the text? What surprises, excites, stands out, or impresses you as you read it?
What questions do you have as you read the text?
How will you seek to apply it to your life?
Then, you simply go through and discuss what you wrote for each one.
So, here’s the challenge. Print out the form attached to this post, have your kids fill it out as they listen to the sermon, then discuss it together as a family or with each kid one on one.