As I glanced out the front window and watched Jackson Willms and his care aide make their way up the...
At RMCC, kids’ ministry teachers work hard to instill a deep love for the Bible in their students in meaningful, authentic and oftentimes very creative ways. In so doing, our teachers have come to appreciate that Grade 6 is a particularly significant time in a child’s life; a time when they are usually ready for real world conversations about how faith and everyday life intersect.
If you think about it, that’s the age Jesus would have been when His parents found Him in the temple sitting in the midst of the most brilliant Jewish teachers of the day, listening to them and asking them questions about the Bible. The Bible also tells us that the religious leaders were ‘astonished’ at His understanding and answers. (Luke 2:47)
Jesus was only 12 years old at the time and He was already an incredible example, inspiration and even a wonder to those around Him, including people who were very learned, experienced and advanced in age.
Obviously, there are many things that could be gleaned from this passage but in this blog post we want to focus on the fact that God does amazing things in and through the lives of young people especially when it comes to knowing and living out His Word.
On that note, we want to share with you how the Lord is working among the children at RMCC and specifically our Grade 6 kids.
Biblical Literacy: A Focus of RMCC Kids’ Ministry
Of course, Grade 6 is a crucial time of life for children. It is the beginning of the transition from childhood into adolescence. Helping the kids at RMCC make this transition with a mature, rooted faith is a heavy burden on the hearts of our kids’ ministry team.
“As children move from kids’ ministry (K-6) into junior high, it’s a moment of truth, especially in coming to grips with what faith means to them. They have been taught the Bible but the question is, has what they’ve learned dropped from their heads to their hearts,” comments Jason Caldwell, long-time Grade 6 teacher.
The RMCC kids’ ministry uses a curriculum that goes through the Bible systematically to develop a high level of biblical literacy among the kids. Teachers go book by book through the Word of God picking out specific teaching moments, illustrations of faith, examples of prophecy and stories that demonstrate the love of God.
The challenge, as Jason points out, is that being biblically literate is not the same as actually having a personal faith. “Our mission is to ensure that the biblical knowledge they receive informs and matures them while producing conviction, faith and determination to trust God for the challenges they will face,” says Jason, adding that one of his top goals is to help students develop a genuine and abiding love for the Bible.
Asking the Big Questions!
One of the ways Jason and his co-teacher Tory Nudd engage their students is by asking the kids questions and having them write their answers down in the form of an essay.
Among the questions they ask is, “What does the Bible mean to you?” This particular question was inspired by the memory of Jason’s twin sons Jordan and Evan who died tragically in February of 2016 at the age of 17. “Just looking at Jordan’s Bible tells you it was his most precious possession. There are notes written in every margin and highlighting on every page,” comments Jason.
In this post we are delighted to share excerpts from a few essays written by our Grade 6 kids and like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, you may be a little ‘astonished’ at some of their answers! Let’s be praying for our kids’ ministry at RMCC and as we do may it be said of our kids that, like Jesus, they will be about their Father’s business all the days of their lives (Luke 2:49).
Remember to check back in the future when we will share more excerpts from the Grade 6 essays
Kids Answer the Question: What Does Faith Mean to You?
Amanda: “Without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Faith is one of the best parts of me …”
Kate: “To me having faith means knowing that God is my creator and that He knows what I need before I ask Him. Faith means believing that God knows what is good for me …”
(Kate’s essay also included stories of opportunities she’s had to share her faith with peers at school. Her boldness to share what she has learned about God is a testimony of His grace and the power of His Spirit for those who believe – at all ages.)
Guilia: “Faith, to me, means a whole bunch of different things. It means trust, it means protection, it means comfort … but most of all faith means love. Basically it means that love is what we need. I am going to make a crazy connection here, God means love and love means faith. So that means that we should put our faith in God.”
Laurel: “What does faith mean to me? Well that’s a good question, and here is my answer. ‘And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:6 ESV) God tells us in His Word that we cannot please Him without faith. And faith is complete trust in God, trusting in His character and believing in His faithfulness. Faith is a gift that God has given to each one of us … Having faith in God gives you peace …”