I agree with Howard Hendricks, who was fond of saying, “It is a sin to bore a child with the Word of God.” To present the Scripture to a child or a teenager in an unengaging manner is to teach the very opposite of what is intended:
Lesson #1 The Bible is boring.
Lesson #2 The Bible is irrelevant
Lesson #3: Church is irrelevant
For the most part, the Bible isn’t boring. Which just means the Bible isn’t the problem. For my piece, here are some common ways we make the Bible boring and its results.
- We teach in a way that ignores basic age-characteristics of children (We use words like “mortification” with High schoolers) They think the Bible is confusing.
- We teach Bible content that is inappropriate (Maybe because we want to teach the same things everyone else is learning at the same time.) They think the Bible isn’t written for them.
- We don’t leverage a child’s felt needs to lead them to their real needs. They think the Bible isn’t relevant.
- We don’t teach from a context of deep, meaningful or consistent relationships that model a life under Biblical authority. They don’t think the Bible intersects with their lives outside of Sunday morning.
- We don’t build common ground when teaching. They think the Bible is moralistic and feel preached at.
- We teach the facts of the Word, but don’t introduce them to Jesus who is the Word. They think Christianity is a religion and not a relationship.
I wonder what would happen if we took the time we spend bemoaning the entertainment industry’s affects on attention-spans and behavior and spent that time more introspectively examining the role we play in engaging or boring children. What if we invested our time in communicating in a way that captures the imagination of child with the radical truths of the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ? We might see the church drop-out rate decline. We might see unchurched people come to our churches and the de-churched, burned-by-church or anti-church people return.