Monday, October 27, 2008

Learning from kids

It was the end of a 3-part Sunday school series. First we weren’t clean enough to come before God (Moses and his dirty sandals), then Jesus became the bridge, then we received a gift that we hadn’t earned ourselves. It sounds funny described that way, but those were the main points given in that book I’m not so crazy about.

After going over the third part, we reviewed the whole unit. Then we learned the verse, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Eph. 2:8,9.

After that, the kids had a drawing assignment. They were supposed to draw the true path to God. I had drawn some false paths on the paper with works, money, etc. At the previous lesson we had talked about Jesus being “the Way” and at this lesson we had talked about salvation coming through faith, so I expected the answer to include those concepts, although I wasn’t sure exactly how the kids would draw them. I made the drawing assignment challenging on purpose because I wanted to make them think, not just regurgitate what they had heard. They’re smart kids, and I know they can memorize anything, but can they apply it?

When I went around monitoring, some of the kids didn’t recognize the other paths as false. It seemed that they were confused about what kind of things please God, such as good behavior, and what agent actually opens the way to fellowship with God. Some of the older kids were already drawing, and I saw a pattern. I don’t know if one started and the others copied, but almost all of the drawings had a cross, a church, a Bible, and a person praying. They had drawn what to them represented Christianity. It seemed like they had answered the question, “What should Christians do?” Go to church, read the Bible, pray. We hadn't talked about those things at all during the lesson. All I had been looking for in the answer was the cross. But maybe they were simply drawing what to them was the manifestation of having faith.

Ironically, the Adult Sunday school lesson also dealt with grace. It seems to be the eternal question!


  1. Oh, yes! One thing about religion class - the children have some pretty basic "answers" to fall back on. I can hear in my sleep the little voice saying, "Jesus" in response to just about any question whatsoever. And if you kindly say, "well, nooooo...think about it" (and you repeat the question; the answer is really Paul, for example) then the child will happily try their next "sure-fire" answer: "God". It cracks me up. Some poor little people get so little religion at home that it is like me answering questions about auto maintenance or something. "Engine?" "Motor?"

  2. Да, вопрос действительно вечный :)

  3. Annie, I know what you mean, but I think that it's actually the opposite-the kids' answers reflect what they have been taught, not what they haven't been taught. It's often the kids who do have Christian Education at home who have the automatic answers, just like our understanding of the Bible is sometimes limited to the memory verses we were exposed to early on. Sometimes the more insightful and/or accurate answers come from very small children or new believers who have little background knowledge.

  4. Hm....well, I do see what you mean in that way. I do often think - Yes, Jesus IS the only answer that matters!


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