This is the third of seven posts from the book Zealous: 7 Commitments for the Discipleship of the Next Generation. Podcasts and other links are at the bottom of this boast.
For more about this series of posts go to the Introduction post
These posts will contain a summary of the commitment along with some ways we are trying to implement that commitment at Trinity Baptist Church.
The third commitment is "Teach the Breadth and Depth of the Whole Counsel of God"
"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). If this is true, and it is, we should use all of scripture with our children. In Zealous, David Micheal writes "Rather than boring them with shallow presentations of the same stories repeatedly, shouldn't we broaden the foundation of their Biblical knowledge?"
This third commitment "to teach the breadth and depth of the whole counsel of God, stresses that limiting the scripture we teach our children limits their view of God" (p. 46). At Trinity Baptist Church, we use different curriculum and Bible studies but we know that each of these must have the Bible and its teaching at its heart. Our Bible teaching must have a breadth, which means a wide range of studies that includes an overview of the Bible and broad topics, and a depth, which includes intense, deep studies of God's love, power, holiness, and other attributes. Both of these are done by looking at all of scripture, not just the same familiar stories.
Zealous gives five helpful categories to think about and use in thinking about what we teach in the Sunday School classes and in the children's ministry.
1. Bible Survey and Book studies
We want to tell the story of the Bible and remember that God is the hero of the Bible. He is the one doing mighty works through people. These studies focus more on the breadth of scripture.
2. Biblical Theology
As we tell the story of the Bible, children need to see how God's "redemptive purpose, which to their complete fulfillment in the Person and work of Jesus Christ" are revealed. Adults and children need to see the powerful God-glorifying, Christ-centered connections in God's word.
3. Systematic Theology
This topical teaching of doctrines is done in some of the adult classes and sporadically in the children's Sunday school classes. We are looking for ways to improve this teaching at the children's level.
4. Gospel Proclamation
A clear presentation of the Gospel needs to be part of our teaching plan so that people we will know and better understand the Person and work of Jesus Christ specifically as it relates to our salvation. This presentation is for the purpose of salvation and presentation of the Gospel. to others. Vacation Bible School is a specific environment in which this is emphasized.
5. Moral and Ethical Instruction
Don't get this teaching wrong. We don't want to provide moralistic teaching. This teaching provides instruction that is "necessary for understanding God's character and standards and our needs for the gospel, along with guiding believers in righteous and godly conduct." (p. 49)
- Commitment #3 podcast (11 min)