Okay, so as you may be aware we are working at this moment on our first Hillsong Kids Curriculum. So that has me up late writing content and messages and scripts and stuff.
The one site I visit regularly is Desiring God which is the teaching ministry of John Piper whenever I need a shot of Theology. He pretty much has everything he has ever written, thought about writing, or even thought about thought about writing online which makes it a fantastic resource to check out some theology points. Another I will check is Koinonia House (Chuck and Nancy Missler).
So I was over there searching Desiring God for some insight on Adam and Eve. Trying to figure out how to express what happened in the garden to kids.
And I came across quite simply a mind expanding little article that has given me a perspective on what we are doing for our kids as we seek to raise them to follow Jesus.
Preaching As Concept Creation, Not Just Contextualization
As we think seriously about contextualizing the message of the Bible, letâ€™s remember that we must also labor to bring about, in the minds of our listeners, conceptual categories that may be missing from their mental framework. If we only use the thought structures they already have, some crucial biblical truths will remain unintelligible, no matter how much contextualizing we do. This work of concept creation is harder than contextualization, but just as important.
We must pray and preach so that a new mental framework is created for seeing the world. Ultimately, this is not our doing. God must do it. The categories that make the biblical message look foolish are deeply rooted in sinful human nature. â€œThe natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discernedâ€ (1Corinthians 2:14)….
That uses some serious big word with many syllables, but here’s what I got from it.
I strive to present everything to kids in context… like explaining how life differs from the time of Jesus, who would be a modern day tax collector, stuff like that. But what Piper suggests is that (if you read the entire article), is that we need to create structure in the minds of our kids to support that context.
The cool thing is we get to work with kids, the easiest humans on earth to create new paradigms simply because they don’t have to unlearn anything, they are completely open to new ideas.
Piper goes on to say that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, which is also a good thing because I wouldn’t have a clue how to start.
If you haven’t fallen asleep reading this post yet you might just be wired like me! So go read the article and if you’re brave, post a comment below with an example of concepts our kids need to know!