Perhaps the most glossed over ministry of any church remains the children’s ministry. Yes, there’s often a focus on engaging young kids with the Bible and teaching them to memorize Scripture, but the emphasis of this engagement isn’t always as saturated with the gospel as other age groups are. Children’s ministries are often soaked with performancism and the concept of growing by winning, by achieving. We do this subtly with our intense Scripture memory programs that end up doing the opposite of what we hope they’ll do. Instead of captivating them with the glory of God, they often educate kids into thinking that spiritual growth is up to them and their capacity to commit to memory God’s Word.
In this episode, I’m joined by Kyle George Jones to talk about how to teach the full gospel to kids. This, I would say, is the thrust of Kyle’s ministry as he seeks to get kids away from a “Jesus plus” understanding of Christianity. How do you explain a Christ-centered hermeneutic and chiefly Christological interpretation of the Bible to young children? How do you do justice to God’s Word without confusing your young audience? We endeavor to speak to these realities and remain true in our effort to show that Jesus is everywhere in your Bible, not just in the New Testament. We also talk about the inception of The Gospel Economist and a slew of books recommended for budding young Bible teachers.
This episode is brought to you by the Christian Standard Bible. Find out more by going to CSBible.com.
Kyle and his wife live and serve in Arlington, Texas, where Kyle ministers as the director of youth ministry for All Saints Lutheran Church. He’s also the founder and editor of The Gospel Economist, a site that endeavors to showcase the completely otherworldly economy of God’s gospel. Kyle’s an avid writer and keen thinker. Be sure to read through some of his posts and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, @kylegeorgejones.
Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids, Jack Klumpenhower
Commentary on Galatians, Martin Luther
God’s No and God’s Yes: The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, C. F. W. Walther
Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament, David Murray
Commonplaces: Loci Communes 1521, Philip Melancthon
Proclamation and Praise: Hebrews 2:12 and the Christology of Worship, Ron Man
Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus, Jessica Thompson
Jesus Centered Youth Ministry (Revised): Moving from Jesus-Plus to Jesus-Only, Rick Lawrence
UnLeader: Reimagining Leadership…and Why We Must, Lance Ford
Te Deum: The Church and Music, Paul Westermeyer
Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative, Robert Webber
Grace: So Much More Than You Know & So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray
Intro music: “West Coast” by Ryan Little, licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Photo via Ben White / Unsplash