I thought this would be a fun article to write since this very thing seems to happen to me more often than most people. Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to get quite the odd collection of random questions from kids in my ministry. Just the other day I was reminiscing with some coworkers about myself as a preteen and have decided that many of these questions come my way because I myself asked many odd questions to my leaders. Take, for instance, this little gem. “So, if God and Jesus are the same, and Jesus was with God when the earth was created, why didn’t Jesus tell anybody the earth was round when He was here?” I honestly have no recollection of how my leader answered, but I’m sure he could have used some of this advice.
When your kids ask you questions that you cannot answer here are some tips for responding.
- It’s OK to say you don’t know. If their questions are biblical in nature, and likely a biblical answer, and you don’t know, you can use the opportunity to answer the question together by studying God’s Word. You don’t have to know all the answers, but knowing where to find them is very helpful.
- The Bible doesn’t tell us that. This could have been very useful to my preteen teacher since the Bible doesn’t tell us why Jesus didn’t tell anybody the earth was round while He walked the earth. Many times kids can ask questions about biblical content that the Bible itself just doesn’t speak to. In those instances it’s perfectly fine to simply say what is true, the Bible doesn’t tell us.
- Ask for clarity. Sometimes kids ask a question that could be interpreted in different ways, you want to make sure you answer the question they ask so asking clarifying questions is very appropriate to help in understanding.
- Pray. Sometimes kids ask questions that just require us to love on them and pray for them. It’s OK to say something like, “I’m not sure how to answer your question, but we can certainly pray together about that.” Prayer is a great way to help kids connect with God and you as their leader.
Kids are going to ask questions lots of times that you may not be prepared to answer, or feel qualified to answer. It’s OK for you to be you and tell them that’s something you struggle with too, or that you need some time to help answer their questions. Sometimes that might be all they need to hear.
Tim Pollard teaches 3rd graders at Tulip Grove Baptist Church. He’s passionate about helping kids dig deep into Scripture, which he pursues through his daily work as leader of the Explore the Bible: Kids team. Tim lives with his wife and daughters in Mount Juliet, TN.