“Whoa! Hold on now!” you may be thinking. “I’m not publisher, writer, song-writer, or video producer; so how am I a content provider?” Every preschool and children’s ministry leader and teacher is a content provider. The question is, “What kind of content are you serving to the kids in your church?”
Our ultimate goal is to make disciples of kids. The Bible is clear that making disciples includes teaching them the Bible. Jesus says in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Emphasis mine.)
So, what are we teaching the kids in our churches? I’ve seen a lot of curriculum, some published and some not. A lot of good, trustworthy content is available. However, there is also an abundance of not-so-trustworthy content out there. How do we discern the difference?
Start with asking yourself, “Does the content teach the truth and nothing but the truth?” Paul reminds his young protégé in 2 Timothy 2:15 to, “Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.” (Emphasis mine.) This means that we present Bible content to kids without embellishment, always. If we think we have to add to the Bible content just to make it interesting to kids, what are we saying about our belief in God’s inerrant word?
Another question to ask is, “Does the content point kids to Jesus?” This may come as a surprise to many of us, but kids were around during Bible times. How do you think they learned about God’s plan of redemption? They studied the Scriptures. Again, Paul reminds Timothy, “And you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
The kids alive during Bible times either experienced violence and hardship or heard stories about battles and God’s provision. Some of them heard about the Messiah. Others sat in the Messiah’s lap. They also memorized long passages of Scripture that didn’t have any action in them. Do you think their parents and teachers embellished the stories of old to keep kids from being bored? Of course they didn’t, and neither should we.
Before you teach kids this week, evaluate the video, music, scripts, and printed words you plan to present. Does the content teach God’s truth unaltered and point kids to Jesus? If not, what changes will you make to be a provider of trustworthy content?
Landry Holmes is the Manager of Lifeway Kids Ministry Publishing, Nashville, TN. A graduate of Howard Payne University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Landry served on church staffs before coming to Lifeway. He is a church leader, writer, workshop facilitator, and publisher. Landry also teaches children at his church in Middle Tennessee. He and his wife Janetta are the grandparents of two adorable grandbabies.