Many KidMin leaders agree that it is critical for us (adults) to begin now helping lay a solid theological foundation in the kids we serve. We want kids to have a right understanding of who God is, what He has done, and what He is doing according to solid biblical truths. But how?
One approach to systematically teaching theology that has seen renewed interest over the last several years is a return to a question-answer format. In this approach, kids are taught to respond to a specific question with a formulated, concise answer. For example, when prompted with the question Who is God? Kids would respond with God is our Creator and King of everything.
Is a question-answer format the right approach for you? Here are three reasons a question-answer format encourages theological learning.
- A Q&A format leans into a child’s inquisitive nature. Children are naturally inquisitive, curious, and are passionate pursuers of answers. Many children seem to ask questions incessantly and feel a great sense of accomplishment once they’ve run through their gambit of questions to get their answers. A question-answer format draws kids in by feeding this part of their nature.
- Memorization and repetition are bridges to understanding. When we commit biblical truths to memory, they become a resource for the Holy Spirit to use in our lives for real-life transformation. Few ideas will truly change us if they are not deep in our hearts. A systematic Q&A approach is built on children memorizing answers. As children mature, these memorized statements can be fleshed out with deeper understanding and application. “I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
- A Q&A approach gives a systematic framework for processing both simple and hard-to-understand ideas. Our Bibles contain so much information that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start and how teach it. Though a Q&A approach is not intended to teach the Bible comprehensively, using a simple question-answer format, like Big Picture Questions and Answers for Kids (see below), provides both a starting point and a structure that become manageable for adults and kids.
Bonus: Employing a Q&A approach can be fun for kids. With just a little bit of effort, a Q&A format can quickly:
- Be made into various games.
- Be made into a rhythmic beat.
- Be used in creative call/response ways like using different voices, volumes, and so forth.
- Adding hand motions for kids to do while saying the answers can add another layer of fun while further helping memorization by including physical activity.
To equip church leaders and parents who want to implement a question-answer format for teaching theological truths, the team behind The Gospel Project for Kids has developed Big Picture Questions and Answers for Kids. This resource contains over 70 big picture questions and answers organized into six categories: God, People, Jesus, The Bible, The Church, and The Christian Life. Click here to learn more about Big Picture Questions and Answers for Kids.
Jeremy Carroll is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to Lifeway, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.