Bible Teaching and Worldview

So, over the past few years, I’ve thought often about what I teach, and how.  I’m firmly committed to telling kids about Jesus.  I love walking through the Gospel with them, and I want to do that often.  I work with a large population of unchurched kids – I lovingly call them my little pagans.  Many of them could care less about Jesus and will openly say so.  Quite a few call themselves atheists and complain about how much we talk about God at club.  I want them to hear about the life and death of Jesus, what the Cross means, and how they can choose forgiveness and a life of following Christ.

I’ve also been in youth ministry a long time – almost 20 years.  Some of my former kids are grown, and I hear from them on facebook.  Sometimes they comment on political news and positions.  Sometimes they post photos of current activities.  Often, I’m saddened by what I read and see.

My former kids – they are living with (to be clear, I mean having sex with) boyfriends and girlfriends.  Sometimes they’re living with same-gender boyfriends and girlfriends.  They have babies outside of marriage.  They openly use language unfit for their children’s ears.  They support homosexuality and gay marriage as legit and honorable lifestyle choices.  They aren’t involved in church regularly, even though they talk about believing in God.  They drink to excess and brag about it.  They do all kinds of things that don’t make sense to me in light of Scripture – not if we care about the Bible and follow it.

[To be above-board, I know that people interpret Scripture differently and hold strong positions.  I know sincere people who disagree with some of my beliefs.  I’m quite willing to discuss and debate and dive into Scripture.  What saddens me most about hearing from my kids is that they AREN’T discussing Scripture; they’re ignoring it.  They’ll openly acknowledge that the Bible says something different, and it doesn’t matter.]

It’s made me re-consider how I teach, and what I teach.  Nope, I don’t have answers yet, but I have lots of questions.  How can I present the whole of Scripture to my kids?  How can I challenge all of them with truth, and truth that is drawn from the over-arching theme of God’s reaching out to mankind?  How and how often do we discuss “hot topics” like sexuality and morality – and are those discussions isolated, or are they connected to the rest of Scripture – to discussions on God’s purposes and God’s plans for humanity?  How much do I help a kid when I introduce him to Jesus Christ, and then give him nothing further – no framework for following Jesus and making tough choices?  Am I short-changing future generations – giving them parents who know only parts of the Bible and don’t have a worldview shaped by the Bible?  Can I teach kids to study the Bible before they know Jesus?  Can I teach kids to look at worldview decisions while I’m teaching them who Jesus Christ is?

Nope, don’t have answers yet.  But I’d love to talk about the questions.  Is anyone else struggling with how to communicate the Gospel basics clearly and often, and to challenge kids to make daily decisions out of a worldview shaped by Scripture?  Is anyone else feeling like there’s a tightrope between two extremes?  Is anyone else feeling like there is not enough time to do both, and do them well?

by Aretta Zitta

Aretta serves in Vilseck/Grafenwoehr.  Aretta leads a team of staff and volunteers in providing a community focused ministry to Army dependents.

 

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