I don’t get the opportunity to teach children’s Bible classes very often. Most every quarter of the year I’m teaching adults or college-age students, so when Vacation Bible School rolls around every Summer, I enjoy volunteering to spend time in one of those classrooms I don’t often get to visit.
A few years ago, I had a room full of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders. We were talking about “covenants” and I was trying to help those 7, 8, and 9-year-olds understand why the covenants we read about in the Bible are so important. God has made many promises to people throughout history and he always keeps his promises. In turn, God wants us to promise to love and serve him, and keep our promise.
So I asked the kids, “Why do we have Bible classes?” And I got … blank stares. I told them I have a grandfather who lives in Florida. His name is Everett. Then I asked, “Can you make a promise to Everett?” No. “Why?” Because they didn’t know Everett. You can’t make a promise to someone you don’t know.
And there it is: the point of children’s Bible classes and Vacation Bible School. It’s not babysitting or board games. The point of getting children together in these settings is to help them get to know the God who makes and always keeps his promises. The goal is so much bigger than silly skits and snack-time. The real aim of children’s Bible classes is to help those children grow to the point of promising to love and serve the God who loves them more than they can even imagine.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts. (Psa 145:4)
One generation helps the next generation helps the next generation know God. Why? Because you can’t make a promise to someone you don’t know.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psa 9:10)
You won’t know someone you don’t seek. You can’t trust someone you don’t know. But the more you seek the LORD, the more you’ll come to know him. And the more you come to know him, the more you’ll learn that you can trust him.
Seeking, knowing, trusting, and obeying: that’s the goal of every effective Bible class and why we’re so excited for Vacation Bible School this week.