Why The Church Fails At Teaching Kids

We are creatures of habit. When creatures of habit congregate, they tend to habitually act like each other. This then causes habitual ways of thinking.

This is nice if you are in the army or working on an assembly line, but not nice if you are in the church.

When people congregate and become like each other, they just repeat stuff and it’s been many years since anyone has actually thought about anything. Believers are to be transformed into the image of Christ; not into the image of each other.

One of the most boring things in the world is teaching people who already know everything.

I am reading a book called Blackett’s War, which is excellent, about Britain’s use of scientists to defeat the Nazi U-Boats.

When they established a group of scientists to solve military problems–how to effectively use depth charges against enemy submarines, how to develop systems to detect incoming bombing raids–they purposely hired guys who knew nothing about the military.

These guys were so clueless about military tactics and procedure that they asked really stupid questions. Routinely, military guys would mock them. But inevitably, these clueless scientists with their dumb questions, examined the problem in a fresh way and almost immediately came up with the solution.

I wonder how many problems in the Church could be solved if we took fresh looks at them and stopped repeating the same dumb answers we’ve been repeating for centuries? I wonder how many would be comfortable in admitting we have problems? I wonder how many would be willing to implement a new answer?

Teaching kids is scary! Kids ask oddball questions you’ve never thought of. They’ll even delve into heretical questions, ones we’re too afraid to answer, let alone ask–even though you know you’ve wondered the same thing. But this is great for you! We need to be stretched out of our comfortable answers we spew forth without thinking.

People lament the biblical illiteracy that plagues the Church and yet we have more kid educating programs now than ever before. Perhaps our illiteracy has more to do with the fact the teachers of the kids have no clue what they are talking about and all it takes is one kid question to ruin the charade!

All our programs and curriculum substitute for actual knowledge, creating a mass of book-reading teachers who couldn’t answer any question other than, “Hey, where’s that teacher’s guide?”

The next time you compare the Trinity to a hard-boiled egg, or explain the latest hurricane as “God’s plan,” or assure the kid that his drunk grandpa that just died is “at home with Jesus,” pause and consider if you have any clue what you’re talking about.

Perhaps the easier it is to give an answer the wronger that answer is. Think about stuff. Ask questions. Read the Bible and write down all the questions it brings up in your mind. Then read it again and see how many you can answer better now.

If you have no questions after reading the Bible, read it again and this time pay attention and feel free to chuck your cocksure attitude and tremble before God’s Word.

Wake up! God’s Word is a beautiful thing. It deserves our attention, our thinking, our experimenting with. When you think you have your question answered, go teach it to a kid and find out you need to start over!