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The Jesus Storybook Bible and the NiRV

Redeeming Life family,

Watch this short clip before reading on.

That's like a flannel-board on steroids!

I recently shared that Redeeming Life Church needs to speak the language of family if we are going to reach a community that's all about family.  I absolutely believe this is true.  I'm praying that our House Fellowships are able to incorporate children into the 'family' setting well.  And we're forming a plan for Sunday nights.

Just like adults, children need to learn and grow in terms they can understand.  (I've discussed this on some time ago and you can read about it here.)  It would be a stretch to think a small child is able to learn just as an adult in a worship service.  This is not to say that a small child does not belong in a worship service, just that we should seek to do our very best to know who we are teaching and teach in such a way that leads to the greatest amount of growth and love for Christ.

Also as it is with adults, we don't simply want to stay at the lowest levels of growth.  As children start to toddle around, they should be introduced to God's Word.  But let's not add too much burden on our little one, making them read it in the Hebrew and Greek.  They probably can't even read English, so lets seek to share the story of God's Word in terms out kiddos can understand.  Let's share the Bible in such a way that they can love and cherish Jesus.   For this reason, we should pick age appropriate Bibles.  And as they grow, we need to continue to graduate our children up to the Bible that best communicates the Gospel in terms they can understand.

At Redeeming Life, I've decided that we'll use two Bibles in our ministry to kids on Sunday night.

The first  Bible will serve as our road map.  It's the Jesus Storybook Bible.   (We'll do our best to get more copies so we can be sure all our faithful rotating missionary-servants in our children's ministry can prepare as well as enjoy this really fun book.  If you don't have one but can afford to buy a copy, I highly encourage you get your hands on one.)  The Jesus Storybook Bible is a simple children's Bible with 44 pericopies.  The cool thing however, is every single one of the 44 stories points to Jesus.  We have the curriculum and videos.  It's really fun stuff but it's geared to our younger kiddos (although kids and adults of all ages seem to love the videos).

Therefore, I'd also like our teachers to have a copy of the NiRV.  This Bible is a great Bible for young readers.  It helps to communicate God's Word in ways that kids can read and understand.  (You can read more about it and see comparison verses here.)  Using the reference verses from the Jesus StoryBook Bible, the teachers can open the NiRV and read the story or a couple verses for the slightly older kids.  This affords the opportunity to ask the older kids some questions that might challenge their thinking and make it appropriate for their level.  Some of these kids may be able to find the story and read it to class, although they may need a little help from a teacher.

I believe this will be easy for our rotating teachers. (Also, I'd like to encourage that if you're not helping us teach these kids to love Jesus, that you chat with Kelly Wilcox and get on the rotation.)  I also believe it will help us encourage the kids of Redeeming Life to love our Savior.

We'll have materials and the video available each week as well as some stuff in advance for the teaches to prayerfully look over and prepare.

It's my prayer that we can help parents and children to love Jesus and serve him.  I've given the Jesus Storybook Bible to lost adults and seen some amazing transformation as a result.  I've used it in conjunction with my devotional time and found it fruitful.  And I used to show the videos to an adult class of post-college young men and women and I have to say, they loved the videos!

Thanks for serving alongside us as we seek to speak the language of family and minister to the next generation!

Soli Deo gloria!
Pastor Bryan