To Twist or Not to Twist

In the July/August edition of Youth Worker Journal, Patton Dodd wrote an article about twisting Scripture in Children’s Ministry.  He and his wife taught Sunday School for a four and five year old class and were surprised to learn that the lesson on John the Baptist instructed them to “teach the main point that John the Baptist told the crowds, ‘Jesus is God’s Son,’ as John the Baptist did, and telling them that they, like John, are supposed to carry that message into the world.”  The surprise was lesson content: John never said the words that the curriculum suggested.  He did however “preach repentance and said Jesus is the Lamb of God.” 

So What?

Children’s Ministry is an important time for children to begin learning the great stories of the faith.  Those responsible for the selection of curriculum must be careful to review each lesson and make changes as appropriate to ensure that later in life older disciples are not forced to unlearn what they thought were foundational truths.  Don’t be fooled into thinking a curriculum is pefect just because one lesson was or because the students enjoy it or even because it is produced by your denominational publisher.  Review everything, modify when necessary, and be willing to start from scratch if something is simply not usable as written.

If you teach, take the time to learn the material before you present it to others.  If you are a teacher and feel the curriculum is wrong, be sure the ministry leader/director, pastor or respective church committee is alerted of your concern.

Dodd concludes his article with these words: “We should not be striving to help anyone in our spiritual tutelage understand what we believe about the Bible.  We should be striving to help them know what the Bible actually says.”

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