I love theology. As a child, reading was of little importance to me. There were a few authors that I enjoyed and would read, however, that was not the norm for me. Reading was (and still is) hard, therefore I hated it. Reading was a trial and hardship for me because, for as long as I can remember, I misread letters, get stuck on the same line, and am slow at processing what I read often having to read sentences multiple times. Thus reading has always been a challenge.
In light of these struggles of mine, I chuckle from time to time over the fact that I am pursuing pastoral ministry which requires a good deal of reading.
I have been teaching Sunday School at my home church for three and a half years now. At first, I taught the K-2nd-grade class. The last two years I have taught the 3rd to 6th-grade class. This has been incredibly helpful for me as a seminarian and preacher because I am now consciously aware of these children being present when I preach.
Too often, we assume that our children do not need theology. Since we are not always convinced of our own need for theology, we deny that our children need to be grounded in a theology that is rooted in Scripture. We all want our children to be obedient to us as parents and ultimately obedient to God. Right behavior is always grounded in theology. Theology is very applicable to our children. We have to learn to apply it to them, but the application is there.
Another reason our children need Theology is that they are smarter than we give them credit for. We treat people according to what we believe their ability is. I have learned that if we raise the bar for our kids, they tend to reach that new standard. Now, it doesn’t happen overnight. Given them a challenge, and they will be pushed to grow. I am regularly surprised at the depth of thought my students engage in during class. This often comes out in the questions they ask. In fact, some of my students have started to gather for class 10 minutes prior to start time. So they seem to even be eager for theology.
Yesterday, I challenged my class to take up a theology book (recommended by their parents) and read it over the course of this year. I hope and pray that they will take me up on this challenge, and I hope this will spark a love for Christ and theology for each of them.
So challenge your kids to think deeply. If you have a child who is at least in the 3rd-grade, challenge them to read a theology book. It will be good for all of you. Let me know in the comments how you are challenging your kids to grow intellectually in their love for Christ Jesus.