I recently had a church mum approach me about a concern she has. Her daughter is in her first year of secondary school, and so is encountering new ideas about relationships and gender and identity, and having helpful conversations within the family is not as straightforward as it might seem. Our culture speaks loudly and confidently, and warns of the danger of being on the wrong side of history. As Christians, we don’t want to be simply moralistic about these questions, and yet we’re sure that God’s word is still true and his way is still best. So what to do?
In one sense, I’m convinced that we simply keep doing what we’re already doing: teaching God’s word with clarity and faithfulness, week by week, feeding ourselves and our children with true doctrine, and showing one another what it looks like to live between creation and new creation, as God’s church, with his character and his word to guide us. As we trust him and what he says to us, everything else will fall into place.
But it’s also important for us to be able to speak into our culture—to engage with people’s thinking, to identify where we agree and where we depart, to challenge where we see weaknesses and to offer a better alternative. And it’s for this reason that I’m really excited about the most recent offering from Faith in Kids, ‘Who Am I?’
This suite of resources has been under construction for a number of years now, and has been so thoughtfully written to support families and churches in teaching children about our identity in Christ and its wonderful implications. At our own church, we’ve been making use of several elements.
Alongside encouraging parents to continue reading the Bible with their children and teaching them from our catechism, we’ve been suggesting Ed Drew’s book, Raising Confident Kids, to help them think theologically about the self and how God has designed our bodies and brains. We’re hoping that this will give parents the confidence to have these conversations with their children.
But we also want to model that, and to unashamedly teach God’s good design within our children’s ministry. And so as our new school year begins in September, we’re going to use the seven lessons in the ‘Who Am I’ resource with our primary school aged children in Sundays. We’ll explore creation, gender, sin, bodies, forgiveness, sanctification, and eternity, and this resource will make it really easy for us to involve parents during the teaching as well as to support them afterwards within families. There are take home sheets and prayer cards, and a brilliant series of podcasts which we’ll continue to direct parents to.
I’m praying that as we use these resources, parents and children and our whole church family would be more and more convinced of the goodness of God and his word, of his sovereignty over our whole lives, and would overflow in thanks and praise because we have seen his glory more brightly.