A few years ago, as a Junior School staff team we evaluated our current Christian Life Studies program and came to the conclusion that we wanted a program more focussed on teaching children actual Bible stories, not just about biblical themes and understandings. As a result we switched to the program we use today called, ‘GodSpace’.
So why did we feel it so important to give children a solid grounding in Bible stories?
Over the decades the number of children attending Sunday School has decreased and despite the Bible remaining the world’s all-time bestseller, which can be found in millions of homes, an increasing number of people don’t actually know what’s inside.
The Bible Society conducted a survey of over 800 children (aged 8-15) and 5,000 adults (of whom just over 1,000 were parents). When asked to identify which biblical stories they were familiar with, the results showed a decline in Bible knowledge in the younger generations:
- 23% of children said they had never read, seen or heard Noah’s Ark.
- 25% had never heard the Nativity story.
- 38% have never seen, read or heard the story of Adam and Eve.
- 43% have never seen, read or heard the story of the Crucifixion.
- Over half have never seen, read or heard the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours, the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea or the story of David and Goliath.
- Over 60% had not read, seen or heard of the Feeding of the 5,000 or the Creation Story.
Our Junior School staff want to teach our students (your children), that the Bible is exciting and relevant for them. A child is never too young to hear about creation, about God’s love, about Jesus and about the many wonderful stories the Bible holds. Every story helps us to get to know what God is like, what we are like and the way God wants us to live.
The ‘Truth for Kids’ website presents the learning of Bible stories, as an analogy of a house.
The facts we learn from the Bible are the foundation stones upon which our spiritual insights are based. Without biblical knowledge there is little to build on which leaves our hearts open to worldly perspectives.
The walls of the house are the spiritual truths. Every event and teaching in the Bible has been included for a reason. From the lives of people, and God’s dealings with them, we learn about God’s character, about our nature and about our relationship with God. We can ask the question, “What lessons have I learnt from this story?” This leads to spiritual understanding.
The roof of the house makes the house practical by completing the purpose for which it was built. From the age of seven children develop a spiritual awareness and a growing consciousness of right and wrong. It’s therefore very important to link spiritual truths (lessons) from the Bible to their everyday lives. This means presenting an application and asking the question, “How can you apply this to your life?”
As an adult now I am so very thankful that my childhood involved the reading and learning of Bible stories on a regular basis. I am so thankful to my parents for spending the time to read them to me each night and that my Sunday School teachers understood the importance of Bible stories and their application.
Many times over the years I have drawn comfort strength and resilience from the stories I learnt as a child.
As a Junior School staff, we love teaching your children Bible stories. We encourage you, as parents, to also take the time to read them with your children. If you don’t have a children’s Bible let me recommend the ‘The Jesus Storybook Bible’ from Koorong.
If you’d like me to get you a copy, let me know.
Mrs Vicki Gunning / Head of Junior School