Another #theologytuesday is here!
On a completely unrelated note, where do the weeks go!?
How is it practically April already?
How has a week passed since last Tuesday?
How is Easter Sunday in 5 days?
With the busyness of life & how quickly the days pass, it can be easy to lose focus on the things that matter. In children’s ministry, and in parenting, we can quickly become caught up with just making it through to the next day (or hour). Teaching theology is the last thing on our radar.
As we journey through this series together, my hope is that we are drawn back to the ‘basics’ and make time to share them with the kids in our lives.
Last week, I shared on the first major section of the Creed – on God the Father. Within that section, there were two big ideas: God is Trinity, or three-in-One, and God is our Father and Creator.
From there, the Apostles’ Creed proceeds to talk about the second person of the Trinity – Jesus. Here’s what the Creed has to say about Jesus:
Jesus, of course, was – and is – what makes the Christian faith so distinct from other religions and ways of life. While many around them believed in a Creator God or Deity of some kind, the belief that Jesus was God’s Only Son, the Lord, and died and rose again was radical.
It was radical then, and it is radical now.
It sets us apart from so many around us, and our kids need to understand the depth of the claims we make about Jesus.
They need to understand who He is, how he lived, and the enormity of His death and resurrection.
This understanding will hopefully bring them to worship, to witness, and to walk with Him.
So where do we start?
How do we explain Jesus to our kids?
If you’ve already worked through last week’s section of the Creed with your kids, hopefully they’ll have some understanding of the Trinity – or the idea that God is Three-in-One. I say “some” understanding because let’s be honest – the Trinity in and of itself is somewhat of a mystery.
As you talk about Jesus – and any theology for that matter – remember that you want to be clear but embrace the fact that there is an element of mystery when it comes to talking about God.
With that in mind, let’s dive in!
1. Jesus is the Son of God.
The Creed starts by explaining that “Jesus Christ” is “His (referring to the Father) only Son.”
That’s a good place to start with our kids as well.
Most kids, no matter how young, have a basic understanding of family structure and language – including ‘father’ and ‘son.’ Using basic family language to explain to your kids that Jesus is God’s Son is a great starting place. The Bible uses this language in all kinds of places. Here are a few great references:
- Matthew 3:17 & the story of Jesus’ baptism
- Matthew 17:5, where God the Father speaks at the Transfiguration
- Luke 1:35, where the angel tells Mary that Jesus is God’s Son
- Matthew 14:33, where the disciples declare He’s God’s Son
- Acts 9:20, where Paul proclaims that Jesus is the Son of God
If you have older (elementary) kids, having them look up these verses and discuss them is a great way to get them hands-on with the Bible and the idea that Jesus is God’s Son.
Of course, you can expect as you dig into this truth with your kids, no matter how old, talking about Jesus as God’s Son will bring up all kinds of questions like:
- Who is Jesus’ Mom?
- Where was Jesus born?
- How can God have a Son that is still God?
Thankfully the Creed itself answers some of these questions, – it tells us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. As you work through the Creed together, you’ll get to dig in to some of these truths and find answers to questions.
I cannot stress enough the importance of allowing your kids to ask the tough questions of the Creed and about Jesus. Some of the questions you may not have answers for, others you will. Wrestling with these questions, and coming to conclusions with your guidance, getting hands-on with activities, and through digging into the Bible, will help your kids own their faith.
Just like last week, I’m sharing some of my favourite resources for talking about Jesus as God’s Son with kids, for a variety of ages:
- The Bible App for Kids: “The Beloved Son” (Watch it on the app with your kids, and then go here to download a parent guide, coloring sheets & more! This is fabulous for preschoolers & young elementary students)
- Focus on the Family: “How to Answer Your Child’s Faith Questions” (While not for kids specifically, this article provides some great info on how to answer questions about Jesus being God’s Son!)
- God is Three Persons by William Lane Craig (I just discovered this series of books by Dr. Craig, and I think it would be fantastic for kids of any age! His teaching is top-notch)
- Sunday School Zone: “Jesus is God’s Son” (There are SO many good activities & teaching ideas… FOR FREE here!)
- Saddleback Kids: “Jesus Song” (If this doesn’t get the idea that Jesus is ‘God’s one and only Son’ stuck in your kids’ heads, I don’t know what will!)
- TruWorship: “We Believe” (This would be a great worship song, or bedtime song for your littles! What a beautiful truth)
- God’s People – Jesus (This quick little video is a great conversation starter with your older elementary/tweens.)
- Ministry-to-Children – Worksheet (Great worksheet for your older kids)
Once you’ve established this fact and had some great conversation about it, you can move on to the second piece about Jesus, which is this:
2. Jesus is Lord.
The term “Lord” is one used consistently in the Bible and throughout church history. When we refer to Jesus as Lord, we are saying He has power and authority over our lives. Simply put, Jesus must be the Lord of our lives in order for us to have a relationship with Him that is vibrant and growing.
I couldn’t explain the Lordship of Jesus and what it means for our lives any better than Greg Boyd does is in this article. He sums up well what it means in Scripture, and what it means for our lives.
Again, a great place to start on this topic is with some Scripture references. Here are a few:
- Romans 10:9 – Paul’s infamous salvation formula
- John 20:28 – Thomas’ confession of Jesus
- 1 Corinthians 8:6 – reference to ‘one Lord’
- Acts 2:36 – Peter’s proclamation of Jesus as Lord
Beyond these verses, here are some other resources I recommend:
- Christ is Lord | Focus on the Family (some amazing activities for all ages here!)
- Jesus Christ is Lord | Seeds Family Worship (such a great way to memorize Scripture)
- Acts 16:31 Bible Coloring Sheet
I’ll be honest, “Lordship” isn’t a topic that is discussed a lot in children’s resources, but it’s an important one. The idea that Jesus wants to be in charge of our lives is an important ones for both kids and adults to understand.
Perhaps the best way to teach this is not through resources, but through practical everyday living. As you make decisions and go through your day with your children, provide opportunities for your family to reflect on what your day, playtime, media choices, attitudes, etc., should look like if Jesus is Lord.
Make times to discuss theology, read the Word, and pray together a priority. Show that Jesus is in charge.
The Apostles’ Creed is rich in theology, but also very practical in how it applies to our lives.
As you read this week, I challenge you to dig deep into the Word and resources, but also to explore ways you can help your kids live it out!
I so appreciate all of you who’ve reached out to me telling me how you’ve been using these resources, or others you love! Keep the feedback coming!