His-story lessonsby Cheryl Markland
I just returned from a wonderful conference called “Family Ministry Conversations” taught by Michelle Anthony, Ed. D. We were asked to consider changing our focus and purpose as we work with children and families from teaching God in our story to the framework of HIS-STORY. God, His nature and power and not us or the Biblical characters or events, would be the starting point for our storytelling and teaching. We would consider the impact of His eternal story in the choices we make with our time, talents and gifts. Leaders and parents would seek and share the story of God working through their lives with the children entrusted to their care.
We learned that the members of the current generation of children are called “Plurals.” Their exposure to a multicultural, pluralistic culture can drive them to accept multiple forms of god. Our role as leaders and parents is to drive them to acknowledge the one true God. As leaders, what steps can we take to help parents with this responsibility?
Purpose: We can encourage parents to share their story in the framework of HIS-STORY. Begin laying the groundwork early for acknowledging God as the main character in their stories. Work to make this a natural part of family conversations (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
Prepare: It is reported that 50 percent of Plurals will come to a saving faith led by their parents. Only 7 percent will be led to Christ by a minister. Prepare each parent so that when the Holy Spirit leads a child to begin a conversation about becoming a Christian, the first response is to listen and respond with assurance that he or she is equipped for the task (Colossians 3:16-17).
Practice: Encourage parents to have HIS-STORY lessons with their children. It may feel awkward at first, but assure them that as they practice, it will become easier and more natural (Deuteronomy 11:19).
Personalize: Teach parents to see God at work in their own everyday lives. My prayer is for God to allow me to see Him at work, much as Moses was allowed to see God’s glory as He passed by. By quickening my heart and attention toward Him, I am often amazed to sense what He is doing and grateful that I get to have a small part in HIS-STORY (Deuteronomy 10:21).
Find joy in knowing that God invites you to join Him in making HIS-STORY!