Biblical Literacy and Children

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I read a job description for a children’s minister recently that said the primary responsibility of the job is to develop "biblical literacy and Christian character" in children.

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Of course, that made me wonder what biblical literacy is. I’m sure it means different things to different people.

I love the Word of God…I’ve memorized it, read it, studied it, meditated on it, grappled with it, sought God through it! That needs to be established before I go on.

For this church, "biblical literacy and Christian character" never mentioned anything remotely close to knowing and loving God…or a personal, redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ…or an ongoing friendship with the Creator of the Universe. Nothing.

Is biblical literacy, then, the ability to find a verse in the Bible? Is it the ability to say all 66 books of the Bible in order?

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It scares me when I see that the goal of a children’s ministry is knowledge and not relationship….behavioral change and not relationship.

People today are longing for an experience with the living God! That needs to be the goal of children’s ministry.

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

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