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3 Steps to Go From Religion to Relationship

Blog 6.15I was knocked for a loop when I heard the statistic. According to a survey conducted by the U.K.'s Penguin Books, 59 percent of kids said religion has a negative impact on the world. It makes me wonder how the connotation of the word has changed over time, and how kids define the word "religion."

I am also reminded of a bigger problem. Too often we place religion over a relationship with Jesus. Rules, theological differences and disputes, and all other forms of religious red tape can be distractions and hurdles for young minds who are looking for love.

What we need to do is guide our children into a real relationship with Jesus. One where they are know what Jesus would do, not because of a WWJD bracelet, but because they have studied his word, realized its significance, and applied it to their life.

So, how can you change how your kids view God? Here are a few ways to change your ministry's focus from religion to a growing relationship with Jesus.

1. Say goodbye to busywork - I recently read an article by Christian writer Mike Matthews that really stuck with me. In the article, he said that kids were spending less time doing activities in church, and when they were doing activities, far too often they had nothing to do with a lesson or Bible truth. The article went on to say that because of this, we have a younger generation of kids who say they believe in a god but not necessarily God.

Kids learn by doing. Start adding games, dramas, crafts, and more to make your lessons come alive. Make sure to debrief after your activities with questions that will relate fun to the lesson then the lesson to real life.

2. Say hello to questions - Don't be afraid of taking questions or even asking for them. In today's world, kids are bombarded by different views and opinions that can challenge what they hear on Sunday. You will not have all the answers, but that's ok. It shows the kids that you are human and it helps them relate to you. Just make sure to research and get back with them later!

3. Say amen to prayer - Try building a relationship with someone without any conversation. You can't. So why would you expect kids to grow in their relationship with Jesus if they don't pray? Guide them through prayer rather than have them listen to yours. Help them use their own words to thank God. And remember that you can pray anytime, not just at the end of your lesson.

In the end, teaching kids to build a relationship with Jesus is much like helping them build relationships with friends. They have to take time, be interested, and make it part of their daily lives. That means getting your kids' parents equipped to help continue the relationship-building throughout the week. Start helping entire families connect with Jesus, and you will see a change in how people view religion.

Posted at 15:54

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