This Kids Korner article is from GenMin National Coordinator Jeffrey Broadnax.
I recently returned from a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Land, where my wife and 18 friends and colleagues walked the in the footsteps of Jesus, Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene, Abraham, Rahab and many other of our biblical heroes. The most asked question upon my return was, “What was your favorite part?” It’s nearly impossible to answer that question because there were so many great moments to choose from.
Was it riding on a first-century style boat on the Sea of Galilee? How about walking down the road of the triumphal entry? What about visiting Magdala, which used to be a blip on my biblical roadmap, but now has such incredible significance as a validation of Scripture? Maybe it was taking communion with my wife and friends in the chapel at the Garden tomb? Or was it standing on the steps at the entrance to the temple, where I know Jesus himself would have stood, taught and walked scores of times? I can’t choose just one favorite part. My 588 pictures each bring a powerful memory to my heart about our tour through the Holy Land.
So, I chose to share a few stories of places that touched my heart and enlivened my understanding as a start and let the rest of those experiences unfold as opportunity permits. The more I think about this experience, the more I realize this is what this Equipper column is all about. We want to help parents and ministry leaders become effective “tour guides” of the Christian journey for young people in our sphere of influence.
In 2014, the Barna group and the American Bible Society published a study called “The State of the Bible.” One of the interesting items noted was that approximately 43 percent of U.S. adults could name the first five books of the Bible. In a report a year earlier, they found that only half knew that John the Baptist was not one of the 12 apostles.
How can this be when from the same study, they found that 88% of American households own a Bible and number of Bibles per household is 3.4?
Sounds to me like we need better tour guides helping children, youth and adults navigate the stories, lessons and revelation of the Father, Son and Spirit and their unconditional love for every human being as revealed in the Bible.
Where do you begin? If I asked you to tell me your favorite Scripture, your favorite Bible story or the best moment in Scripture, what would you say? I’d like to suggest you begin preparing for that moment like the Israelite families were trained in Deuteronomy 6. After telling them to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul mind and strength, God challenged them to remember their experiences and journey with him when he said, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit in the house, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:6-7).
I’d like to suggest you begin with five of your favorite Bible stories, lessons or verses and ask yourself:
- Why does this story or verse stand out in my journey or understanding of Jesus?
- What does it teach me about his love for me and all mankind?
- If someone is new to the Bible or a faith walk, how would I use this story to help them see Jesus through fresh eyes?
Don’t stop at five. Now move to ten, twenty, thirty. Why not start a small group with children, teens, young adults or those your age each sharing one of your favorite biblical stories as a starting point?
By doing so, you will not only deepen the experience, but you will also help others learn to capture snapshots of their journey with God on the heart-to-heart Bible tour and share them with others.