Here are my notes from Andy Stanley's main session.
I want to encourage you to rethink your approach on how you teach and talk about the scriptures to kids and students. We have for generations perceived ourselves to be the majority. It effects the words we use. We aren’t the majority anymore, but we are so accustomed to speaking as the majority. I wish we could all take a big step back and not act as if we were the majority. In the first century they knew they weren’t the majority. They were lion food. Outcasts. Once upon a time there were a handful of people who believed that Jesus rose from the dead.
Our approach determines people’s response to what we have to say.
- We have to approach each child differently.
We must adapt our approach depending on who our audience is.
- In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul adapted to speak to each person’s differences.
- His goal wasn’t to be right, and make a point. His goal was to reach some.
- The approach may change, but the goal always remains the same.
You inherited an approach that assumes biblical authority.
- You do not believe what you believe because the Bible says so.
7 Guideline to Communicate Scripture
- Choose a passage of scripture and stay there. Bible story – is it a story? Its better than a story. It’s history. Make it interesting and clear. Bring your energy to the text. Stop using all your energy for the illustration. You read things to discover if they are true.
- Give people permission not to believe or obey the scriptures. We do not want our children to think that the reason we do this is because it is in the bible. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 – What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church. All the local church is supposed to do is one another one another. When people see that, they want that. Let’s be so good at what we do they can’t help but lean in. The attraction of the church is look at all those one anothers one anothers not this is what is in the bible. The authority of the local church was look how they love one another not this is what the bible says.
- Teach in a manner that emphasizes the identity of Jesus over the authority of scripture. They believed in Jesus because He rose from the dead not because the bible says so. The foundation of our faith is a moment in history – Jesus rose from the dead. People must come to terms with the identity of Jesus and his authority before they can believe. The foundation of your faith is a group of people that expected to find a body and didn’t.
- Don’t refer to the bible as a book. Never say god wrote the bible. It’s way better than a book.
- Cite authors not the Bible. James was the brother of Jesus. What would you have to do to convince your brother that you were the Son of God? We should not expect people to believe that Jesus rose from the dead because the bible says so. We believe because the witnesses said so and they saw it.
- Acknowledge the odd as odd. There are some odd things in the Bible. Just say they're odd. We believe the Old Testament is true because Jesus believed that it was true. Anyone who predicts his own death and resurrection, I just go with what he says. Jesus said the Old Testament was scripture.
- Don’t create the impression that one must choose between faith and science. You want people who understand why things work like they do.
And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult
for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
Let's not make it difficult for our kids.