Spring 2007 | Volume 30, Number 1
The Bible Tells Me So
In one local Sunday school,
children take learning
the Scriptures seriously
The children of Covenant Presbyterian Church, including (from left) Seher, Rei, and Ian (below) are building firrm biblical foundations with a challenging Sunday school program.
Old Testament and New Testament surveys for fifth and sixth graders? Apologetics for seventh graders? Church history for high school students?
Beginning 10 years ago, these and other subjects became the Sunday school curriculum at Covenant Presbyterian Church (CPC) in Issaquah, Washington. When CPC’s Christian Education Committee decided to update the curriculum, adequate materials were scarce. “We found that most of it was glorified babysitting,” says Rich Loudon, church elder and director of Christian education. “If we were going to have the kids for an hour, we wanted to fill up their plates.”
So, using the pastor’s seminary study guide, Loudon and others created challenging courses that set the bar high for CPC youth. Today, from pre-kindergarten to second grade, students are “flooded with great stories and great heroes, and what God has done,” he explains. “At third and fourth grade, we start to ratchet
it up.” Before the children hit sixth grade, they can reel off the books of the Old and New Testaments and facts about each.
By the time students enter junior and senior high school, their classes change quarterly and include church history, prayer, Bible study, and world religions. “This year, the 11th and 12th graders will study Islam,” says Loudon.
Other churches have expressed interest in using CPC’s curriculum, especially its Old and New Testament surveys, but Loudon stresses that the church has an even higher goal than biblical literacy for CPC youth. “The reason you’re here,” he tells the Sunday school teachers, “is so that students know Jesus and experience his love. We’re not just filling up their heads.”
So what do some of CPC’s children find most memorable about the Bible? Response decided to ask.
What’s the Bible?
Rei (age 4): It’s God’s word. I’ve got one; it’s blue.
Jackson (age 4): It’s about people, and God takes care of them.
Jared (age 10): God gave it to us, so we can learn about him, and one part of it’s rules, kind of — like, saying you need to do this — and the other part of it is stories and stuff.
Hannah (age 15): It is a record of God’s faithfulness to his people throughout history, as well as a record of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
What do you learn from the Bible?
Jackson (age 4): You’ve got to read it to go to heaven.
Rebecca (age 4): That Jesus loves you.
Ian (age 7): Jesus is our savior.
Grace (age 8): To love our parents and obey them. And the Ten Commandments. They tell me what to do and what not to do.
James (age 10): We learn how to better serve God and how to treat other people and do daily living from a Christian’s point of view.
Lauren (age 16): We learn all that we need to live by. God tells us how we should treat each other, he encourages us and gives us faith, and tells stories of other believers and their faith in him.
What’s your favorite Bible story? Why?
Rebecca (age 4): When Mary had Jesus.
Spencer (age 5): The one about Job, because God healed him when he had nothing left.
Ian (age 7): The good shepherd who goes after the lost sheep.
It was lost and then found.
Jared (age 10): I like Noah. He says there’s going to be a flood, but no one believes him, and he makes an ark. Everyone laughs at him, and he gets two kinds of animals and it starts to rain, and everyone is, like, Ahhh! And then it rains for 40 days and when he sends out a pigeon … what was it? Yeah, a dove. It brings back an olive branch, and the water goes away, and then they go out, and there’s a rainbow.
James (age 10): I really like the book of Revelation, because it’s the only book that’s not telling about the past. I like that.
Hannah (age 15): My favorite Bible story is in Matthew when Jesus is eating with tax collectors and the Pharisees ask him what he’s doing, and he says, “I have not come to save the righteous but the sinners.” It’s so amazing that we don’t have to be good or attractive for Christ to love us!
Who’s your favorite person in the Bible? Why?
Jackson (age 4): I like Jonah. Jonah first didn’t obey God. He fell in the water, and he saw a big whale. The fish come up, and they try to bite you. You have to swim fast to get away from the fish.
Sophie (age 6): God. And Joseph. The shepherd one. I like him a lot.
Victoria (age 8): I like David and Goliath. And Moses, because God let the people go. He sent the Angel of Death to the pharaoh, and his son died. People who didn’t believe in him died, but the people who did, didn’t have the Angel of Death come in their house.
James (age 10): I’d have to say my favorite character is David, because he’s probably one of the most loyal people in the Bible. He’s loyal to God, and he’s good to learn off of, because he makes mistakes, and he also does great things.
— By Hope McPherson [firstname.lastname@example.org]
— Photos by Luke Rutan
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