Monday, March 30, 2009

Building a Firm Foundation

New Series I'm starting called "What I'm Teaching." I know it won't interest all my readers, especially the ones who just want Grace and Josiah! But hopefully will be interesting to some.

I've taught "Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ" to sixth graders at HOPAC for 3 years. I also taught the same curriculum to 5th graders during our first term.
(Last year's sixth graders )

I first heard this curriculum taught by my mom when I was helping at a Saturday Kids' Club when I was in high school. I was dumbfounded. I was a teenager, had been to Sunday School and Christian School my whole life, and I was learning things right along with the kids! The best thing about this curriculum is that it seeks to give continuity to all of Scripture. It's not just a series of stories; it shows how the Bible is a story: one story that is totally connected. Did you know that God put in a promise for the Messiah when he cursed Satan in Genesis 3? Do you know how the 10 Commandments and the Tabernacle relate to Jesus and our lives? Have you heard about all the echoes of Jesus throughout the Old Testament? Hopefully you have. But children are often taught the Bible (especially the OT) as a series of disconnected stories that have a moral meaning.

This curriculum is published by New Tribes Mission, an organization that serves tribal people in very isolated settings. They found that they couldn't just go in and "share the gospel" with people who had no concept of who God is and who had never heard of a Bible. They realized that they had to start at the beginning.

What's interesting is that most of the people in the world today fit into the same category--no longer do people, even from "Christian" nations, have any pre-conception about what the Bible teaches. Thus, I believe that teaching this series is one of the best ways to share the gospel with anyone--from any country, from any background. Most of our co-workers here in Tanzania are using the adult version of this curriculum with the people they are trying to reach.

One final note:

I found this fantastic Bible storybook that has the same concept: showing how all the stories in the Bible are really just foreshadows of Jesus. It is very well-written, entertaining, creative, and has beautiful illustrations. We've been reading through it with Grace, and it's a little over her head, but she still loves it. Highly recommended!
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