I love working with kids. They are fun to be around, they are more innocent and less jaded than adults, and they are very smart. I get the impression that some believe that teenagers and children cannot grasp deep concepts, and so everything should just be kept at the surface. I could not disagree more, especially with older kids and teenagers.
Kids also have a lot of questions. If you didn’t know that, try driving in a car for a couple of hours with a kid (that you have the legal right and relationship to take away for a couple of hours). Take away the cell phones and game systems and let the kid go to work. He’ll ask you questions about things you didn’t even know were on his radar. And so, every time I teach the 4th and 5th grade class at church, I always leave time to ask me any question they want to know about God or the Bible.
Two months ago, I was asked a question I get asked a lot. How could Jesus be God and the Son of God? It’s really a question about the Trinity, which is a hard concept to grasp, and one that no adult on this earth fully understands. So how do I answer the kid? Well, I walked over to the chalkboard wall and began to explain it the best I could, drawing the picture above. It seemed like a lot of them understood it, but it’s always hard to tell. And, even if they did get it, I knew I would be asked again soon enough, because it’s a common question in there.
Two weeks ago, I ended up teaching JV Reach again, and at the end, I opened it for questions. Sure enough, a young boy asked how Jesus could be God and the Son of God, so I turned to walk to the chalkboard wall to start all over again. Just as I was picking up the chalk, I heard a girl named Megan say, “It’s Elohim, right?” I turned in awe and asked her to repeat it, just to make sure I had heard her right, and I had. I asked her if she could continue explaining it, and she said, “Elohim is the Hebrew name for God, and because it ends in -im, we know it’s a singular and plural. He’s one God, which is singular, but there are different parts to Him, which also makes Him plural. It’s like a herd. It’s one herd, which is singular, but there could be a lot of sheep in the herd, which also makes it plural.”
She’s 10, and she just repeated back to me what I had taught her several weeks ago, seemingly understanding a concept that is difficult for many adults. She’s smarter than someone who doesn’t work with kids might expect. But I expect it. I know they’re smart. I know they think deeply and will ask me deep questions, so I have to be ready for them.