For years I have explored the idea of creating material for kids that taught them critical thinking skills. While living in England in 1995, I was given a chance to make a Bible presentation to the local middle school students during one of their morning assemblies. That gave me the chance to try and create something that had been swirling around in my head for a long time. That opportunity birthed the first of a series of “You Decide” presentations. I began the presentation by telling the children, “You are a Scientist. You must decide which came first; The Chicken or the Egg.” The excitement that was generated in the hall that day sparked a passion in me to prepare this young generation of future adults with a skill that was not, in my estimation, being taught.
Over the years of ministry partnership with Chuck Missler, I have witnessed the benefit of not just teaching people the Bible but also teaching them how to learn for themselves. The motto of Acts 17:11 stands as a core belief and practice within Koinonia House. Therefore, teaching people how to think is as important as teaching them what to think.
Lessons from the Lockdown
During the months of forced isolation during the first half of the year here in New Zealand, my wife and I had plenty of time for reflection and vision casting. The lingering desire to further develop materials for kids was once again rekindled. By the time we came out of lockdown, we were ready to get active within our local community. One of the first opportunities that presented itself was for us to start a regular Bible study at the River Lodge on Friday nights. After the first night‚s study, a lady from the local community approached me to offer her heartfelt thanks for providing her with the teaching she‚d “been looking for her whole life.” She then went on to ask me if I could also do something for the children. I believe that this simple request to me was like hearing directly from God. “Of course we can,” I replied. That put in motion a week of prayer and preparation for the first-ever K-House Kid‚s Club here in New Zealand.
We started with a slightly updated version of my “You are a Scientist. You must decide which came first; The Chicken or the Egg” presentation. With the use of some PowerPoint slides and animation, it went better than I expected. I‚m not sure who loved it the most: the children or me, but it provided an outlet to create a resource that might even be of benefit to others. At the time of writing this article, I have created 11 sessions that build on each other from week to week.
During this recent journey, I have once again discovered that children are very perceptive and can comprehend some very complicated concepts. By using these simple presentations, I have introduced them to the four main philosophical arguments for the existence of God. The Ontological Argument (proving the existence of God through logic), the Cosmological Argument (proving the existence of God through the First Cause Argument), the Teleological Argument (proving the existence of God by showing both design and purpose in the universe), and the Moral Argument (proving the existence of God through the presences of a moral compass in all mankind).
Although it is important to emphasize that the process of this curriculum development is in its early stages, I trust that by God‚s grace and inspiration, we will be able to formally offer this material to our wider K-House family soon. At the moment, I am simply using public domain clipart from the internet. Therefore, a lot of the continuity of the message is carried by me as I tell the stories and challenging the children. Personal interaction with the children is very important. Amazingly, our group, which ranges from 3 to 13 years old, all seem to work together as one big friendly family. Another interesting facet is that we require the parents of the children to attend and participate in the lessons. This is no drop-your-child-off Sunday School service. Therefore, everyone is getting the same input, and the parents can carry on the exploration and experience in their own homes.
Ron Masten teaches K-House Kid’s Club on Sunday morning, at the River Lodge, New Zealand.
A Call to Action
With all that is going on in the world right now, I believe the children of today will face a world as adults that most of us cannot even imagine. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Preparing our children, our grandchildren, and any other children we can reach out to, should be a top priority in our life.
May I ask all of you to keep us in your prayers as we continue to develop and refine these materials?