Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Context Questions For Inductive Bible Study

photo by Stefan Baudy

It’s easy to assume too much with our children sometimes, thinking they understand certain things just because it’s so obvious to us. After all, it’s right there in black and white. Then we find out, usually at an inopportune moment that, not only does our child not understand, they don’t have a clue.

Asking contextual questions is a good way to make sure your child understands what he’s just read. If he’s school-age, this will not be a foreign concept to him, yet this is inherent with the inductive study method.

You don’t have to ask each and every question in the list, and it’s not mandatory that your child answer each one 100% correctly. The questions merely provide a framework for gauging your child’s comprehension, while at the same time supplying you with teaching points for guiding discussion.

After reading a passage together, ask any of these questions of your child/ren:

1. Who? - Who is speaking or writing? Who is this about? Who are the main characters? To whom is this being addressed?
* You may need to go to a study Bible or in the front of the book you’re reading (for instance, the first page of the Book of Romans) to answer some of these questions. It’s good to do this together with your child since it teaches him how to look it up for himself.

2. What? - What is the subject? What is happening? What instructions are given?
* Ask your child to describe in his own words what he thinks is going on in the passage. It’s not necessary for him to recite every detail, but see if he gets the general gist of it. If you think he missed an important highlight guide him toward remembering it on his own. Otherwise, just tell him. You’ll probably get an “oh, yeah” from him as his recall kicks in.

3. When? - When do or will the events occur? When did or will something happen to a particular person, group of people or nation?
* You’re looking for a general idea of when something is taking place relative to events around it. If you look at the passage or chapter either just before or just after, you’re likely to get clues as to when the passage you just read takes place.

4. Where? - Where did or will this happen? Where was it said?
* The passage where Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables took place in the temple courtyard, in Jerusalem, in Israel, which is in the Middle East, on the eastern side of the Mediterranean. The maps in the back of many Bibles are most helpful for this.

5. Why? - Why is something being said? Why did it happen? Why at this time? Why to this person, group of people or nation?
* Look within the context of the preceding/following passage/chapter to get clues. Don’t be afraid to make your child work for the answer, gently guiding him through the possible reasons for why something was said or done.

6. How? - How will it happen? How is it to be done? How is it illustrated?
* This may be trickier to answer, depending on the passage, but often clues of prophecy are included in the answer to this question.

Use these questions after reading from different translations to assure your child's comprehending of the passage. Depending on your child's age and attention span you can either go on to deeper questions, which we'll cover in the next article, or save those questions for the next day.


Donna Perugini said...

Hello, Deb: I taught children's ministry for over 30 years. During that time, I came to know the parents of the children very well. I'd give 'altar calls' when I taught and would be surprised every time a hand went up of one of the children of my friends. It's a common thought process that if the parents know the Lord then so do the kids. Keep on reaching out to the parents...they need to be taught too!

Deb Burton said...

Donna, thanks for sharing your experience and insight. Statistics show that somewhere around 85% of children from evangelical homes walk away from their parents' faith when they leave home for college or work. We can't assume that just because our kids go to church with us, attend Sunday School and participate in mission trips or summer camps that they have a saving relationship with the Lord. That's too dangerous an assumption!

As long as the Lord gives me inspiration for articles, I'll keep posting. Thanks for the encouragement!

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Deb Burton said...

Thanks for your ecouragement, Marry!

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