Here is a thought-provoking question from Pastor John Piper:
Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you, or because, at the cost of his Son, he enables you to enjoy making much of him forever? (God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself, 2005, page 11)
Now think of asking this type of question to a 5-year-old and a 15-year-old. How might they answer? And, as a teacher, how might you guide a child in understanding its significance? How could this question be used to help get at the root of a biblical understanding about who God is and who we are in relation to Him? How does this question help us to rightly see the Gospel and its ultimate purpose?
Notice that Pastor Piper’s question does not negate the fact that God wants His people to feel loved and treasured by Him. Nor does it imply that it is wrong to express this sentiment to our children and also offer them appropriate praise and encouragement. But we must also be careful not to make these sentiments central in our teaching. That is why the opening question can serve as a helpful litmus-test, as it were, for us. Or to put it another way, we could ask…
Is what we teach and how we teach aiming our children toward a gloriously God-centered vision of God and ourselves?
And this is where it is helpful to get very practical. Because teaching in a God-centered way is a fine balance of the what and the how. For example, take the “what” you teach portion of the above question. It would be easy to assume that as long as we are teaching from the Bible our teaching will be God-centered, right? This is where the “how” we teach becomes really important. Watch Pastor David and Sally Michael as they give examples that illustrate the how of God-centered teaching.
Want dig deeper into what it means to be God-centered in all of life?
- Read or watch John Piper’s sermon, All Things Are from God, Through God, and To God: The Glory is All His here.
Join David and Sally Michael as they present a special pre-conference message, Foundations and Distinctions of a God-Centered Children’s Ministry on Thursday, May 2 at 12:30pm. See more on the CDG Conference.