After my class Sunday (one thing we’d talked about was telling stories to our children, how to make the Bible story come to life) a mom said, “Here’s a situation for you. My six-year-old loves stories…loves to read…and I read to her, tell her stories, but one time when I said it was time for a Bible story, she said, ‘No, I want to do a fun story.'”
Well, a few thoughts about that:
First, an initial response might be that we’d like to make the Bible fun. In fact, some of the most popular children’s ministries in churches today want to make Sunday the funnest, most exciting hour of the week. Ought we to make the Bible particularly “fun” for children?
Second, I wonder if the response to the child’s comment should have more to do with our attitude toward Scripture. What do we as adults think of Scripture? Do we seek the words of God? Are we thirsty for it and consider it food and drink and power and life (adult version of fun!)?
Third, to create interest and “fun,” we ought to tell Bible stories the way we do with other stories: with suspense and more detailed and authentic story development than many of our children’s Bibles and our own telling often does. We often sanitize Bible stories, try to wrap each story up in a bow, rather than telling cliffhanger stories of suspense and intrigue like we do with fables and fairy tales. How often do we end our Bible stories with, “Well, we’ll see what happened at the top of Mt. Sinai tomorrow!” to which the children cry, “NO! Tell us more!”