This post was originally published at jcisonline.com.
Last night at our Switch C-Groups I let my 6th grade boys know that we would be talking about some questions that they had over the next few weeks. These questions are about faith, the Bible, God, and Jesus. So it will be a good opportunity to ask and see if we can figure some things out together.
Tweens are beginning to be at the point where they want to see if there faith is real and also they want to begin to make their own decisions. With all that is going on in the adolescent brain, it’s a wonder they don’t just burst into these questions all the time. Providing an environment where our preteen students can feel safe asking questions about faith is essential.
But I was still surprised by the interest of the boys when I let them know we would be questioning some things. They were so pumped and interested. In fact one of our students was ready to go from the onset of me saying that questions were welcome. His question:
How can we trust the Bible is real and not some children’s book from long ago?
I love the authenticity that this question brings to light. This particular student has been asking questions for the last 2 years. He wants to know, but also has asked some people that have a different worldview than ours. It’s important to embrace the fact that this student wants to know that his faith can be trusted and that he can test it. So we talked about that for a little while last night and then we talked about Baptism.
But why open it up? Aren’t you going to receive a ton of stuff that these preteens have probably never heard before?
When it comes to tweens and questions, try to remember a few things:
- Questions produce a stronger faith. There should be no reason that faith can’t be questioned. And a quote that I pulled from Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg is this: Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.—Miguel de Unamuno
- Widen the Circle – We want to add to the number of influencers in our students’ lives. Who is helping you answer your preteen’s questions? (Small Group Leader, Teacher, Other parent, etc.)
- Validate their questions. If we don’t someone will.
- Model a challenging faith. A faith modeled is better than a faith known. Model trumps knowledge. Show your kids how faith is real.
- Pray for your preteen to pursue Christ rather than just knowledge. I believe that knowledge can lead to some faith reformation, but not always. Pray for your student’s heart and their pursuit of God.