We Must Be Bad News Teachers


Before we can understand who God is and what he has done, we’ve got to see our sin. That’s the only way we can see how costly his grace is.

Early on in my ministry when I was leading a children's ministry at another church , I evaluated and changed our curriculum. The old curriculum was lacking in several areas and a change was needed. One teacher in the preschool area was very unhappy about the change. I asked her why she was not a fan. Her response was interesting.

She explained the curriculum started out well enough by teaching about creation. “But,” she said, “it quickly went downhill, because all the following lessons talked about sin…..the sin of Adam and Eve, the sin of Cain killing Abel and Noah and the flood…” I was surprised by her response, and I asked her,  “Isn’t that the Bible?” Her response was, “Well yeah, but it is so negative. I mean Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and Noah…...all the sin. It’s so negative for kids to hear.” Taken aback by her observation I responded, “You are right. In fact, I think it is negative for adults to hear. Sin has to be part of the conversation if we are to see our great need for Jesus.”

Sin is negative. Sin is bad, bad news! That is why the gospel is such good news. Kids, like adults, need to hear about our sin. Kids know that they do wrong, but they need to understand how great an offense our sin is against a holy and loving God. Parents must address not only their child’s behavior, but to delve into the underlying issues of the heart. They need to help their child understand we all have a sinful nature, just like the people read about in the Bible, and we need Jesus. Our kids need Jesus!

What has been your experience teaching kids about sin?