4 Ways Churches Can Teach Doctrine to Kids

One of the flaws of many church’s child-focused ministries is the failure to teach doctrine to children. It is somehow thought that doctrine and theology is important, but that kids just aren’t ready for it. Churches instead opt to teach Bible stories, character traits, and moral lessons. Certainly, these are needed, but without being rooted in doctrine and theology it lacks the foundation to lead to lasting change.

Here are several ways churches can teach doctrine to their kids.

1- Help children understand the doctrine in the songs they sing at church.

If your church utilizes doctrinally rich songs, children are already singing truth, but they might not be thinking through what they are singing. Throughout your weekly programs ask them about a certain song. See if they know what it means. If not, take some time to explain it. The next time they sing that song in church they will know the importance of its message.

2- Talk about the doctrinal truths in the stories that they already know.

If kids have spent any time in church at all they are probably familiar with many Bible stories. Each of these stories contain doctrinal truths or themes that are often not taught. Bring these up and discuss them. For instance, Noah and the ark is not just about the animals, the ark, and the flood. It is about God’s character, his hatred of sin, and his promise of deliverance. Teach truths, not just stories.

3- Encourage Parents to use the Jesus Storybook Bible with their children.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is a Children’s Bible written by Sally Lloyd-Jones. The goal of this Bible is to relate all of the stories it presents to the work of Jesus Christ. This helps children understand that all of the Bible fits together to present one main theme that is connected to one main person — Christ.

4- Don’t be afraid of developing or using a catechism. 

While catechisms have received some criticism in Baptist circles throughout the years, they can be a great help. No catechism replaces Scripture, but they can help children learn important truths in an organized fashion. Find a good one, and work through it with your kids.

We must be committed to helping our children learn doctrine. While there are many other ways in which to accomplish this, the above four ideas are a good place to start. Consider how your church can point kids to Christ by teaching doctrine.

5 Reasons Pastors Must Teach Doctrine

Biblical doctrine is at the core of the Christian faith. Throughout the centuries, the Church has used creeds and catechisms to teach doctrine. The concern was not on felt needs, but on core biblical truths. As the church has moved away from a focus on doctrine, its purity has lessened, its witness has weakened, and its impact for eternity has diminished. The key to regaining strength in our churches is to refocus our attention on biblical doctrine. Here are 5 reasons you, as a pastor, should be committed to teaching doctrine.

1- It is the foundation for Christian living.

Doctrine provides the foundation for Christian living. That is why in many of Paul’s writings such as Romans and Ephesians, the first half of the book is doctrinal and the second half is practical – focused on Christian living. When people are not taught doctrine, they miss out on the basis for correct living.

2- It enables our people to refute error.

The best way to guard against false doctrine is to consistently teach true doctrine. We live in a world that is filled with a plethora of cults and religions, each desiring to add people to their belief system. We will never be able to refute error unless we are first grounded in truth.

It is not enough to simply know what we believe; we also need to know why we believe. That requires that we teach doctrine.

3- We are commanded to teach doctrine.

The Bible commands pastors to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2). Imbedded in this command is the idea of preaching and teaching all of God’s Word, not just the parts we find easy or interesting. If we refuse to teach doctrine, we will end up ignoring much of Scripture.

4- It is through doctrine that we learn about God.

Doctrine points us directly to God. The more we study doctrine, the more we learn about the nature and character of God, the depth of human sinfulness, and the glory of God’s grace as demonstrated through Christ. Simply preaching to felt needs does not ultimately take us to the nature of who God is.

5- It helps lead to healthy churches.

Preaching and teaching doctrine will help our churches be healthier. Why? The church is the gospel made visible. As such, we need to understand the doctrine at the core of the gospel. The better we understand doctrine, the more clearly we can manifest the realities of the gospel through the life of the local church.

Be committed to teaching and preaching doctrine and you will see many benefits in your church.