Last night at AWANA, it was my turn (and great privilege) to give the “counsel time” message. The counsel time message is a very short “sermonette” that we give to the clubbers. Our leader for the Truth and Training section (which is the 3rd – 6th graders) wanted some of us leaders to take some of the verses that the clubbers are memorizing and expound on their meaning so that the clubbers will know what they are memorizing and will not just be memorizing words.
The leader split up the group into 3rd-4th grade and 5th-6th grade. I was given the task of teaching to the 3rd and 4th grade kids. One verse that AWANA clubbers memorize starting in 3rd grade is John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” As I hear the kids recite the verse, I often ask them if they know what it means – particularly the phrase “the Word”. Almost unanimously, they are not able to explain it, or give the incorrect explanation. Because of this confusion, I decided that my teaching would focus on that verse.
So, I created a power point presentation to help guide the teaching Here are the 18 slides I used:
It was a great session! It lasted about 15 minutes and there was a ton of interaction and excitement from the kids. I was so encouraged to see them eager to learn about this important topic.
There was even an opportunity to get into a little bit of apologetics. One 9 year old 4th grader in the front had a very hard time wondering “who made God?” This is not the first time I’ve heard this objection from a 4th or 5th grader. I told the kids that no one made God, but that God is eternal – He has no beginning and will have no end – He just is. She didn’t understand how God could just be. I tried to explain how it is difficult for us to understand the concept of eternity since we are living in time. But if you think about it, something must’ve always existed and it is God that always existed (the uncaused first Cause or “prime Mover”, which was a concept advanced by Aristotle). The AWANA leader interjected that there are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand, but we just have to have faith, because it is in God’s word. I wanted to make sure that the kids know that it is okay to ask questions and that there are good answers available. I know that at this age (8-10), kids have a hard time grappling with abstract concepts like this – they are much better with concrete concepts, but they are memorizing this verse, so I thought it was important that they know what it means. The girl ended up saying “I’m just going to ask Jesus when I get to heaven”. I love that answer!