12/87—How to Teach Babes & Teens! DO 2415
(Recently, Dad received a copy of a report by some Family members who are involved in an experimental ministry of teaching & training "delinquent" teens who got into trouble with the System. Although definitely "outsiders", the Family wound up working with & trying to help these wayward teens because they were committed by the authorities to our care, in the hope that we can help "reform" or "rehabilitate" them.
Although some of these teens have continued to have serious problems, the problem that most concerned the couple who has been caring for them is their apparent lack of hunger for the Word & desire to serve & please Jesus. The following are Dad's comments to this report, much of which is very helpful counsel for all shepherds & teachers who work with babes, teens, children etc.!:)
1. They're barely Babies in the Spirit, so you can't expect too much too fast.—Just be patient, like a Mom with a tiny Babe!
2. You could do much more with younger ones, Junior Highs.—Senior Highs are already hard to teach. Grade Schoolers eat out of your hand! 12–14 is the greatest "Age of Decision".—Later they harden & are hard to change. They've set the pattern & rarely change unless there's a miracle.—How about most of us?
3. A lack of hunger & desire for the Word shows they may not be truly born!—Sometimes kids'll pray with you just to please, but not really receive Jesus in their hearts. True Babes will be hungry!
4. Soak'm in milk—or only give'm milk "for Babes"! (They respond to affection, encouragement, love & patience.)—That's milk!
5. Remember, with no Christian culture, it's all totally foreign to them, so you have to start from scratch.—"In the Beginning!"—At least most of us had the background of a Christian culture, & some even a vague knowledge of the Word & Bible stories. These know nothing about God or Jesus or Creation or sin or Salvation! They don't even know what you mean!—You have to explain it all in terms they understand.—They believe in many gods, all evil spirits, & at least in the Spirit World & supernatural & miracles & prayers—even prophets & prophecies!
6. You must teach them this is all true, what they do believe, but there is one great good God Who is Creator & Ruler of All!—Ruler of both good & evil spirits‚ & He has a Son, Jesus, His Prince & King of Kings etc. The "Space Story" of the Space King I think would appeal to them & help make it simple.—Try it!—I used it on little heathen pagans in the U.S. & they loved it! —Ate it up & asked for more!—These are terms they understand. Find what they like & are interested in—like Space stories & the supernatural & the Future & Heaven & tell'm with animation & excitement:—Spellbind'm in the Spirit!—You'll fascinate'm! I know!—I had four of my own—& now two more!—And I taught Junior High's for years, & had to quit with'm begging for more!
7. This is how the Family all started!—With me & my teens telling stories—like Jesus did—to young teens at the Club!—With lotsa music, excitement & fellowship—Love!—And they loved it!—Never a dull moment!—Never be cut & dried & formal or boring or proper—do the unexpected!—Yell, jump, run, stand on your head‚ roll on the floor—whatever gets their attention!
8. Being sweet & quiet & religious will put'm to sleep!—I'm violent, loud, emotional, funny‚ simple, crazy, unconventional, an idol smasher, explosive‚ shocking, even scarey!—But I keep their attention!—They hardly ever take their eyes off me!—I'm in constant motion, & I move'm!—They laugh, they cry, they're shocked—but they never get bored!—Make it fun & exciting!
9. Don't just read Letters!—Even Bible stories can be more exciting!—Make'm exciting! —Get excited! Thrill'm! Chill'm! Love'm!—Act'm out! Rock the boat in the Storm! Jump in the water! (Off a chair!) Get swallowed by a whale! (Roll up in the rug or blanket!) Have it spit you out praising God!—Run to Ninevah!—Yell the warning! Have'm get on their knees & repent!—You can skit the whole thing yourself!—Or with a little help!—Amen?—They'll love it!
10. No dead dry doctrinal Bible or Letter studies for Babes!—They need fun & excitement!—Or they'll make their own with foolishness!—You be the Clown!
11. You need live wires for teachers!—Dry dead doctrine won't do it! Kids need action! Give it to'm!—Skits, animation‚ visuals, excitement, noise, action! They love it!—I know!—That's me! GBY! ILY!—D.