Two weeks ago, at our Welcome Back Sunday event, we invited some of the children of City Church to watch a short animated film entitled, The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden. This film is based off of a book of the same title written by Kevin DeYoung. The Biggest Story, through beautiful language and vivid illustrations, seeks to envelope us in the story of God’s redemption from the very beginning, all the way to the new beginning, where God will restore all things. God’s story of redemption tells of his unfailing faithfulness in spite of our frequent faithlessness.
It was a wonderful time with your children—watching their eyes grow wide, seeing them caught up in the story of how all things began very good, how sin had permeated all of God’s creation, and yet how God fulfilled and will continue to fulfill his promise to vanquish sin through Christ until the day when he makes all things very good once again. It was a time where I was reminded that we are wired to be a part of something greater than ourselves. We are wired for story and we will give ourselves, again and again, to that which captures our imaginations and fulfills out longings.
All too often we try to take the pulse of the Christian life by asking the question, “What do we know?” In reality, the heartbeat of the Christian life is, “What do we love?” Gospel growth does indeed involve learning things and thinking deeply, but we must be growing in our affection for Jesus. How do we do that? We must realize that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves, that we are wrapped up in the wonderful story of God’s redemption. This is what we aim to do in Children’s Ministry at City Church. Yes, we want kids to know things, we want them to be able to articulate things about God…but more importantly, we want them to love Jesus and to rest in Jesus’ love for them.
A French writer and adventurer once wisely said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
I believe that our screening and subsequent discussion of The Biggest Story helped our children see that they are part of something (really, someone) immense and vast. I would encourage you to ask your children more about the film, by using the questions found here. Our curriculum at City Church this year, and every year, seeks to place kids right in the midst of God’s wonderful story. We strive to teach them that they are loved beyond measure, and that they can live out of this love as actors in God’s redemptive plans.
Note: I started to meditate upon these themes once I read James K. A. Smith’s wonderful book You Are What You Love. I highly commend it to you.