BE BOLD is built on real questions asked by real preteens, and sometimes kids ask those questions because they haven’t heard a satisfying answer yet. And sometimes your best answer just isn’t enough.
BE BOLD is designed to help you and the kids go deeper, and moments when kids don’t like what the Bible has to say are great opportunities to do just that. It gives you a chance to model a healthy approach to grappling with troublesome questions…and troublesome answers.
When your kids push back or react negatively to an answer, especially one from the Bible itself, dig into why they’re reacting that way. You might ask, “Why do you feel so strongly about that? I wonder why this is so important to you?”
For example, let’s say you have a child who won’t participate in worship with the rest of your group. Instead of forcing the child to engage, take a moment to ask why. “I’m curious, what is it about our worship time that bothers you?” Affirm them, and don’t punish them.
It can be helpful to share your own experience. Everyone has things about the Bible that they don’t understand or are uncomfortable with, so you can use your own brief story as a time when you had to ask God to help you understand…and trust God more when you didn’t.
The primary goal of situations like this is to be relational. The kids need to feel they can trust you with their thoughts and struggles, even when—especially when—they’re not ready to agree with what they’re hearing in the lesson. Remember, it’s often not the answer itself, but what’s going on underneath the surface where you’ll find the true heart of the matter.
And remember, the areas where we struggle the most with what the Bible says are the areas where we have the most opportunity to grow in our faith. That’s a great thing to model for your preteens.