A Lost Art

Jeff Sandstrom

Why do many children who accept Christ before the age of twelve drop out during their teenage years? Some people chalk it up to peer pressure, teenage rebellion, etc. But what really happens at age twelve? Finding out what takes place when a student graduates from Children’s ministry to Jr. High ministry reveals something interesting…at age twelve, we stop telling Bible stories.

We go into the “deeper things” of scripture.

We talk about doctrine, relationships, ethics, etc.

They say: “It’s important that we don’t treat teenagers like children.”

But stories are not just for children…

Seventy-five percent of the Bible is written in story format.

Fifteen percent of the Bible is a form of poetry.

Only 10 percent of the Bible is analytical reasoning.

Some people believe God had written most scriptures in story form to make it easier to learn and share.

In churches all across America, many pastors come to find out just how little most of their people know about the Bible. I know that was true for me. It took years of me pretending that I was keeping up with what the pastor was saying; proof-texting, cross-referencing, using scripture to illustrate scripture…I was lost.

So as a new believer or someone who isn’t well versed (pun) in the Bible, it can be daunting to pretend you know what’s going on and not ask questions because you don’t want to seem stupid or unspiritual. When people come to the Lord, many fear being outsiders and not knowing everything that you know.

Even after years of church involvement and hundreds of sermons, people typically understand doctrine, theology, Christian ethics, and proper relationships. What they don’t know are the stories of the Bible.

Preaching based on sound reasoning helps people form good doctrine.

Knowing the stories of the Bible helps people make good decisions.

Doctrine is only as good as the God-breathed stories that support them.

Good doctrine is great but worthless if it is not transferred to making wise decisions in life.