Today I want to share a method to unleash your children’s creativity to help them draw deeper into their discipleship and understanding of the gospel. With me this week is James Harvey, one of the authors of the book Draw Disciples. The concept of the book is teaching people stories of the Bible through stick figure drawings. As you start looking at the details of this book, you start to see pictures of the stories come to life. Today’s podcast is a conversation with James that goes into discipleship and world missions, in addition to being helpful and practical. The method we discuss is something you can do with your kids that will help them stay engaged and understand the Bible a little better.
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James Harvey grew up as a missionary kid in several countries around the world. He is a pastor and the founder of a non-profit ministry called Blazing Trees. James is passionate about serving leaders and their teams and his greatest joy is encouraging and journeying with leaders through changing life seasons and spiritual warfare.
A difficulty in world missions is trying to get resources that people, who can’t read or write, can understand. Drawings have been found to be one of the best and easiest methods that allow people to understand gospel stories. Drawing meets the need for discipleship. The resource for discipleship in churches, wherever they are, is going to be the Holy Spirit helping us to understand the Word of God. These drawings meet that need of raising indigenous disciples. The key to sustaining that is discipleship and the Word of God. That’s what has been so amazing about the drawings-they not only help us equip people, but you can also have someone read a bible story then give them paper and pen and ask these people to do their own indigenous drawings based on the story.
We need to realize as parents that we are the chief disciple-makers in our house. We need to make disciples that make disciples. The majority of people who come to Christ do so as children. It is natural for little kids to like to doodle and be creative with this stuff. This is a great tool, where you can read the story and have them draw out what they heard and explain it. What an incredible disciple model this is! If you’ll free up your children to do this, how much more discipleship you’ll get.
Recommendations for parents on how to start this:
Step 1. Make sure that your family is praying together. Remember that this is an ongoing companionship with the Holy Spirit. Prayer is the key to all these things. It’s not the drawings and the Bible storytelling.
Step 2. It’s a discovery with your family about what you want to study in scripture. Ask your kids what they are interested in. Then open the Bible and make sure everyone has a piece of paper. It’s a matter of reading the stories aloud and telling everyone to draw the stories.
Step 3. Have your kids tell you the story in their own words, using their own drawings. You take your children from being receivers of God’s word to being teachers of it. Through this you can gauge their understanding.
Jesus was a master storyteller and most of us learn through stories. Ninety percent of the Bible can easily be drawn. Think of the richness you would learn as a family if you committed to spending a year reading the stories and using the creativity God has given us to explore them.
This is helpful for children, but it goes much deeper than discipling a child. Here are other things to know about the book:
There’s no reason to go through these resources if we don’t have a personal relationship with Christ. Discipleship flows from worship. If anyone is going through our Draw Disciples book, my goal for them is not to become a storyteller. My goal with them is to dive deeply into who is the Father, who is the Son, who is the Spirit, and who am I in Him. We have twenty lessons in the book and the first half are all about who God is and who am I in Him. Then, it flows into basic disciple-making.
I challenge parents to take these steps and apply it in your life and in your children’s lives and see what the Holy Spirit does in your family’s life.