When a child in our ministry gets stuck on a tough question about the Bible, God, or Christianity in general, it can be tempting to stress the need for faith in the face of questions. It can be daunting to be asked questions that maybe even we haven’t considered for ourselves, or questions that don’t even appear to be that challenging to our faith, and we aren’t always going to have the answers on the spot that can satisfy the question being asked. So, here are a few quick bits of advice on what to do when you’re confronted by one of these deep questions.
Instead of rushing to assume what the question is, take your time to hear what the question is. It might not be as big or as tough as it first sounds. Ask a few clarifying questions as well and let the child know that they are being heard and that their questions are not only valid, but understood, and that questions are a part of the Christian faith!
Understand what is behind their questions
Questions aren’t always the product of doubts, and oftentimes there are deeper things hidden within even small questions like “how can I know that I’m really saved?” This is why listening is so important! If you listen well, you might be able to see a deeper meaning in the question and speak to the real heart of the issue instead of only superficially answering the curiosity of an inquisitive kid!
Make connections to the big picture narrative of God’s Word.
One easy thing to ask when fielding a tricky question is “how does this question affect my view of God?” What does the question have to do with the heart of God as reflected in Scripture? What does the message of the Gospel have to say about this question? Oftentimes, the question being asked can easily connect to the big picture of God’s Word.
Be honest about what you know and what you don’t know.
Honesty isn’t just a good idea, it’s one of the most important things to keep in mind when tough questions come up in our ministries. Exaggerating claims, or speaking without knowledge on a subject can set a child up for failure in the future when they find out that they were given bad info. Be honest and don’t be afraid to encourage them by saying, “That’s a really good question! I don’t have the answer to it, but now I want to know!”
Seek help from others who might and can bring a broader perspective.
When you don’t know the answer, go to a trusted source! Ask a pastor or a friend who knows about the question being asked. Christianity has a rich and long history of great minds that wrestled with the big questions of faith and we can learn so much today from each other and from the great Christian minds of the past. You may even find answers to your own questions as you start seeking out a deeper understanding of the Christian faith.