In our new book, Resilient: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church, we detail our philosophy behind resilient child discipleship: belong, believe, become. Or, as we refer to them in acronym form, “The 3Bs,” which we recently explained in detail on a recent episode of the Resilient Disciples Podcast.
The excerpt below comes from Chapter 10 of Resilient, in which Awana VP of Partner Solutions, Chris Marchand, dives into the biblical basis behind becoming, which we define as “Truly experiential ministry, designed to move kids from simulation to real-world application of faith-based living.”
Paul expresses the idea of becoming to the believers in Corinth. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Paul also expresses a similar idea to the church in Rome. Paul says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2, NIV).”
In the Scriptures, there is an expectation that every believer is in the process of becoming. There is a divine metamorphosis and a transformation that occurs as each experiential moment of our sanctification helps to refine us into a perfect image of Jesus.
That’s why Jesus sent His disciples out of the classroom and into the world. The Christian life and every believer’s becoming is more than the culmination of countless hours of theory and simulation. It must be balanced by daily practice in the context of reality. The disciples needed to experience it. They needed to see, first hand the power of Christ.
Luke 10:1-23 shows us an example of the methodology of Christ. Jesus believed in getting outside of a simulation environment. Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples in pairs of two to each of the places that He was about to go. He gives them specific instructions to guide their habits and behavior. When they returned, they were filled with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”
But, Jesus corrected their observation and amplified their thinking by saying, “He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (NIV).” This experience is a valuable teachable moment between the disciples and Jesus. That’s how God does some of His best and most memorable work in the lives of people. From the belly of a great fish (Jonah 1:17), to a burning bush (Exodus 3), to the seventy-two disciples being sent out.
Each one of us is in the process of becoming and is the result of countless divine appointments and experiences carefully and masterfully crafted by our Lord (Philippians 2:13).