iBelieve is a resource for helping kids learn, own, and live the Pentecostal faith.
Spirit-filled parents and church leaders want their children to know and understand the answers to questions like these:
• How can you receive the gift of salvation?
• What is sanctification?
• How can speaking in tongues help you?
• What did Jesus do so you could be healed?
Historically, a set of religious questions and answers is known as a catechism. Since Pentecostal churches have traditionally not used a catechism as part of their discipleship of children, iBelieve is distinctive. Its purpose is to help parents and church leaders pass on the story of faith to the next generation.
John R. Harris Jr., originator of this catechism and author of its Pentecostal Manual for Church and Home, said, “The use of a catechism gives children the opportunity to learn the doctrine of the church and help with living out that doctrine as they engage God. In a postmodern culture filled with pluralism and individualism, this is especially necessary. We want our children to make a difference in the world by being deeply rooted in the Christian faith. In order for that to happen, they must have a clear understanding of the God who is revealed in Scripture so they can then live out their life with assurance and confidence.”
Tony P. Lane, international coordinator of discipleship and children’s ministries for the Church of God said, “For many years, I have made the plea for a Pentecostal catechism as a basis for children’s discipleship. As a fifth-generation Pentecostal, I am greatly concerned that the next generation knows what they believe and why they believe it. The iBelieve project for children and families is one of the most important resources made available to the Pentecostal church! If we are to perpetuate the Pentecostal faith, we must disciple our children, so ‘that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born’ (Psalm 78:6 NASB).”
Five components make up iBelieve:
• Pentecostal Discipleship Manual for the Church and Home by John R. Harris Jr.: Scriptural guidelines and practical pointers helping parents and the church work together to grow Pentecostal kids
• iBelieve Discipleship Lessons by Lance Colkmire: Twenty-three creative lessons leading children through the catechism. A variety of methods—games, crafts, skits, object lessons, hands-on experiences, prayer—help kids interact with and apply the Scriptures.
• iBelieve Family Activity Cards by Shelia Stewart: Twenty-three cards—corresponding with Discipleship Lessons—packed with activities enabling parents to explore the iBelieve catechism with their children
• 103 Questions for Young Disciples: Student booklet for use with the Discipleship Lessons
• iBelieve Questions And Answers—Pocket booklet containing the catechism; an easy reference tool for parents and leaders
Visit the Church of God Resource Center at the upcoming Church of God General Assembly in Orlando to see iBelieve on display. Or visit www.pathwaypress.org.
By Lance Colkmire, editor, Church of God Evangel.