Help your students habitually connect God’s world and Word

Question: What is vital in Christian education?Bible

Answer: It’s vital to help students be people who love God and live for Him. It’s vital to help students be people who live out a Christian worldview as they love their neighbors, care for God’s creation, share the Gospel, and participate in the Church. It’s vital for students to be people of God, to be people of love, truth, peace, justice, and mercy.

Question: So, how important is it for students to connect God’s world and Word?

Answer: It’s vital. It’s vital because connecting God’s world and Word helps students love God, live for Him, follow His commands, and be His people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students face and are going to face challenges in all aspects of life. It’s vital that they habitually connect the Bible to everything!what they learn, challenges at work, difficult family situations, everything.

If students don’t habitually connect the part of God’s world they study and God’s Word, they’re more likely to separate God from His creation, to separate Sunday from Monday. If they don’t make connections, they’re more likely to have trouble living out their faith in the real world. If they don’t make connections between God’s world and Word, they’re going to struggle to be God’s people 24/7.

Here’s a real story that describes what I don’t want to see happen: A high school student talks with her English teacher about a book she has read. The teacher asks, “What is the theme of the book?” The student says, “It’s about friendship and how giving your life for someone is the ultimate act of love.” The teacher responds, “What’s a biblical perspective of the book?” And the student says, “The book didn’t talk about God, so I don’t think there’s a biblical perspective.”

So let me ask you 3 questions to help you reflect on the importance of helping students habitually connect God’s world and Word:

1. How important is it for your students to connect what they study to biblical principles? Here are some sample principles:

  • God wants us to seek to get along with others (Matt. 7.12, 2 Tim. 2.5).
  • Respect whatever is praiseworthy (Phil. 4.8).
  • God calls us to join Him in His work of restoration (Mic. 6.8, Isa. 1.17, Jer. 22.16, Hosea 6.6).

What happens if your students don’t connect what they study to biblical principles?

2. How important is it for your students to be able to think through questions like the following:

  • What’s God’s purpose for ___?
  • What’s wrong?
  • What’s the balance between mercy and justice?
  • What’s success?

What happens if your students can’t think through these questions?

3. How important is it for your students to not believe the following:

  • “Connecting what I study and what the Bible teaches is not important.”
  • “The Bible doesn’t connect to what I study at school.”

What happens if your students believe things like these?


Cry, the BelovedHere’s an example of a 10th grader connecting Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country and biblical shalom:

Genesis 1 describes the perfect creation God had made in the beginning….However, as man marred his image of God through sin, the relationships between God and man, God and creation, and man and creation were broken…. Romans 8.21 expresses the hope for this restoration…. This concept of biblical shalom is elucidated by Alan Paton’s book…. Beginning with Stephen Kumalo, one finds the broken relationship between God and man and creation in the tribe, and through much adversity and sorrow, Kumalo attempts to build shalom by restoring the broken relationships.


Take action: Analyze and explain the importance of helping students connect God’s world and Word. You can do this by importance discussing this reading and by explaining to 2 colleagues about the content of this article.

Michael Essenburg
School Improvement Coordinator
Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ)


Today’s OnPractice is an excerpt from a larger curriculum called Help Students Connect God’s World and Word published in 2010 by Michael Essenburg and closethegapnow (www.closethegapnow.org).   Michael will be a regular contributor to OnPractice.  If you are interested in learning more about this material, feel free to contact Michael directly at mbessenburg@caj.or.jp.

Photo Credits:  Bible. rykneethling. http://www.flickr.com/photos/48946094@N04/4543060842