Guest Blog: Discipleship Training for a new generation

Today’s guest blog is from our friend Melissa, a self-proclaimed “What’s in the Bible? evangelist”:

I consider myself to be a “What’s in the Bible?” evangelist.  Why, you might ask?  Well, their names are AJ and Joanna and they’re 3.5 and 1.5.

You see, when I was a kid, the Southern Baptist church where I grew up used the standard set of SB curricula which was split into three primary parts – Sunday School where we learned Bible stories and values; Mission Friends/GAs/RAs where we learned about putting our faith into practice through evangelism, service, and missions; and Discipleship Training (or School of Disciples) where we learned about church history, the over-arching themes of the Bible, the layout of the Bible, and why we believe what we believe.

Even when I was a child, DT was fading away.  I believe it ended at our church when I graduated into the youth group and my mom lost her vested interest in teaching it.  Since then, the church as a whole has shifted its focus to becoming more “seeker-sensitive.”  Even the missions organizations at our church have become more like Sunday School and less about learning to serve others.

As this shift has taken place, we have raised a generation of children who know the stories and the values of Christianity – they know about worship and sometimes about fellowship – but very few know why they should believe or practice these things.  Even fewer know the history of how we got to where we are as a church.  We no longer know about Christian figures in the past and why what they did was important or extraordinary.  And as a result, our children are leaving the church in record numbers.

Well, if VeggieTales is “Sunday morning values…,” then What’s in the Bible? is Discipleship Training – set to great music, with memorable characters, and a whole lot of fun.  When we get into the car, the first CD requested is our What’s in the Bible? CD – and everyone sings along, even Joanna.  AJ knew probably 100 nouns by the time he was 20 months old.  Joanna’s more of a “phrase” girl, not so much with the nouns.  So how precious is it to be driving and have the only decipherable words from her be “the Bah-ble…the Bah-ble…?”  And how much fun will it be when AJ understands the irony of “Genesis begins it all, and appropriately it’s at the beginning of the Bible…” when he sings those words (yes, he sings every, single word of every, single song!)?

I had the privilege of meeting Phil at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) convention a few weeks ago (Phil, I was the geek who showed up half an hour early to your talk just because I was so excited about meeting you!), and now I’m even more confident that What’s in the Bible? (and JellyTelly – another family favorite) will continue to be quality entertainment, but fulfilling an awesome purpose – helping us teach our children what we believe and why, among other things.

And to all my friends out there, you can expect to continue receiving What’s in the Bible? DVDs for every birthday party we attend!

Melissa Jones is wife to Ryan, mom to AJ and Joanna, a real, live, part-time “rocket scientist,” a member of the FBC Laurel, MD MOPS group and steering team, and blogs occasionally (i.e., not nearly enough to please the grandparents) at

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