How Many People Were On That Boat? (Children's Ministry Moment #5)


As I was working through memory verses and the AWANA book with my six-year old daughter last night, one of the questions required them to retell a story that they had heard in AWANA. I asked what they had talked about this week. My daughter racked her brain for a few seconds then explained that they had talked about “that buy” but she couldn’t remember his name.  After more pondering, she said, “You know the guy with the boat.”

Trying to be helpful, I offered “Noah.”

She said, and I quote “Yeah, Noah, the guy who saved all those people with his boat.”

I gently corrected, “No, there were only eight people on the ark.”

She replied, “No, you remember from the movie?  He saved all those people with his boat.”

Now it was my turn to be loss for just a moment until I realized that she was talking about the movie Evan Almighty.  From there, I reminded her about the whole story of Noah and how God, by grace, chose Noah and his family as the only people on earth to save.  Our conversation served three purposes.  First, it gave me another chance to explain the differences between fact and fiction and retell the real Biblical story of Noah.  Secondly, it reminded me that I need to be more diligent about correcting Biblical error when I see it.  I don’t think there was anything wrong with them watching the movie, but I failed in my role to point out at the time that this was fiction as opposed to the true account given by God.  Finally, it flamed the fire for me on an issue that is near and dear to my heart.  I think in our culture we have tried do hard to make the stories of the Bible kid friendly to compete with other children’s literature, that we have muddied the difference between fact and fiction and reduced Biblical truth to the same level as the story of Shrek or Nemo in kids’ eyes!

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