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biblical principles

The Bible and the Brain

Research shows that reading to children is important for things like brain development, socialization, and literacy—even “soft” skills like empathy. That’s why we encourage reading the Bible to your children until they are old enough to begin to do so on their own.

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Prodigious advances in technology have revolutionized the field of neuroscience, allowing us unprecedented access to information on the brain’s inner workings. The New York Times has declared the next frontier in science as, “inside your brain”![1]

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Knowing how children’s brains process and store information gives us critical insight on how to help them experience and retain spiritual truths and biblical principles that will deepen their relationship with Christ.

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Here’s a snapshot of how the brain receives and stores information:

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The Bible and the Brain | Experience the Story

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Rote memorization helps lodge information in your short-term memory. But if it is not repeated or attached to prior knowledge—such as associating the new information with a catchy song or important memory—it will quickly be flushed from your brain’s short-term storage any time a new and “more important” piece of information is encountered.

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Getting new information into long-term memory takes work. A good strategy is to connect the information to an additional activity:

  • Using a question and answer format
  • Engaging in a discussion
  • Relating topics to real life situations
  • Role playing or actual application

The more ways something is learned, the more memory pathways are built.[2]

When the brain perceives information repeated in multiple ways, there is a priming process that makes encoding of that information more efficient. That is why writing a vocabulary word in a sentence, hearing classmates read their sentences, and then following the direction to use the word in conversation during that day will result in more successful long-term memory storage and retrieval than just memorizing the definition (Koutstaal et al., 1997).

In other words, the more often information is repeated, revisited, and experienced in multiple ways, the more deeply embedded it becomes.

So what does this have to do with us?

Here at OneHope, we are always searching for effective mediums and ways to communicate the truths of God’s Word to children. It’s our job to instill a deep faith in the next generation. We’re not psychologists or neuroscientists, but we do our best to understand how effective learning takes place so we can leverage those principles in our ministry work.

Ultimately, we trust the Holy Spirit to make the profound truth of the Scripture come alive and move children from simply learning basic Christian doctrine to a deeper understanding and heart knowledge for how to live.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/brain-research-2014_n_6334088.html
[2] http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107006/chapters/Memory,_Learning,_and_Test-Taking_Success.aspx

4 Drucker Principles for Better Parenting

I’ve been studying management principles by Peter Drucker to become better at my job. Any good thing in my professional life trickles down to my “other full-time job” as a parent.

Strong Biblical parallels naturally emerged from Drucker’s management principles that can easily be applied to parenting as well. Here are my top Druckerisms for parents:

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | Undeterred.net | Jenna Scott | OneHope

The critical, determining factor between families that struggle or those that succeed is if they have figured out how to make children’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.[1]

Every child has been created in God’s image. When we help our children figure out and operate from their God-given strengths, they bring glory to God. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better demonstration of mercy than figuring out how to make my kids’ weaknesses irrelevant!

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | Undeterred.net | Jenna Scott | OneHope

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

The delineation of right path in this verse implies that there are also wrong paths that we can errantly lead our children down. That’s frightening! But it’s also a strong reminder that in order for me to help each of my children find their right path, I need to study them. Then I can train them up in the way they should go.

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting_Scott-05

How can we know if we are being successful in how we are raising our children? We won’t really know unless we assess. It might seem strange to apply such a corporate business idea to your family, but this is actually straight from the Bible. One way we are told to assess is to look for the fruits of the spirit in our own and our children’s lives:

Fruits of the Spirit | Undeterred.net | 4 Drucker Principles

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

“Work implies not only that somebody is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results —that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself,” Drucker wrote in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.

But beyond simply measuring for fruitfulness, there is also a much-overlooked Drucker principle at play—relationship.

“Your first role . . . is the personal one… It is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do. It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.”[3]

How is their relationship with you? How often do you take time to talk about your child’s spiritual development with them, putting accountability in place, and setting goals for their lives? How is their relationship with their Heavenly Father?

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting_Scott-04

The verse my firstborn shared when he got baptized and has framed next to his bed is 1 Timothy 4:12

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Not only is that encouragement for your children, it’s an admonition to us as parents. Our kids will grow fastest in their faith when we invite them to take an active role in it on a daily basis.

God has great plans for our children. And I’m thankful that He hasn’t left us without an instruction manual and advice from some great minds to help us on the journey!

Related:


Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and they have 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.


[1] Paraphrase based on Drucker, Peter F. (2009-10-13). The Daily Drucker (p. 47). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
[2] http://biblehub.com/commentaries/proverbs/22-6.htm
[3]Excerpts from http://www.druckerinstitute.com/2013/07/measurement-myopia/