Dinosaurs are Good News for Kids (part 3)
Kids love dinosaurs and I like using dinosaur facts, toys, pictures, and activities in Sunday School, Good News Club, AWANA, and at home to teach kids about God, the Creator. I’ve put together some FREE tips and tools to help you do it too!
Kids regularly bound into church decked out in dinosaur t-shirts, backpacks, or shoes. I’m regularly called on in AWANA to help multiple munchkins make T-Rex models with blue playdough; and just last week I helped one of my little buddies at church create a (very) belated dinosaur Christmas card. I’m thrilled that dinosaurs are in vogue right now! It’s so easy (and fun!!!) to use them to point kids to God!
The acronym D-I-N-O can help you use dinosaurs to connect kids with God’s Word. In previous articles I’ve explained that D stands for discover and I stands for Introduce. Check those articles out to DISCOVER dinosaurs for yourself and learn 8 ways you can use dinosaurs to INTRODUCE God’s truth to kids.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for the next letter—N is for NEWS!
N is for NEWS
Kids have BIG questions about dinosaurs. Where did they come from? What happened to them? Will they ever come back? The Bible offers clues and the story of dinosaurs is an epic opportunity to naturally introduce kids to the best NEWS ever—the Gospel! Dinosaurs may be extinct, but they are still good news for kids!
It’s really easy to use dinosaurs to share the Gospel because you can use the word DINO to help you remember what to say! (Yes, I did just reuse an acronym, it’s like getting two acronyms for the price of one–and they’re both free!!!) Keep reading and I’ll show you what each letter stands for and even provide a sample script to give you an idea of what you could say as you use dinosaurs to share the Gospel with kids.
D is for Designed by God
The origin of dinosaurs provides a splendid opportunity to talk about who God is and what He is like. You could say something like this.
What’s your favorite dinosaur? Did you know the Bible gives us clues about where dinosaurs came from and what happened to them? The Bible says God created the skies, the earth and everything in them. [Read Nehemiah 9:6] This means God made all the animals–even dinosaurs! The world was much different back then. It was perfect! God is perfect and powerful so He designed a perfect world with perfect animals, perfect weather, and perfect people. God loved the people more than anything else He had made and He put them in charge of everything else in the world–even the dinosaurs! It could have stayed this way forever, but something terrible happened!
I is for Impacted by Sin
The extinction of dinosaurs provides a HUGE opportunity to talk about sin, the reason we have death and destruction in our once perfect world. You could say something like this.
The people decided they didn’t want to live God’s perfect way. They chose to disobey God and do things their own way. [Read Romans 1:21-22.] This is called sin and it impacted (changed) everything in the world–even the dinosaurs! The world wasn’t perfect anymore and lots of bad things began to happen like sickness, pain, and even death. Sin made the world a much harder place to live. Dinosaurs and many other animals eventually went extinct. It was even worse for the people! People didn’t go extinct, but sin ruined their friendship with God and their relationships with each other. Now everyone is born wanting to disobey God, and people fight, argue and hurt each other every day. This has caused terrible problems and even huge wars! Everything in the world has been impacted by sin. But that’s not the end of the story.
N is for New Home
The future of dinosaurs is uncertain, but the topic is interesting to children and creates a natural opportunity to talk about the future of all creation.
God has promised that someday He will get rid of sin and create a perfect new home where people can live with Him forever. [Read Revelation 21:3-4.] God will make things new! You’ve probably heard stories or seen movies about scientists who try to recreate a lost world with living dinosaurs. But the only dinosaurs we see today are fossils in museums. Even if scientists could make a dinosaur, it would eventually die anyway because the sinful world is full of suffering, sickness, and death. Only God can make a real place where everything is perfect. Do you think there will be dinosaurs there? We don’t know for sure because the Bible doesn’t list every animal that will live in God’s new home, but I think there will be dinosaurs. Even if there are no dinosaurs, it will be better than you could ever imagine! There will never be pain, sadness, or sickness. It will be full of happiness, peace, and awesomeness forever! God wants you to live in this new home with Him some day.
O is for One Way
You’ve already shared parts of the Gospel message, but now it’s time to tie it all together and explain how Jesus is the ONE WAY for us to be rescued from sin.
This is really what the Bible is all about! [Read John 20:31.] Dinosaurs are fantastic, but the story of the Bible is really about God’s Son, Jesus. No matter what you think about dinosaurs, God loves you and wants you to enjoy friendship with Him that never ends. But your sin separates you from God because He is perfect. When you do things like lying and disobeying you are sinning. [Read or quote Romans 6:23a.] Everyone who sins deserves to die and be separated from God forever! But God made one way for people to be rescued from this punishment. He sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for you! Jesus let Himself be nailed to a cross where He was killed and separated from God the Father instead of you. The best news is Jesus didn’t stay dead. God has such awesome power that He brought Jesus back to life! Jesus took the punishment you deserve so you can be close to God forever. [Read or quote Romans 6:23b.] God can give you life with Him that begins right away and never stops—even after 65 million years! This new life is a gift God gives everyone who trusts Jesus to rescue them from sin. Trusting Jesus means believing Jesus can rescue you from sin because He took your punishment when He died and came back to life. Do you want to know more about trusting Jesus to rescue you from sin?
This is one way that I’ve used dinosaurs to share the Gospel with kids. You can do it too! If you would like a complete script + printable pictures, PowerPoint slides, coloring pages, and game ideas to help you teach this to kids in your own home or church, download The DINO Story Bible Lesson from our resource page. It’s free! (FREE DINOSAUR MERCHANDISE!!! Could this deal get any sweeter!?)
Of course, this is pretty much a full lesson and you often don’t have that much time when you’re just chatting with kids about dinosaurs in Sunday School or in your neighborhood. Sometimes you’ll have to GREATLY abbreviate all of this or only focus on one aspect of the Gospel, but hopefully you get the basic idea that dinosaurs provide a natural opportunity to discuss God the Creator, the consequences of sin, and the Savior who came to make things new!
Kids love dinosaurs and with a bit of practice (and a “brilliant” acronym) you can use these incredible creatures to enjoy God, the Creator, with kids in your home, church, or community. Just make sure you do it with love and humility. That’s the topic of our next article where we’ll finish up the D-I-N-O acronym with the letter O as we consider HOW to talk about the sometimes controversial topic of dinosaurs in a Christ-like manner.