Three leading evangelical organizations Tyndale House, Focus on the Family and Strang Communications have partnered up with two Christians in Hollywood to reverse Bible illiteracy in children by creating a church curriculum based on a 5-part children video series teaching about the Ten Commandments.
"The polls show undeniably the West is continuing a precipitous slide into an abyss of biblical ignorance," Dr. Ed Bez, president of the research group Focus on the Bible Ministries, says. "Among the more important of these key passages to vanish are the Ten Commandments."
A George Gallup poll shows 25 million American children have never heard an adult personally read a single verse of Scripture to them.
George Taweel and Rob Loos created the “Kids’ Ten Commandments” Video Series to educate the kids in a refreshing and fun way.
"We all felt that K>10>C provides a unique and wonderful opportunity for impacting kids not only as entertainment, but as great 'infotainment' as well," says Loos, who started the 3 million dollar project after learning there had not been any product that thoroughly taught the Ten Commandments other than Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 film.
"So we decided to do a new version," he adds. "Our goal is to inspire every child in America to know the Ten Commandments by making these rules an important part of their lives." The series has sold over 700,000 copies since the first video was released in April 2003.
"To be biblically literate means more than just being able to recite verses and quote facts." Says David Welday III, publisher of CharismaLife, which is part of Strang Communications.
Welday says the way to get kids to learn the Ten Commandments is not by just by teaching them “what you’re supposed to do” but by allowing them “to experience the Ten Commandments as an outflow of the love of God in their hearts.”
Stephen Strang, founder and president of Strang Communications, says the K>10>C curriculum comes at a time when there is a drought in biblical education to children. "It's my opinion that for years churches have failed to teach the basics of Christianity to children," says Strang.
He adds, “That's one of the reasons we produce Sunday school curriculum through CharismaLife. We feel the K>10>C church curriculum is a perfect tool for churches to use."
"We approached CharismaLife with the K>10>C project for input in the development of the curriculum and to enlist a partner who had excellent church-curriculum distribution capabilities," says Doug Knox, senior vice-president and publisher of Tyndale Entertainment.
The curriculum can be easily incorporated into the church’s Sunday curriculum, according to Karen Stefacek, CharismaLife's project manager for the K>10>C curriculum. She says the project is non-denominational.
Even Hollywood stars Jodi Benson, Peter Strauss, Tom Bosley, John Schneider, Tim Curry and Lou Diamond Phillips have joined the project and did the character voices for the films.
The new curriculum, released February, will change the dire situation of Biblical illiteracy in children, supporters of the project say. However, God must be also factored into the equation if the movement is to succeed, says Strang.
“The K>10>C curriculum is a start. We're certainly hopeful that it's a tipping point, but if that happens, it's really up to God."