Sunday, October 27, 2013

When do I teach my kids about God?

When do I start talking to my kids about God?
When will they understand?
Can their little minds understand something that my mind can't?
How long before I start asking them to pray for our meal? 
When should they hear about Jesus' death on the cross?

These are such critical topics, and while I will be speaking from the view point of how it all relates to children's ministry, this topic is important to everyone.  It's not just about those who lead children's ministry and their volunteers.  This is for everyone. 

When do I teach my kids about God?

A question that I get asked a lot working in kids ministry is exactly this in some form or another.  Everyone wants to know how soon is too soon and when can they really understand.  When do our kids understand about Jesus and about having a relationship with Him? 

Please understand the following is strictly my opinion, my beliefs, and what my heart tells me is true.  

I believe that we can begin teaching our kids about God from the first day that they are on this earth and in our arms.  I try to spend time in my nursery room for babies every month.  If I can't get in there for a whole service I try to spend at least 15 minutes in there one week.  Why do I do this?  I do this because it's my opportunity to teach them about Jesus.  How do I do this?  How do I get my volunteers to help?  Every Sunday our babies listen to the gentle sounds of Praise & Worship music specifically designed for them.  We use PraiseBaby and I love it.  So while they are in our care, they are hearing about Jesus the whole time that they are in our room.  When I personally am with them I take the time to pray over every child that is in my arms.  I make sure to tell them that Jesus loves them, and yes I say it out loud.  I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to crying babies as they are rocked in the rocking chair.  I truly believe that you are never too young to learn about Jesus and I practice this with every child in my care. 

My kids begin listening to Bible lessons and stories at 18 months old.  Our toddler's have an approximately ten minute lesson every Sunday where they learn a basic truth from the Bible that is easy for them to understand.  God loves me.  God helps me.  I can talk to God.  From that age on anytime that they are in my building I am responsible to make sure that they are learning about Jesus until they hit the 7th grade.  At that time I get to hand them off to the youth ministry.  

Start talking to your kids about Jesus now.  Don't wait.  Help them have a love for Jesus in their heart that feels like it's always been there.  Sing to them, pray with them and over them, and show them that Jesus loves and cares about them whether they are babies, toddlers, or 5th graders.  

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