The block area in any early childhood classroom is usually abuzz with activity. Children love to build, creating strong, stable structures. Usually, the children collaborate with one another, testing various strategies. Adults can play an important role, too, providing ideas and suggesting additional tools to support the children as they learn. No doubt about it: the kids’ brains are under construction.
If you teach Sunday school or a midweek class, you get to watch faith under construction! No matter how young or old they are, as our students learn more about Jesus, faith grows. But this doesn’t just happen. Adults need to provide the experiences and the materials that make it possible for strong, stable faith to develop.
These three tools are foundational for faith formation:
1. Teach the Bible stories. Young children love stories. These early years are a wonderful time to teach them the stories of Jesus. As we teach the stories, children learn that Jesus cared for people who were hungry and sick. They see his love, compassion, and forgiveness in action. They also learn that Jesus is with them to help, comfort, and deliver them in every time of fear and need. He is now and forever our kind, good Friend!
Younger children will focus on the basic facts of the story. As the students grow, they can begin to understand the deeper faith lessons these profound stories teach.
2. Practice faith habits. Our young students watch and learn as we model the habits of faith. As we worship regularly, pray before meals (even snacks!), and talk about our Savior, our students learn to sing about Jesus, pray to him, talk about him, and think of him as their best Friend.
3. Connect with others who know Jesus as their Savior. Together, we form a community of faith, a faith family, helping one another grow closer to Jesus and to each other. We need each other – kids and grownups alike. We want our students to know how important it is for them to spend time with other Christians, encouraging one other in the faith and being supportive in other, tangible ways, too. We both model this and talk about it with our students.
Blessings to you as you help children learn about Jesus through these fundamental faith tools!
Editor’s note: For more ideas, see CTA’s newest theme for kids, Faith Under Construction. As you plan summer Sunday school, VBS, and special events, these colorful, Christ-centered products will help you encourage the kids in your church to grow in grace!