Faith development for preschoolers begins at birth. During the early years of kids’ lives they are beginning to develop a sense of trust. This sense of trust will play an important role in kids’ ability to trust in a God whom they cannot see, because they can trust the significant adults in their life whom they can see. Trust develops somewhat like this:
- If you feed me when I’m hungry … then, the God you talk about must be real.
- If you change my diaper when it’s soiled … then, the Book you talk about called the Bible must really be God’s messages to me.
- If you pick me up when I’m hurting and sing, “Yes, Jesus loves me” … then, I begin to develop warm, loving feelings toward Jesus.
As the preschooler grows and develops, effective teachers and parents share Bible content in such a way that the child can understand best:
- Because preschoolers are literal minded … teachers/parents should avoid symbolic language as they share Bible stories.
- Because preschoolers are curious … teachers/parents provide opportunities for them to discover exciting Bible truths.
- Because preschoolers have limited attention spans … teachers/parents limit the length of both active and passive learning times while learning from the Bible.
- Because preschoolers value relationships … teachers/parents get involved in the learning experiences of children … down where the child is.
- Because preschoolers have God-given needs … teachers/parents love them unconditionally so that the children can learn about God’s unconditional love.
There is so much truth to this statement: With preschoolers, you can’t begin too soon to lay foundations in their lives upon which God can build and draw them into a personal relationship with Him!
Jerry Vogel serves as a Childhood Ministry Specialist in Lifeway Church Resources. He is married to Janie and has four children and thirteen grand kids. Jerry is a member of Brentwood Baptist Church and teaches preschoolers there. He is committed to enriching the lives of those who teach kids as well as making eternal investments in the lives of children.