1 Corinthians 3:10 talks about building a foundation (a great passage for those of us who lead kids ministries). I’ve often thought of myself as a brick mason, laying foundations: brick by brick, one on top of the other. This foundation will be built upon by another “brick layer” and then another, until together we’ve built a spiritual foundation with which a child can grow his life. I think that’s a good analogy for our job of teaching kids the truths of God’s word: truth on truth, precept upon precept, one level at a time.
In the Levels of Biblical Learning®, Lifeway Kids has identified six age levels of understanding that follow how God designed children to learn.
- Younger Preschoolers are developing a sense of trust as needs are met consistently. They are sensing attitudes and expressions of love. As they grow they are can begin to recognize simple pictures of Jesus and sing simple songs about God. Younger preschoolers can listen to Bible stories and will start saying, “Thank You” to God.
- Middle Preschoolers are beginning to understand that God, Jesus, and the church are special. They can identify some Bible people and retell Bible stories. Middle preschoolers recognize that God and Jesus love people and help people in special ways.
- Older Preschoolers are starting to make conclusions about God and see Jesus as a friend and helper. They can use the Bible to find Bible phrases and verses and are beginning to make application to Bible verses. Older preschoolers have developed a conscience and are sensitive to feeling of shame and guilt.
- Younger Kids enjoy learning from their Bibles and are interested in finding out more about God and Jesus and His plan of salvation. They are beginning to have a simple understanding of sin and the gospel.
- Middle Kids are asking serious questions about religion. They are developing values and learning about being truthful and honest. Middle kids have a growing knowledge of sin and sense the need for a Savior.
- Preteens are seeking spiritual answers and beginning to adopt a religious belief system of their own. While forming concepts of personal worth they are developing a value system and can feel very deeply about their own experiences.
God’s plan is for children to grow mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. As Bible study teachers we will find success when we join God in the way He created kids to learn and teach them at appropriate levels of understanding.
Sixty-six books, categorized in ten divisions and placed in two testaments all brought together to make the greatest story ever told, the Bible. What an awesome privilege to share God’s story with His kids. How do you do it? One foundational level at a time!
On May 9 at 11:30 AM (CST), Lifeway Kids will host a free webinar that will dive deeper into the Levels of Biblical Learning. This webinar, “Growing in God’s Word” will discuss the six age levels, the ten biblical concepts, and the importance of teaching those concepts in age appropriate ways. Plan to join us by registering here!
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Kids. A graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served as a Kid’s Minister and currently teaches 2nd Grade Bible study.