If you are like me, you hear people describe the best parenting approach as “starting with the end in mind.” However, in the midst of parenting, I was focused more on survival from day-to-day, and it was difficult to set aside time to plan for the future. I was always thankful to have a helpful book or magazine on parenting that helped me see the future and best ways to parent.
Many of us have the same challenge when we think of our child’s spiritual development. We want him to grow in reading God’s Word and biblical understanding, but the task can be daunting. I have found that one of the best tools in growing kids in Bible knowledge is the Levels of Biblical Learning® (LOBL). Specifically, the LOBL serves as a wise discipleship plan that teaches ten key biblical concepts at each age and stage of your child’s development—from birth to the preteen years—in words and concepts that they understand best. For this reason, the Levels of Biblical Learning is useful for parents and teachers who disciple their kids.
As kids grow, their understanding of foundational truths grows with them. For example, how does a 12-year-old grow to learn the truth that “People can live with joy regardless of their circumstances”? It begins with teaching the truth as a baby that “God loves me.” Notice how the concepts build upon the other as a child grows.
- Younger Preschoolers can learn that God loves them.
- Middle Preschoolers can learn that God will always love them.
- Older Preschoolers can learn that no matter what happens, God loves people.
- Younger Kids can learn that good and bad happen to people, but God still loves them.
- Middle Kids can learn that people can respond in positive ways to what happens to them.
- Preteens can learn that people can live with joy regardless of their circumstances.
Each statement in a concept builds upon the statement before it. So each concept begins with a foundational truth for babies and, with each passing year, a child’s ability to understand more about who God is increased. In this example, kids grow each year in their understanding of how much God loves them.
In my work at LifeWay on the Bible Studies for Life: Kids ongoing Bible study curriculum, we utilize the Levels of Biblical Learning, in how we plan weekly Bible stories, lessons, and other resources. For more information about LOBL, please visit lifeway.com/levelsofbiblicallearning where you can see the statements for each age group and free training videos. To learn more about Bible Studies for Life, visit biblestudiesforlife.com/kids,
William Summey is the Publishing Team Leader for ParentLife, kids devotionals, and short-term products. He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Vanderbilt University. William lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Christy, and two boys.