Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
An elementary girl stands with her finger to her mouth,
Read in
5 mins

7 Essentials for Growing Kids’ Faith

Here are 7 essentials for developing, enhancing, and growing kids’ faith.

In this territory of children’s ministry, we understand the importance of God’s impact in kids’ lives. And we understand that children hold a special place in God’s heart. From the first mention of kids in the Bible, it’s evident that God wants to nurture children in their faith walk.

Developing kids’ faith isn’t optional. Jesus expects us to support children and their potential for spiritual growth and maturity. To that end, let’s dive into seven essentials for understanding and growing kids’ faith.

Essential #1. Kids’ faith can be crushed.

Remember when Jesus’ disciples rebuked people who were bringing children to him for blessing? Jesus didn’t like it. He responded, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

Children have a right—and a natural desire—to enter into Jesus’ presence. They step into faith like a good-fitting pair of shoes. Our job is to encourage and strengthen that faith so it’s not like a pair of shoes they outgrow, but rather it grows with them.

“It’s important for children’s pastors to know and understand that a child’s faith is both real and fragile,” says Jack Miller, children’s pastor at Grace Pointe Church in Irving, Texas. “It can be developed—or destroyed.”

Careless words and behavior can crush kids’ spirits. In their innocent and childlike faith, kids often share prayer requests about their pets, toys, upcoming activities, television heroes, and family members. Wise children’s ministers will encourage their faith by praying with kids and encouraging them to believe and trust in God. Sure, a prayer request may appear to be an obvious impossibility to an adult. But God cares about what kids care about. God listens and responds to his kids. Be careful to take kids’ sincere requests seriously—God is.

Essential #2. Kids’ faith has no boundaries.

Whenever we teach kids the Word and they receive it, their faith grows. Each Sunday school class, each Bible study, and each interactive experience grants children the opportunity to grow their faith. With consistent, positive experiences, children will naturally begin to live out a faith that’s all their own. Their prayers grow more confident as they see and believe that God can do anything.

Affirm kids’ faith. Teach them examples of faith in the Bible. Share personal stories of your faith growth. Allow children to talk about how their faith has grown with answers to prayer and getting to know God. God shows up all around us, in exciting and unexpected ways—encourage kids to be on the watch!

Essential #3. Kids’ faith should be Bible-based.

Knowledge of God’s Word is foundational to kids’ faith. You can develop kids’ faith in healthy ways based on a solid scriptural foundation that gets kids excited about the Bible.

If kids’ faith is to be Word-based, then teachers need to ask themselves some important questions about what they’re teaching. Is the information scripturally based? Are all activities engaging, relational, and focused on God’s Word? Is there some fun and wonder in the mix? What media-based tools are appropriate and do they directly support kids’ faith development by having a clear link to what they’re learning about God? These refining questions will help you fill something far more important than time—the hearts of kids ready to learn about God!

Essential #4. Kids’ faith is strengthened by relationships.

Children are an important part of the church, but many congregations don’t express this outwardly. Some segregate children at all times and don’t give them the opportunity to learn from the entire faith community. Many churches want children to be still and quiet when they’re part of a church service. Some churches never give kids the chance to worship with the entire church family.

When kids are excluded like this, we prevent them from learning from the older people in the church, and vice versa. You’ve likely heard some of the astounding spiritual insights that come from kids’ hearts and mouths. Other people in your church need to hear how God speaks through his kids, whether they realize it or not! And kids’ spiritual lives are broadened and blessed in getting to hear from more than a few of the same people at church. These connections, these relationships, are necessary.

Involve children in the overall ministry of your church.

This includes worship, singing, leading praise and worship, reading the Scripture, sharing “God Sightings,” praying, and speaking. The biblical image of God’s people includes a community of people who’ve been redeemed regardless of age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic class. We are family and this family’s children can and do worship!

One children’s ministry director recalls a time he stepped in to help: “My dad was a pastor. Both he and my mother believed in me. They poured into me the knowledge that God had a plan for my life, with God’s Word being a focal point in our home. They encouraged me to put my talents to work for God.

“I recall one Sunday morning when the church organist quit. The Sunday school superintendent had led the congregation in the children’s song ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ Believing that this song was ‘too childlike’ for the worship service, the organist resigned. I’d been taking organ lessons, so my dad determined that it was my turn to play. Thank God for a community of faith who understood the importance of encouraging a young man to use his God-given talent and ability! Subsequently, I started teaching children’s church at age 14 and began a junior choir at age 15.”

A faith community is vital to faith development in the life of any person, but especially in a child’s life. Kids need avenues to express their faith, and an inclusive church community can provide it.

Essential #5. Kids’ faith is significantly shaped by their parents.

It’s vital for your church to strengthen relationships with families, equipping parents for their role in kids’ faith development. It will only benefit your church. Think about it this way. Before God created the church, he created the family. It’s not a “chicken or the egg” situation when it comes to families and church; family was and is first. Families are foundational.

So, how can your church bring this truth forward to better support parents as they strive to make disciples of their children? How can your church encourage parents to model their faith in their daily lives? What resources can your church provide to equip them to share God’s Word at home? How might your church deepen parents’ understanding of child development so they know how to relate to their children in an effective way?

One way you can champion this kind of family support at your church is to convey the need for experiential learning. You can help the entire ministry team and parents at your church understand how important it is for children to experience what they learn rather than try to absorb life truths through passive learning. Parents teach their children 24/7. Birthday parties, religious celebrations, taking the Lord’s Supper, family ministry events—all these support and undergird family units and allow children opportunities to experience their faith. When families live their faith together in their everyday lives filled with everyday things, bonds are strengthened and faith grows.

Essential #6. Kids’ faith yields results.

God values children and honors their innocence. Jesus demonstrated this when he accepted a boy’s small lunch and fed thousands.

“After a weekend Kidfest kids’ event, I had one boy, 11 years old, who said he heard from God,” says Kevin Edgington, a children’s pastor in Milford, Ohio. “He believed that God wanted him to go home and start having services for kids in his neighborhood. His family supported him and helped him begin services for kids on Saturday mornings. In just a very short time, nine children accepted Jesus as their personal Savior.” Wow!

Be sure to celebrate stories like these! Not just in your children’s services, but with your entire church.

Essential #7. Kids’ faith development impacts their eternal destiny.

The impact of building a strong faith now can result in a healthy relationship with Jesus and the church in the future. The moral development of children is complete by age nine, according to research by the Barna Institute. Nonreligious-oriented research on children’s moral and values development substantiates that the foundation for lifelong values and morals form during kids’ earliest years.

Every child has a place in the body of Christ. Children’s destinies await them. It’s our responsibility—and adventurous privilege—to help kids determine their destinies and their purposes in life. And entire faith communities can be involved in and benefit from developing and nurturing children and their parents.

Looking for more teaching tips? Check out these ideas!

One thought on “7 Essentials for Growing Kids’ Faith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

7 Essentials for Growing Kids’ ...

Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
Our Pins!