How Do Pastors Teach Their Kids?
Churches emphasize again and again that parents are their children’s primary teachers about God. So how do children’s ministry workers teach their own children about God?
In our Newborn Promise Podcast interview with Meg Calvin, Children’s Ministry Director of the First United Methodist Church of Winfield, Kansas, we asked how she shares God with Henley, her three-year-old. The good news: You don’t have to have seminary training or be a pastor to use Meg’s age-appropriate ideas anytime, anywhere. Here’s what she said:
Talk: “I bring God into everyday conversation by bringing him into what we are doing. I’ll say, ‘Oh, God made that! Or God gave us that flower!’”
Ask: “When I pick her up from our church program, I ask her what made her smile today or who did she “meet” in the Bible. Our team gives conversation cards to parents so I try to use those.”
Read: “We read Scripture at night, not every night, but most nights.”
Pray: “We sing prayers. We speak prayers at night and at the breakfast table. We try to pray when we hear the sound of an ambulance.”
Apologize: “I try to teach forgiveness by apologizing for my own mistakes as a mom. If I raised my voice—rarely do people raise their voice on purpose, but they are tired or impatient—I apologize for that. Which is so great to hear your three year old say, ‘I forgive you!’”
Affirm: “Picking out talents and affirming them. Even as a three and a half year old, her face has to be clean all the time… and I’ll tell her, ‘I like how God made your brain so that you like to be clean. I like that. I appreciate that.’”
Correct: “When she says what all kids say, which is, ‘What do you mean talk to God. I don’t see God.’ Or, ‘No, God wasn’t there with me.’ So, starting the conversation early about how the voice of God will sound different than other human voices. It’s quiet. It gives us peace and joy. The more that we try to hear it together, the more God’s voice will get louder. God is always talking and God is always with you.”
Listen to The Bluebonnet Child Near You, a Newborn Promise Podcast interview with Meg about helping the neglected and abused children who come to her ministry. Her practical advice and reliance on God’s grace and power will give you hope, too.
Newborn Promise Project developer Callie Grant heads Graham Blanchard Inc., which creates books and resources for new parents and their children. Learn more at http://www.grahamblanchard.com or download the free app.
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