Sharing our faith with others can be hard. Sharing our faith with children who are at a different developmental stage than us can seem really hard. Here are a few simple ways to reach out to children and share your faith with them.
(1) Pray with them.
Help them know God is available to them anytime through prayer. Pray out loud together, encouraging them to pray, too.
(2) Read scripture together.
They'll notice if you read your Bible and they'll want to do the same. Set time aside to read a Children's Bible together.
(3) Worship together.
Children learn by observing those around them. Help them know what to expect next in worship and get them involved in the music and the prayers. Make sure they have a front row seat and can observe all that is happening around them.
(4) Be honest about life and death.
Young children are concrete thinkers. They see bugs die and grieve over pets that die. Share with them that death is a natural part of life.
(5) Welcome questions as they grow.
Children are wonderfully curious! Encourage their questions and explore answers together.
(6) Model Jesus' love in action.
Take children with you to serve the community. Bring them to care for others in the community. Help them see what it means to love others as Jesus loves them.
(7) Reassure your child that God's love is unconditional.
The song "Jesus Loves Me" says it well: "Jesus loves me when I'm good, when I do the things I should. Jesus loves me when I'm bad though it makes him very sad."
(8) Don't try to correct them.
Children experience God in all sorts of beautiful ways. Their understanding of God will change as they develop. Ask what they think about God and explore the mystery together. They may even have something to teach you!
(9) Allow them to notice the injustice in the world.
Our world is an unfair place. Allow children to notice the unfairness and talk together about how we can help. Pray together about the injustice they see.
(10) Pray for them.
This is the most important. Pray for the children in your household, in your community, in the world. Pray that God might work through you to share Christ's love with them.
*Written with LOTS of help from my mom, Rev. Dr. Genie Martin, who has a huge heart for children in the church.