Teaching Kids About a Big God
When you think of your childhood Sunday School classes, you may think of warm Bible stories and feeling the big, safe arms of God around you, protecting you from the “bad guys”.
Perhaps you welcomed the teaching of the grey-haired older lady because you knew you were a child and had much still to learn.
As you grew, the energetic youth pastor showed you how to have fun and be excited for Jesus, on fire to change the world.
Yet somewhere after those protective warm arms of God and jumping up and down for Jesus, you grew up. Real adult life hit and if your faith didn’t grow up too, you likely walked away from it, seeing it as a useless part of your past.
3 Minute Read
By Alicia Bennett
A Safe God Can’t Help Us Face Life
In today’s churches, we are doing our children and youth a disservice if we keep God “safe” and “fun.”
He most certainly can be those things and we do want our children to enjoy coming to church and youth group. But if we keep God in this box, only calling him our “helper” and “friend,” I am afraid our children will outgrow their need for God like they will outgrow the need for their own parents to cut their food and teach them how to drive.
At some point, children out-grow their day-to-day need for their parents. It’s natural. But we shouldn’t out-grow our need for the God who created us, sent his son to redeem us, and calls us to an eternal relationship with himself.
God is much bigger than our cute “helper” or special “friend.” And I bet you know that. He’s powerful, almighty, sovereign, and omnipotent. He fights for us, he disciplines us, he loves us with a love bigger than the universe.
And in order for our children to not outgrow their need for God, we need to show them the full, magnificent picture of this God in our daily lives. Because God isn’t just about us. He is about the whole world and he’s been in pursuit of humankind since creation. We can, and should, teach kids about a big God who loves the world.
God isn’t just about us. He is about the whole world and he’s been in pursuit of humankind since creation.
A Big God
God is a god on mission, not just for your child’s heart but for the whole world!
Throw off the blinders and inspire your children. Let them see what he is doing in Ethiopia, in India, in Japan. Let them hear what he has done to bring whole peoples and cultures to himself throughout history.
Your kids will have access to the whole world, so equip them to go into it now! Show them how to love the refugee family, the international student, and the family that moved in across the street that looks different than them.
6 Simple Things to Teach Your Kids How to Love the World
- Take them to ethnic restaurants, cultural festivals, and to watch a foreign film.
- Help them write letters to the children of missionaries.
- Make sandwiches to pass out to the homeless, and bring in money for the orphan ministry.
- Spend a summer “traveling the world” with pretend passports, learning new cultural games and activities.
- Invite missionaries to dinner and coach your children how to listen and ask good questions.
- Open your homes to house missionary families on furlough or international students.
You don’t have to have real passports or a lot of money to allow God to grab your child’s heart for today’s world. You don’t have to travel or learn a foreign language. But I do encourage you to be intentional in how you speak about God and his heart. Your children want to follow a big God with big plans and purposes. Inspire them that they can do great things with God! Because your children WILL have access to the world. Will you prepare them to go into it with Christ’s love and for his purposes?
Alicia grew up in a family that moved and traveled a lot. In college, God grabbed her heart and immediately missions was a part of her story. After college, she married her college sweet-heart, Jeffrey, and they moved to Colorado for her to start work with an international mission agency. Six years and two kids later, God called her to stay home with their two boys. For many years, she’s written and taught dozens of mission lessons for children. Today, she continues to teach at her local church but is also mobilizing parents and pastors to do the same in their local churches through Instagram @mobilizermom