Teaching Kids About Jesus Can Be Tricky
Teaching kids about Jesus is easy…until you actually try teaching kids about Jesus.
God’s here, but you can’t see him. We pray to him, but he doesn’t usually respond in an audible voice.
Faith seemed much simpler until I tried to explain it to my two-year-old. Case in point, one morning, our dog ate Jesus.
Toddler (eating pancakes): Here Jesus, here’s canpakes. (Informs me) He’s in my heart. (Pretends to reach into her chest, then holds her hand out to show me) Look, here he is! (Gasps dramatically) Oh, no! I dropped him! (Jumps out of her chair to look around the floor) Jesus! Where are you?! (Yells at our dog) Nooooo! (Upset, tells me) Bubba ate Jesus!!
Teaching Kids About Jesus Is Totally Doable
At this point, you may be wondering if you should read further! But I promise, we’re making steady progress.
These are some of the practices that are helping to make Jesus real for our now three-year-old…
Consider giving up a little privacy for the sake of setting an example.
One of the best ways to teach kids about Jesus is to lead by example.
So sit down with your Bible in front of them. (Reading the Bible on your phone looks identical to scrolling Facebook.) Let them hear you praying throughout the day.
Read the Bible together.
When you’re knee-deep in Leviticus, it can be tough to find a life application, even as an adult. “Ah yes, the camel is unclean. I’ll be sure not to eat that today!”
So when I read with my daughter, I try to find a story that’s well within her (a) attention span and (b) level of understanding.
We try to focus on a short story, like that of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. It’s a scenario she’s familiar with (people climbing trees, Jesus visiting a friend at his house), and the lesson isn’t too abstract.
Children’s Bibles are full of stories in both the Old and New Testament that fit well within this criteria. She has her entire life ahead of her to catch up on Leviticus.
Discuss the Bible together.
This is one of the best ways to take reading the Bible from simply hearing the Good News, to really applying it to their life.
In the above story, you might say, “Zacchaeus didn’t have many friends. How do you think he felt when Jesus said that he wanted to visit him? If Jesus was kind to Zacchaeus, how do you think we should treat kids like Zacchaeus, who don’t have any friends?”
Just one or two questions can help your kids to better understand the story, and to find the connection between the Bible and their own lives.
Pray together often, not just over meals and before bed.
Any family prayer is incredible! But it’s easy to thank God for our food and pray before bed, and not give him much thought the rest of the day.
When something stands out in your day, positive or negative, take a moment to pray about it together.
For example, when my daughter tells me how much she loves our dog, we might say a quick prayer. “Dear Jesus, thank you so much for giving Petey to us. He’s a very good dog and friend, and we love him.”
Simple, yes, but it helps her to learn to thank God for her blessings, big and small.
When she hurts herself playing outside, we doctor her up, then pray that Jesus will help her to heal. Again, it’s uncomplicated, and it’s teaching her to bring her needs to God.
Find just one song to start, one that you know your kids will enjoy. Ask younger children what songs they sing in Sunday school, or try searching YouTube for songs with hand motions to make it fun.
When the time comes, explain that you’re all going to sing a song to Jesus together. The first time (and at random later), ask your kids why they think we sing to Jesus, then agree it’s because we love him, we want to thank him, he is our heavenly father, our friend, and more.
Sing the song and lead by example. If they enjoy their worship time, consider adding more songs as appropriate.
Help them memorize Bible verses they can reference often.
My daughter memorized a shortened version of Deuteronomy 31:6 when she was two. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord our God goes with you.”
We added actions to spice things up. She flexed her biceps for “strong”, growled ferociously after saying “courageous”, shook her finger to “do not be afraid”, and marched in place to “for the Lord our God goes with you”.
And I cannot tell you how many times we reminded her of that verse (and she reminded us) when she was afraid of something.
Find short verses about not being afraid, loving others, trusting God, etc., and make up some actions for younger kids. You can help to bury God’s word deep in their heart, even at a young age!
I know, I know. It can be challenging to find your ideal church – one where your entire family agrees on the message, the worship, the people, etc.
But consistently get your kids somewhere to hear God’s word from someone other than you. Most churches are following a carefully planned curriculum that’s age-appropriate to connect your kids to the Good News on their level.
I try my best, but I’m no expert at childhood development. Allow your kids to hear from a Sunday School teacher who is, or at least from a Sunday School teacher following a lesson plan created by someone who is.
Don’t make faith a chore, or something to check off a list.
I’m not going to require my daughter to read ten chapters of the Bible, unless it’s something that she requests herself. I’ll sing worship songs with her, but call it quits for the day if she loses interest after the first song.
I’m trying to teach her about Jesus in a simple way that complements her attention span and interests, and allows her to lead the way as much as she’d like. I don’t want her to consider reading the Bible or prayer or worship a box to check off her list, or something that she does to appease her parents.
Teaching Techniques For Teaching Kids About Jesus
Looking for ways to more actively teach your kids about Jesus? From interactive activities, to crafts and games, to Bible songs, you have a lot of fantastic options!
Introduce interactive activities to make learning about Jesus enjoyable and effective for children.
One great way to do this is to take a nature walk focused on exploring Jesus’ role as the Creator. Help your child appreciate the beauty of the world around them, and strengthen their understanding of Jesus by relating their discoveries to biblical stories.
Crafts and Games
Harness the power of crafts and games to inspire creativity while teaching children about Jesus.
Provide coloring pages illustrating various stories from the Bible, allowing your little children to express their artistic side while absorbing the lessons. You can also utilize interactive games, such as trivia or memory games, to reinforce their understanding of the biblical narratives.
Incorporate Bible songs like Jesus Loves Me, Father Abraham, and more into your teaching techniques to make learning more engaging. Singing together with your child will not only help them remember essential stories and lessons but also create a connection with Jesus through worship.
Play or sing songs that relate to specific Bible stories or that introduce key concepts from the teachings of Jesus. This will ensure a fun and interactive atmosphere while creating a meaningful learning experience.
Incorporating Faith Fun
Learning about Jesus should feel enjoyable and engaging to your children, rather than a chore to be completed each day. To establish this mindset, it’s important to make it fun.
One great way to start is by selecting age-appropriate Bible stories with vivid pictures and interactive elements. This will ignite your child’s imagination, enabling them to better understand Jesus’ life and teachings.
Sunday school songs are an excellent addition to faith fun at home.
Singing catchy tunes with meaningful lyrics allows kids to learn while enjoying themselves. Don’t be afraid to dance along and encourage them to move to the beat!
Introduce engaging games to deepen your child’s faith.
A wide range of faith-themed activities can be found online, designed to teach, inspire, and challenge kids. These games foster teamwork and help to improve understanding of Biblical principles.
You can also use creative object lessons to demonstrate faith concepts effectively. Such lessons use everyday items to illustrate spiritual truths, making it much easier for kids to relate and learn.
By incorporating fun when you’re teaching kids about Jesus, you’ll not only provide a nurturing environment for your children to learn, but you’ll also create precious memories that you and your kids can cherish.
Making the Teachings Relatable
When teaching kids about Jesus, it’s incredibly important to keep teachings both age-appropriate and relatable. Even the most eloquently-delivered lesson can’t and won’t make an impact if it goes over your child’s head.
Age Appropriate Methods
One of the best ways to make the teachings of Jesus more accessible and engaging for children is to consider age-appropriate methods. Younger kids might have a harder time understanding complex concepts, so using stories from the Bible that are appropriate for their age will help capture their attention and teach them about Jesus’ life.
For instance, if you’re teaching younger children about Jesus’ disciples, you might want to focus on a specific story where He interacts with them, such as the call of the first disciples in Matthew 4:18-22. Encourage your little children to ask questions and participate in the narrative, making it fun and interactive.
As children grow older, you can introduce more advanced topics and start discussing the parables and deeper teachings of Jesus, which will challenge them to think critically about how these lessons can be applied in their lives.
Using Everyday Life Examples
To help children grasp the teachings of Jesus, try relating His message to everyday life scenarios.
I personally like to point out when God has blessed us, with both big and small experiences.
“Thank you, Lord, for leading us to find this stray kitten in our neighborhood. She’s the best pet and we love her so much!”
“Thank you, Jesus, for leaving this last box of cookies on the store shelf. We know you left it here for us!”
My daughter has picked up on it and has thanked God for parking spots, food truck finds, and helping her find her friend’s lost bracelet charm.
The Importance of Parents in Spiritual Education
As Christian parents, you play a vital role in guiding your children on their spiritual journey, especially when it comes to teaching kids about Jesus. By being the primary source of their religious education, you can lay a strong foundation for their faith and help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus.
To start, you can encourage prayer in your home.
Teach your children how to pray and let them know they can always turn to Jesus for help and guidance. For example, if your child is having a hard time or struggling with a situation, show them how to pray and rely on Jesus for comfort and strength.
Another key aspect of nurturing your child’s spiritual growth is by sharing God’s Word with them regularly.
Create a routine of reading the Bible together as a family, fostering engaging discussions about the Scriptures, and applying the teachings to their daily lives. This practice will not only help your child grow closer to Jesus but also strengthen your bond as a family.
And of course, it’s essential to lead by example.
As Christian parents, you should strive to emulate the teachings and characteristics of Jesus in your own life to show your child the transformative power of faith. This includes being compassionate, loving, and forgiving, qualities that can make a significant impact on your child’s understanding of Jesus.
Lastly, remember that you’re not alone in your efforts to teach your children about Jesus. You can collaborate with your church community and/or Christian school and seek resources that can aid you in your mission to help your children succeed spiritually.
Remember, as Christian parents, you hold a unique position in fostering your child’s connection to Jesus, and with a little dedication, you can nurture a strong and lasting relationship with Him in their lives. For more detailed guidance, be sure to check out Jack Klumpenhower’s Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids.
Teaching kids about Jesus doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. As Christian parents, we can be purposeful about demonstrating our own faith for them, and lead them in reading, discussing, and memorizing the Bible, and praying, worshiping, and attending church together.
Proverbs 22:6 (MSG) assures us, “Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Let’s act on that promise today!
P.S. Want a worksheet full of links to short Bible stories, simple memory verses, free Bible coloring pages, and more resources to better equip you to teach your kids about Jesus? Get it HERE now!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you introduce Jesus to preschoolers?
Introduce Jesus to preschoolers by using simple language and examples they can relate to. Begin with the basics such as explaining God’s love for them, using Bible stories read as bedtime stories.
You can also introduce prayer time and worship songs. This helps children connect with Jesus on their level.
Though not feasible for everyone, our family also sent our daughter to a Christian school during her preschool years. This helped to back up and complement the lessons we were teaching her at home.
What’s the best way to teach children about God?
To teach children about God, start with simple language and use examples that relate to their lives. Focus on the concepts of God’s unconditional love, loving our neighbors, and sharing the good news with others, and share stories from the Bible that illustrate these values.
Additionally, you can use age-appropriate resources like children’s Bibles and storybooks.
How can I share Christian values with my child?
Sharing Christian values with your child starts with your own example. Let them see you doing devotions and involve them in family prayer times.
Teach them the importance of loving others, showing kindness, and living morally. Use Bible stories and real-life situations to convey these values.
What Bible lessons are suitable for 2-year-olds?
For 2-year-olds, focus on simple Bible stories that teach core values such as love, kindness, and obedience. You can use picture books or children’s Bibles with colorful illustrations to hold their attention.
Noah’s Ark, Daniel in the Lions’ Den, Jonah and the Whale, or Jesus’ miracles in the New Testament are all suitable examples.
How do you explain the concept of God to a 7-year-old?
When explaining God to a 7-year-old, Christian parents should speak at a level they can understand and avoid complicated terminology. Emphasize that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always present.
Compare God’s love for them to how a parent loves their child. Encourage them to ask questions and provide age-appropriate answers.
What are some tips for teaching kids about Jesus at home?
Some tips for teaching kids about Jesus at home include:
- Creating a routine of reading Bible stories as bedtime stories.
- Incorporating prayer time and worship songs into your daily routine.
- Engaging in discussions about God and Jesus during daily activities.
- Using age-appropriate Bible-based resource materials, such as picture books and children’s Bibles.
- Encouraging children to ask questions and being open to providing answers.
Disclosure: While all opinions are our own, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs, designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no additional cost to you.