Ministering to preschoolers is something very dear to the heart of Father God. Some of the most tender and endearing verses in the Bible are those that refer to children. The 5 first years in a child’s life are when identity, trust, communication, bonding, physical skills, and “spiritual” concepts are first developed, and we have the honor and privilege of being part of this amazing time in their lives.
Why are we doing this ministry? What motivates us? How do we teach? Knowing and understanding the WHY of ministering/teaching/training/nurturing children is vital to be an effective teacher. God is always after OUR HEARTS first… then comes our giftings, callings, talents, etc. When we know the why, the how becomes much easier.
Why are we doing this ministry?
WE ARE INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY GOD.
Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Train up = root word meaning is “to develop a thirst, create a hunger for”. How are we creating a hunger for God in the little ones hearts? More on this in a future blog.
In the way he should go = literally mean “in keeping with his natural bent” or nature or personality. Children are not “cookie cutters”, each is a special and unique creation and loved unconditionally by Papa God. We need to enjoy every child’s uniqueness.
When he is old = Hebrew would be “when he has hair on his chin” or when he is approaching maturity and just beginning to have facial hair. Many kids “leave” church at about the age of 12… why? I believe it is because we have taught them religion and not relationship with God.
Will not depart = Does not say he will depart and then come back. Let’s make our children fall so in love with Papa God, they won’t want to leave!!
By age three a child has already developed their own personality.
By age five they have a brain the size of an adult.
By age five they have learned 85% of everything they will learn in their entire lives. (verbal skills, mechanical skills, language, colors, numbers, etc.)
By age five the foundations of their belief system is established (what they believe
about themselves, their family, and their world) and everything they learn from that point on will be filtered through that belief system.
By age seven he is a miniature version of what he will become as an adult.
By age nine his moral anchor is in place. Their fundamental perspectives on truth,
integrity, justice, morality, and ethics are formed by this time in their lives.
After age ten most people simply refine their views without much change in their
By twelve or thirteen a person is who he is, and whatever he believes by then he will
basically live his whole life and die believing those same things short of a move of God.
Research shows that in most cases a person’s spiritual beliefs are formed while they are
pre-teens (ten to twelve years of age.)
The most important time to begin discipling a person is when they are preschool to nine
years of age
As you can see by the above statistics, it is never too early to begin to lead even the littlest ones into a loving relationship with Father God. Ask yourself, what is the “filter” or “foundational beliefs” you want the children to have about God.
Thank you for serving, teaching, training and loving the “least of these”.