Early Faith Formation

Faith Begins Now!

Our faith finds its roots in childhood. Children are born with a phenomenal spirituality, one that we can either choose to nurture or to ignore.  Far too often, early faith is either trivialized, sentimentalized or simply overlooked.  We tend to focus on seeking out particular intellectual understandings, rather than embracing the faith our children already have!

Here are some great steps to encouraging your child's faith journey.

1) It's never too early (or too late) to start! No matter your child's age, you can pray with your child, read Bible stories, attend worship together, and help other people. 

Try adding a specific time every day to pray with your child.

As you get ready to pray, ask your child or share with your child something you are thankful for.  Remember together something amazing about God.  Think of someone you want God to help. Tell God something about the day you wish had been different.

2) Meet them where they are! A toddler may not be able to articulate the nuances of the Trinity, but she can be amazed as she explores God's world. Watch as your child explores his faith-- maybe he's acting out a Bible story, or wondering about something sad, look for moments when faith shows up. 

Explore the Church

Before worship or even during the week, come by the church and explore!  Look inside the font, crawl around the pulpit, play for a bit in the Fellowship Hall.  See what interests your child and follow!  

 

  • 3) Practice, practice, practice!  Nothing happens overnight.  Children respond to routine.  You might begin by saying a prayer before a meal, but if you do that everyday pretty soon an inherent part of eating will be giving thanks to God for the food before us.   The same is true of worship.  The more you participate the easier it is. As a child grows, the practices you've practiced will be the ones that she will draw on later in life.

Sing the Doxology

When you are happy about something, sing the Doxology ("Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him (God) all creatures here below, praise him (God) above yea heavenly host.  Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost) Amen." ) It's a great set of words to have in your back pocket.

 

  • 5. Explore with them! As you are reading Bible stories or listening in worship, ask your child "wondering questions."  Questions like, "I wonder what Jesus' face looked like when he feed all those people."  or "I wonder which hymn was your favorite today."  Wondering questions don't have a "right" answer, but rather they should invite your child to share what he's understanding is.  Sometimes wondering questions won't be answered!
  • 6. It's their story too!  Jesus said "Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not!" (Matthew 19:14) Children are part of God's big story.  They are heirs of the promises of God and members of the household of God.  They are always welcome to be a part of our common life and our common faith.  Bible stories, scripture passages, hymns and prayers belong as much to them as to anyone else in the church!

     

    Most importantly Remember:

    You are not alone! There is a whole church here and ready to help.  We are praying for you and for your child. Dedicated teachers and volunteers are designing programs and resources just for your child. Our associate pastor is on hand to help answer tough and not so tough questions (she's even buried a hamster before!).  Beyond all of that, we know that God is with you in your ministry caring and nurturing your child!