When I asked around about parents talking to their kids about Christ, I realized quickly that this was something that most parents wanted to do. But, I also found:
- They didn’t know where to start.
- They didn’t feel like they had time to do it.
- They thought they had to talk about pretty much everything in one sitting.
So, based on the things I heard, I wanted to talk about how to talk about God to your kids. I use these in children’s ministry every single week, and I see these same tactics work week in and week out. Try them out at home! Remember that this is incredibly important. Of the 168 hours in a week, they’ll spend about 3 with us (if we’re lucky) and you’ll get them around for a little over 60 when you remove things like school and sleep. This makes your job incredibly important, since we want to be able to reinforce things that they are learning at home.
Keep it short
Kids have a ridiculously short attention span. Seriously. Think goldfish. They get about one minute of attention span for every year, but they max out around 6 minutes. So, keep it short. Got a 4-minute car ride coming up? Talk to them about what prayer is. Got another 4-minute drive home? Talk to them about the miracle of the birth of Christ. If you want to talk longer, just make sure you break it up with something in between. Always remember that you don’t have to cover everything in one sitting. Quick “God Talks” with your kids will make a huge difference. Come see me to get your copy of “Learning as They Grow,” a short pamphlet that will guide you towards what to talk about for every age group.
Keep it creative
Parents, don’t just settle for the same old bland retelling of Bible stories. If I hear another person simply inform a kid “Goliath was nine feet, six inches tall, and he had…” I may puke. Show them! Make them think about it! Find something around Goliath’s height and make them stand and look up at it. Every time I ever talk about the tower of Babel with a group, we build a tower. Jenga, bendy straws, whatever you want to use is good. When we talked about baby Moses a while back, we didn’t settle for just informing them of what Moses’s mother did to hide him. Our class used cardboard, duct tape, and saran wrap to keep baby Moses (a cotton ball) safe in a tub of water. Don’t just talk about the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8). Give them $10, take one of the bills and hide it, and see how much effort they put into finding it. Then, you can link it to Jesus chasing after us. This is so easy for you to do at home as well. Don’t limit yourself to just “storytime.” Keep it creative! Think outside the box for kids, and it will stick.
Keep it relevant
Kids need to know why what happened thousands of years ago can have any effect on them now. Make sure you are drawing the connection between David and Goliath and your kids’ personal lives. Kids also need to learn on their level. This is why the King James Version of the Bible just doesn’t get it done in kids’ ministry. They just don’t get it. Seriously, I don’t even get it sometimes. Instead, we provide (for free) Bibles for several different age groups. The ones that we can’t give away, I am happy to provide a recommendation for. For example, “The Action Bible” is a great choice for kids that like comic books. Does it seem unorthodox to use a comic book, rhymes, or paraphrased stories to teach the Bible to kids? Of course it does! But to communicate the Gospel to your kids, we have to constantly stay relevant to them. Let me know if you need a free Bible, and I’m glad to get you one!
Keep it fun
Please, please please…don’t neglect this one! The very last thing that we need is another generation of kids growing up to think that church (and by association, God) is boring, stuffy, and will shush you if you are too loud. Willie George put it like this: “I refuse to place children in a beige room, seat them at a table, make them fold their hands, listen quietly to my team tell them a story, and teach them that this is God. My God is a God of color. My God is the master artist of the universe. My God created leaves, grass, rainbows, our eyes, our skin. He’s alive. All his creation is alive to praise him!” Let the kids have fun. Play a game with them. Use that game to tie back to the Gospel. Think it can’t be done? Chutes and Ladders is the perfect for talking about trying to gain salvation on our own. Hungry, hungry hippos? Gluttony. Just kidding on that one. These can also tie back to your “God talks.” Give it a shot, and make sure the kids know that God wants us to find enjoyment in Him!