Teaching children about Jesus is hard. How do we introduce someone our children cannot see? Which part of the Bible can they understand? Do they even know what a miracle is?
If you are wondering about the above questions, you are at the right place. Our children need to learn about Jesus so that they can experience His incredible love.
In this article, I will write about 21 valuable tips on teaching kids about Jesus, how you can start doing it today, and bible verses you can use with children.
- 21 Tips On How To Tell Children About Jesus
- How To Explain God To A Child
- Bible Verses For Teaching Children Faith
- How To Start Teaching Children About God
- Alternative Views On Children And Jesus
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21 Tips On How To Tell Children About Jesus
Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget famously classifies children between the ages of 2 to 7 to be in the “preoperational stage of cognitive development.” This means that they rely on symbols rather than facts or logic to represent their thoughts. Younger children cannot imagine things that are not present, which makes starting the relationship of Jesus with children hard.
Fortunately, he also gave a hint to make our lives easier. Symbols such as stories and visual pictures work great for children of all ages! Let’s jump into how we can apply this for teaching children about Jesus.
#1 Use Children’s Bibles Or Picture Bibles
I like to leave Children’s Bibles or my trusty Picture Bible around the house. It is useful because you can quickly grab them for a story when they are bored, “buy some time” to the toilet by giving them the Picture Bible, or refer to the Bible when children have questions about life.
Children’s Bibles or the Picture Bible is an excellent choice because they use visuals heavily and make things simple to understand. My favorites are:
- The Picture Bible by Chariot Books
- The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- Hands-On Bible NLT (for older children)
#2 Pray With Your Children
The easiest way to start praying with children is by doing it during mealtimes and bedtimes. This is how you start the communication of children with Jesus. A simple prayer could go:
- “Dear Jesus, thank you for the yummy food! Amen.”
- “Goodnight, Jesus. I pray for mummy, daddy, and myself to sleep tight, and may the monsters don’t bite. Amen.”
Once your child has gotten used to prayers during these times, you can introduce prayers for more occasions. It can be when your child is sad, after getting hurt from falling, or even for parking at a shopping mall on a busy weekend afternoon!
#3 Use Fun Songs
One of the best parts of growing up in a Christian family was the many songs we sang! Use songs with lyrics that are friendly to teaching children faith. Take a look at some examples that I use below!
Fun songs for children and Jesus:
- “Thank you for the yummy food, yummy food, yummy food, Thank you for the yummy food, Jesus I thank you.” (Tune of “Mary had a little lamb”)
- “Jesus is so good to me, good to me, good to me, Jesus is so good to me, Ha-llelujah!” (Tune of “London Bridge is falling down”)
#4 Saying Sorry
A hallmark of our Christian faith is the repentance and forgiveness of sins. This starts by saying sorry when you make mistakes. It includes those times when you started screaming because the kids almost set the house on fire (been there, done that).
Teaching kids about Jesus starts when you show them how Jesus died for everybody’s mistakes. It includes yours too! You can try adding Jesus into the conversation, such as, “Mummy is sorry for forgetting to get your favorite blueberries today. I know that you love me, and Jesus loves me too! So I feel better now about my mistakes.”
#5 Look For Jesus Everywhere
This means you show your child that Jesus is at home, in school, outdoors, and always watching over them. One of the easiest ways to share about Jesus is in the great outdoors. I love referencing Psalms 19 when I’m thinking about teaching children about God.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hand. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”
- Funny cloud shapes. Jesus is funny!
- Pretty flowers. Jesus is an artist.
- Butterflies and worms. Jesus breathes life!
#6 Join Sunday School
Although you may look youthful enough to join Sunday School, I recommend volunteering as a teacher or helper for activities. This is perfect for encouraging your child to learn about Jesus if they feel shy or anxious when they are away from you. If your child is boisterous and talkative, being there helps the Sunday School teacher manage the children’s behaviors too!
Another reason to go? You get direct access to the treasure of Bible stories, materials, and fun activities Sunday School has, to use on lazy afternoons when your child is cranky. Talk about a win-win situation!
#7 Sing Sunday School Songs
Many Sunday School songs are legendary. “God is so good”, “Deep deep, down down, deep down in my heart”, and “I’ve got peace like a river” are songs that have been seared into my brain. While you jive, use these songs to let your child grow closer to Jesus!
#8 Listen To Worship Songs Together
In 2016, the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that music improves your child’s brain development. On top of advanced cognitive skills, your child has a natural music inclination. Play some songs, and you’ll see their heads bobbing, body swaying, or arms waving according to the musical rhythms!
Playing worship songs at home is even better than Bach or Mozart. This is because Jesus’s love is introduced to them through feelings from listening to worship lyrics. Feelings make long-lasting memories, so play those worship songs away!
#9 Tell Them That They Are A Child Of God
Studies tell us that self-esteem is the single most crucial factor in determining your child’s success in adulthood. Family, environment, and acceptance are some of the things that affect self-esteem. However, I argue that understanding and accepting the love of Jesus for children is the most significant factor in their success (towards heavenly goals!).
Nurture your child by:
- Listening and accepting their thoughts and feelings (Jesus is a listener)
- Creating opportunities for success by providing help (Jesus is their helper)
- Letting them know that life is in God’s control (Jesus knows everything)
- Telling them about God’s love (Jesus loves everyone)
- Role modeling a life of being loved and accepted (Jesus is my Shepherd)
#10 Join A Christian Community
Being in a big family of Christ can teach children about Jesus better. In Ecclesiastes, God talks about “two is better than one” for a fruitful and supportive life. Feel assured that your child is learning in a Christ-centered environment by being in a community that has believers in Christ!
#11 Keep Faith Fun
Living a life in Jesus is full of joy and wonder. Teaching children about Jesus is all about making learning about Jesus fun! Stay out of boring classrooms and use songs, stories, and dances to engage your child.
#12 Use Their Imagination
- What does Jesus look like?
- What does Jesus sound like?
- What would Jesus say?
- How is Jesus feeling?
#13 Conversations With Jesus
When you talk to someone, it makes them present in your life. Introducing Jesus to your child can be as simple as telling them to speak to Him. They can speak in their heads or use their mouths.
Jesus is always ready to listen to children. Luke 18 records Jesus saying “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Always be ready to help your child start a conversation with Jesus!
#14 Saying “I love Jesus.”
Nothing is as unique as speaking the truth using words. In therapy, changes happen when people voice out their needs and hear them spoken aloud. Similarly, there is power in our words when we teach children to say, “I love Jesus.” Watch how Jesus shows His love to your little one in return.
#15 Live Out Your Faith
Children learn best by watching and learning from their parents. Although we know that life is messy (what part of life isn’t?), show them how to be Christ-like through your actions.
Christ-like faithful behaviors can look like this:
- Praying when you are worried
- Worshiping when you are sad
- Apologizing when you got mad
#16 Increase Jesus’ Visibility
Toys, books, and movies come and go in fashion. You must know what I mean because Frozen still has some die-hard fans lingering among our children. However, Jesus’ truth and the stories in the Bible are never changing. Find high-quality Jesus-centered items for your home.
My favorites are:
- The Chronicles Of Narnia Series (book)
- The Berenstain Bears (book)
- Veggie Tales (You can subscribe on Youtube here)
- Noah’s Ark (toys)
- Armor of God Playset (toys)
- Daniel and the Lion’s Den (craft)
#17 Seeking God As A Family
As you do your daily devotions to grow in Christ-like faith and maturity, your child needs it too! This is one of the best ways on teaching children about Jesus. Follow these steps to get started:
- Step 1: Let your children see you doing devotions in the morning.
- Step 2: Read bible stories as bedtime stories.
- Step 3: Introduce worship time before bedtime bible stories.
- Step 4: Add prayer time before bed.
- Step 5: Introduce a short evening time where your family meets to talk about Jesus, read bible stories, worship, and pray!
#18 Bringing Love Home
Make sure that love is at the center of your home! Say “I love you”, “Jesus loves you”, and “We love grandpa and grandma (insert others)” often. Let them know and feel they are completely loved, just like Jesus loves you and them.
#19 Use Kids-Friendly Bible Verses
Simple bible verses are great for children to be reminded about Jesus’ presence in their lives!
For children who are feeling scared or worried, I love quoting Psalms 23. It has a place of honor on my wall, and we can read it together. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want….”
For children who feel small and weak, I teach Philippians 4:13. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Add in a roar or a muscle flex for more fun!
#20 Don’t Make Faith A Chore
Family devotions, going to church, or reading the bible are not meant to be tiring for children. Teaching children about Jesus uses the core of our faith – love, faith, and hope. Instill these values instead of actions and steps to be completed in their daily lives.
If your child is losing interest in the Bible story you want to share, it is okay to stop and call it a day. If they do not want to sing a worship song, it is alright to sing (and maybe live out) “Let it go” by Frozen. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological theory focusing on long-term wellbeing by living out personal values. It is okay to take a break and choose to make loving choices based on values today!
#21 Spend Time With Them
God created our children to be relational. They enjoy attention from you, and their loved ones much more than any other person on Earth. Therefore, spend time with them being silly, cracking jokes, or just rolling around in the mud!
This strong relationship, rather than any Bible story or Sunday School song, is the one that will lead your children to Jesus.
How To Explain God To A Child
Now that we know how to teach children about Jesus, it is time to examine how to explain God and Jesus to a child. You may think that children cannot understand the concept of God or that they need to be older to remember who Jesus is. However, there are simple answers to their questions.
Who Is God?
Use Bible stories to help your child learn about God. I love to use the creation story from Genesis 1 to teach children about God. I use the examples here:
- In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth: God is powerful and created everything we see on Earth.
- Let us: The trinity includes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!
- So God created mankind in His own image: We are created to be like Jesus.
- God saw all that He had made, and it was very good: God loves us so much and is proud of us.
What Is Truth?
In this world, many things will look like “truth”. Movies, teachers, and friends will say words that will influence your children. How do we tell our children what God’s truth is?
Always remind your children to refer to the Bible or Jesus to tell them the truth. Ask questions like, “What would Jesus do or say?”. Teaching children about Jesus is about helping them know right from wrong.
Who Is Man?
Is man good or evil? Why does the Bible talk about man being sinful? How will children know if people in their lives are good?
These are essential questions because children may not understand forgiveness or the need for Jesus if they think all men are good. Use simple daily examples to show them how Jesus has forgiven all of us. For example, say sorry after making a mistake and tell them that Jesus has forgiven you.
Who Is Jesus?
Using a good picture Bible, tell your child the story of Jesus from the New Testament. Show them how He was born, how He lived His life, and how He saved all humans on Earth. Bring Jesus up in your daily conversations so that children can have a place for Him in their lives.
Bible Verses For Teaching Children Faith
I love to use the bible verses for children here to teach them about Jesus, God, and their faith! Use them in the morning, before bedtime, outdoors, or any time suitable to help them experience Jesus.
- 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”
- Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
- Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another.”
- Isaiah 43:5 “Do not be afraid for I am with you.”
- Psalms 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
- Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
- Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.”
- Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
You can download a printable copy of the bible verses at the link below.
How To Start Teaching Your Children About God
Understand that each child is unique. I love to use the popcorn analogy; even though all corn kernels go in the same oven and experience the same temperature, no popcorn looks the same. In the same way, you need to tailor your child’s experience of God to their developmental stages and character. Let us learn how to share about God and Jesus according to different age groups!
Early Childhood (Ages 0 to 4)
- Tools: Picture Bibles, stories, and songs
- Concepts: Jesus loves you, God keeps promises, and God knows everything about you
- Watch out for: Only emphasizing that Jesus is good and friendly
Early Elementary Years (Ages 5 to 8)
- Tools: Simple children’s bible studies, bible stories
- Concepts: Who is God, Who is Jesus, and Right and wrong
- Watch out for: Bible stories without relating them to daily life
Late Elementary Years (Ages 9 to 11)
- Tools: Sunday School, Family Devotions
- Concepts: Sin, Forgiveness, and Belief in Christ
- Watch out for: Missing out on leading your child to Christ
Middle School (Ages 12 to 13)
- Tools: Youth Church, Family Devotions
- Concepts: Trust, Control
- Watch out for: Questions that push boundaries
High School (Ages 14 to 18)
- Tools: Youth Church, Discipleship
- Concepts: Evil, Justice
- Watch out for: Misbehaviors
|Stages||Early Childhood||Early Elementary||Late Elementary||Middle School||High School|
|Tools||Picture BibleStoriesSongs||Simple Bible studiesBible stories||Sunday SchoolFamily Devotions||Youth ChurchFamily Devotions||Youth ChurchDiscipleship|
|Concepts||Jesus loves youGod keeps promisesGod knows everything||Who is GodWho is JesusRight and wrong||SinForgivenessBelief in Christ||TrustControl||Evil Justice|
|Watch out for||Only emphasizing Jesus is good and friendly||Bible stories without relating them to daily life||Missing out on leading your child to Christ||Questions that push boundaries||Misbehaviors|
Alternative Views On Children And Jesus
Be aware and cautious of alternative views about teaching Jesus to children. There are many churches and education systems with good intentions and dangerous methods. This can come in the form of Sunday School teaching that is not based on Jesus or compulsory education about God and Jesus.
The most widely seen alternative view would be an over-emphasis on fun and happiness when introducing children to Jesus. Churches and Sunday Schools should always center their message on Jesus. While I am not against making lessons fun, they should never give the impression to children that a Christ-like life is all fun and games.
On the far end of the other extreme is communities and systems that make the Christian living compulsory for all members. As enjoyable as living in a Christian community is, children should not be forced to believe in Jesus. Instead, encourage your child to make personal decisions when they are ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 What Age Can I Start Teaching My Child About God?
You can start teaching your child about God at any age, ideally as early as possible. You can read Children Bibles, sing Sunday School songs, or pray together with your child. Take special note to adjust your teaching to your child’s developmental age and understanding levels.
#2 How Do I Teach My Kid To Pray When I Am Uncomfortable With Praying Out Loud?
Write down what you want to pray about before you pray. Your children will also feel uncertain about how to pray; therefore, having a prayer list or written prayer to read aloud will help them. Other tips include keeping your prayers short, practicing on your own first, and starting with mealtime prayers.
#3 I Barely Have Time To Eat Or Shower, How Do I Make Time To Spend Alone With The Lord?
Bring God into your prayer habits. You can do it by using simple methods such as:
- Considering the bigger picture (cut down on unnecessary time-consuming tasks)
- Tweaking your time (using shower, coffee, or even exercising time)
- Daily habits (bringing up Jesus in conversations, ending your day in prayer)
- Replace with Godly activities (play worship songs, watch Christian movies)
- Talk to Jesus throughout your day
Conclusion On Teaching Children About Jesus
Now that you know all about teaching children about Jesus, I pray that your children are also ready to hear from you! An additional tip would be to always keep God’s timing in mind to avoid being impatient about introducing Jesus into your children’s lives. We have the privilege of bringing our children to know the most important person in our lives, which should be full of grace and wonder!
Do you have additional tips on how you brought your little one to know Jesus? Share with me in the comments!
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