Helping kids learn how to love Jesus more than anything

contemplative child

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the contemplative style is likely a very loving child, and maybe has even sensed God’s love for them. They might spend a lot of time thinking, and can easily imagine God as a friend. But how can you help your contemplative child learn how to love Jesus more than anything? Watch the video to find out, or read the transcript below! “Look mommy! I made a journal.”  My 6 year old son thrust several sticky notes in my face. On each page he had drawn hearts around a word. One page had the word “God” in the middle, another had the word “nature”, and still another, “family”. This boy has a deep sense of the love of God for others. A philosopher named James K.A. Smith says that “humans are not fundamentally thinking beings. We’re not even primarily … Read More

Audacious simplicity: How the ascetic lifestyle can help your child love God and the world

Quiet ascetic child

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the ascetic lifestyle is likely a very thoughtful child, and may not be interested in sensory ways of engaging with God and the Bible. You could also think of this child as the minimalist. But when natural ascetics live a life of astounding simplicity, generosity, and sacrifice, the world can change for the better! Watch the movie or read the transcript (plus a few extra ideas) below for an astounding example of a famous ascetic Christian who changed the world. A few months ago, we did a family foot-washing ceremony to help our boys connect with what Jesus did at the Last Supper. One of our boys refused to participate. At first I tried to encourage him, but we both grew frustrated as he became more determined not to participate and I became more determined to make him … Read More

The Christian Parent’s Guide To Encouraging Child Activism

child activism for the environment

Child activism may seem like a misnomer, but some kids are hardwired to be activists. Let’s guide their justice-minded hearts toward helping others! “I’ll call it Creative Kids For Compassion,” he stated at the dinner table. “Huh?” I had no idea what he was talking about. As usual. This child has a prolific inner life and his brain is usually on overdrive. “My new organization! We can sell our stories and raise money for kids who don’t have clean water.” Well, melt my heart and call me a puddle. That night, he sat down to finish writing a story, which he then proceeded to illustrate and type. His 6 year old brother was inspired to write his own story, and Creative Kids For Compassion was born.  Over the next several months, the boys sold their books both online and in person. Twice they stood outside for hours on a freezing … Read More

How To Help The World As A Kid

how to help the world as a kid: superhero kid!

Wondering how to help the world as a kid, or help your justice-minded child help the world while worshipping God? Read on… Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the activist style is one with a very strong sense of justice. They might become frustrated by unfairness on the playground or at the dinner table. How can you help your justice-minded child to connect with God through standing up for justice? My son came home in a huff one day. According to him, all the other classes at school had the chance to play drums in music class, but his class only got to play the ukulele. He was furious over the injustice of it all. The icing on the cake of frustration came when he told his teacher he was interested in playing drums, and she simply said, “no.”  My justice-minded child couldn’t handle … Read More

How To Connect Your Intellectual Child With God With One Simple Question

intellectual child learning

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the Intellectual style is one who probably loves to learn! But how can you help your keen learner connect with God through what they’re learning, even if it’s not a strictly spiritual topic? My eldest son loves to learn about specific topics. He goes through phases of obsession. For a while it was sharks, then magic tricks. His current obsession is stop-motion animation.  While it’s easy to just let him direct his own learning obsessions, I can point out how his interests relate to eternal things and give him material that piques his curiosity.  But all truth is God’s truth, so I believe that if you take the time to find out what truly interests your child, you can help them find ways to tune into God through that interest.  One perfect question One simple question you can … Read More

5 ways to help an intellectual child grow in faith

intellectual child

 When I was a teenager, our church had a little Christian bookstore in it. One summer I received a gift card for the store, so I went in and bought myself a big old concordance. It was so heavy I had to carry it with two arms. My friend thought I was crazy, but I knew it would help me understand the Bible better.  What Is An Intellectual? Some children share my deep curiosity and find it easy to dive deep into topics that interest them. (Read about my experience with being an Intellectual in this article on how to love God with all your mind!) The topics may not appear to be “intellectual” as an adult sees them, though. In fact, it may look more like an obsession with dinosaurs or bacteria, but children who love to learn often connect with God in the same way. These kids may … Read More

How to Teach Kids the Skill of Seeing God Through Nature

Seeing God through nature

Seeing God through nature seems natural, but it takes some training to learn to truly recognize, worship, and connect with God through nature. One of my friend’s boys woke up with the sun one day, and discovered the beauty of the sunrise. “God made the sky for me and it is so beautiful! It makes my heart happy!” he told his mom. Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the naturalist style feels most connected to our creative Creator God when they’re out in nature. But how can you help tune their hearts to sing God’s praises in the great outdoors? The sand that was laid on the icy winter roads for traction had been scraped onto the boulevards. The snow had finally melted, but the grit remained. It’s one of my least favourite parts of my very favourite season: spring. But in the midst … Read More

God gave us 5 senses…here’s how our kids can use them to worship God

Girl experiencing God through her senses

God gave us 5 senses for a reason, and we can help our kids connect with our unseen, untouchable God through their physical senses. Here’s how! I sat in the hard wooden pew with my family, our pet fish, and two stuffed animals.  At the invitation of my sister-in-law (who was training to become a Lutheran pastor), we were attending our first ever animal blessing service. The entire service was a shock to the senses.  Before the service began, my children gazed in awe at the amazing stained glass windows. We discussed which Bible stories were represented in the pictures and marveled at the colors. Before and during the service, cats meowed and dogs barked, while adults chuckled. Congregants sang with gusto as the pipe organ pounded out old, familiar hymns – poetry set to music. When we went forward for the blessing, the pastor chuckled as she dipped her … Read More

Helping Our Kids Engage God With All 5 Senses

Little boy with a promise rock in his pocket

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the Sensate style likely is always touching, hugging, sniffing and tasting things, maybe even at inappropriate times. Let’s talk about engaging God with all 5 senses to help your Sensate child connect with God on a much deeper level.  Our kids were made to engage in life using their senses. It’s how God made them. A baby doesn’t just want to taste her food – she wants to squish it and rub it on her face.  Some kids grow out of this need to experience everything with all their senses, but others don’t. Then, we tell them to sit still while we read the Bible, or close their eyes and fold their hands when they pray.  It’s unfair to these kids that we engage their senses in every other part of life, but not in connecting with God! … Read More

From Floundering to Flourishing: One Practical Tip for Teaching Children About Jesus

Dad reads Bible with daughter

How can you focus on teaching children about Jesus without feeling guilty about having a normal, busy family life? Read on or listen in for ONE game-changing tip! One of my boys requires a lot of time to transition from activity to activity. When he was a toddler, he would scream if we didn’t give enough time to transition. He needed us to complete the full countdown routine each time we wanted to leave the park or his grandparent’s house, or even to come down for dinner! As an older elementary child, he still thrives on routine. If we deviate from a plan even a bit, he gets frustrated.  Teaching children about Jesus through routines Children thrive on routine, right? I believe every child begins with the heart of a Traditionalist because young children do best when their lives are run by routines. That may not continue to need routines … Read More