by Cass Brannan
One of the greatest responsibilities that the church seems to overlook is that of preschoolers. They are in the most foundational years of their life, and as leaders—and as the Church—we cannot fail to capture their hearts! If we don’t capture their hearts, the world will.
If we continue to just offer Bible stories and a coloring sheet in church we will never truly capture their hearts with the gospel. There is a great privilege to begin laying the foundation of their biblical worldview, and here are four ways that we can do that.
We have to go after the way they THINK.
Preschoolers are capable of thinking on their own, if we will let them! Their sense of WONDER is taking over and they are wanting desperately to know why and how about everything. We need to begin to allow them to see how Scripture can shape the way that they make decisions, how and why they are disciplined, and for teaching. We need to ask them questions and allow them to think about the decision that they are making. It is a process of having them THINK and going after their little hearts!
We have to instill in them a foundation of FAITH.
There is no greater time to start laying the foundation of their faith in Jesus, than when they are preschoolers. Preschoolers are beginning their foundation for everything else in their hearts and minds—like the alphabet, the sounds the letters make, etc., so that one day they can read. We need to begin to set the foundation of faith in their hearts, so that one day, they can put those pieces together, with the goal of having a relationship with Jesus! It is so important that we teach them that they can trust God’s Word. They need to have Scripture written on their little hearts. Preschoolers are not too little to memorize God’s Word—we just need to give them the chance. If we want to capture the hearts of preschoolers, then we have to teach the Bible to them in fun and amazing ways!
We need to teach, model, and live out TRUTH.
If we are going to capture the hearts of preschoolers, then they need to see that what we are teaching is TRUE. If you are not living what you are teaching, then we will fail to capture their hearts. Don’t for one moment think that just because they are preschoolers, that you can fool them—they are way smarter than you think. They will see right through you! So simply, if you want your preschoolers to see the TRUTH, TEACH IT. MODEL IT. LIVE IT.
We need to make the most of the TIME that we are given!
The reality is that preschoolers need your time. They need it at home and at the church. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 6 that we should talk about God’s Word all day long with our children. It takes work and it takes effort to add God into your daily routine of life, but it is not hard. By weaving God into your rhythm you create a great use of the time that you do have with your preschoolers.
We cannot afford to simply go after the behavior of our preschoolers we have to capture their hearts!
Cass is a husband, daddy, and a preschool minister at Calvary Tuscaloosa. Cass is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and Southeastern Seminary and is passionate about preschoolers and families, and partnering them with the church. Cass lives in Northport, Alabama, and loves spending time with his wife and three boys.