Four Ways to Disciple Young Kids
Sweet Lou is five now, and her questions about life keep getting more and more complicated (I'm scared for what that means when she is bigger). This morning she looked in the mirror and said "I look so grown up! I look like I'm 7 years old!" after laughing all I could think was yes, this little girl is growing up so fast.
My husband and I want to teach our daughter to look at herself and the world around her through the lens of the gospel, and mostly what that has boiled down to at her young age is going back to simple truths. Here are four ways easy ways we disciple Sweet Lou that are easily adapted to younger or older children.
1. Memorize Catechisms Or Scripture Together
One of the easiest ways we have instilled the simple truths of who we are in Christ and who God is in our daughter is through doing a new catechism every week. Catechisms are questions and answers that cover Christian doctrine or beliefs. We found The New City Catechism and LOVE it.
I write out each catechism on a notecard and stick it on the fridge, and we do a new one each week. We repeat it every day, and Sweet Lou is far better at memorizing it than we are. This book is built for families, so has shortened and simplified version to do with small children. We also really like the devotional that goes along with it (which is not simplified for children but so so good). Instead of a catechism, you could write out a scripture and memorize it together.
2. Pray The Lord's Prayer
When Sweet Lou began to pray, we started teaching her The Lords Prayer in Matthew 6. She memorized it quickly, and we have prayed it often since. Recently I decided it would be good to do together in the mornings. We kneel down together, often with some cuddling or giggling involved, and pray how Jesus taught us to. It also sparks some good questions from her.
"Loved" by Sally Lloyd Jones is a board book of the Lord's Prayer in language little kids can understand, and really demonstrates the ideas and heart behind every part of the Lord's Prayer.
For lower elementary or preschool age (and below), I would recommend the "Loved" book mentioned above or "Found" by the same author to switch it up (it is a kid's version of Psalm 23). Read it every day for a couple of weeks and you will be surprised to find your child knows it by heart!!
For older kids, break down the Lord's Prayer and examine what each portion really means.
3. Find a Bible everyone loves
And read it every day. Sweet Lou's Bible that is completely falling apart from overuse is The Jesus Storybook Bible, By Sally Lloyd Jones (The same author and illustrator from the books above!)
4. Serve together
This could mean picking flowers and dropping them off on a neighbors porch, helping a friend move, or sitting with elderly neighbors or family members even if it isn't "fun". We can show our kids through little things every day how we can love others by serving them, and maybe re-frame "boring" tasks (like helping mom with the dishes). Serving others has been such a way to show how we love like Jesus, learn about how other people live, and find the joy in service.
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