We are often tempted to fit children’s ministry into a structured box that we can contain, predict, and control. But if we trust Jesus’ words that the Kingdom of God belongs to children, then we can also believe that God has something to offer them that we cannot (and should not) control.
This series is designed to help you discover new and creative ways to help kids pray and connect with God. The questions we’ll answer are: How do we provide a space where kids can experience climbing into Jesus’ lap to hear his voice on their own? And what do we do once we get them there?
Part 1: Engaging the Imagination
Before we begin, we must believe Jesus when he said, “Let the children come to me.” We must trust that he is inviting children into his presence, and that he has something for them. If we lead them to him, he will speak to them and bless them.
Connecting with God in a personal way can be challenging because we cannot physically see, hear, or touch him. The imagination, though, is a powerful tool that can help both children and adults encounter God in a meaningful way.
For kids, the imagination is so fresh and accessible.
What better way to help them discover God?
That said, using the imagination in a focused and concentrated way can be difficult even for children. Below are two foundational things we suggest to help children begin to engage with God. In later installments of this series we will share more playful and creative ways to help kids pray for themselves and others.
1. Draw or find online a picture of eyes inside of a heart.
Use this image to explain to the children that we see Jesus with our “heart eyes.” And for ears? Ask the children to close their eyes, then tell them to say their names — not with their mouths, but so that they hear it on the inside. This is a great tool to prepare them for the way that they may hear the voice of God.
2. There are two key verses that help prepare children to draw close to God.
These verses are Psalm 22:3 and Psalm 100:4. They remind us that God is enthroned in our praises. What does this mean to a child? It means he comes and sits on our songs. How do we enter his presence? We go through the gates with grateful hearts, and we enter his living room with praise and worship. How do we get to God’s living room? With hearts of praise. This makes a clear pathway for kids to understand — they discover and connect with God by singing his praises.
This series has been prepared by Alice Collier, who lives and serves in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with her husband and three young children. Alice’s passion is to see children of all ages and backgrounds reconnected with the deep love of their Heavenly Father.