When to Start Learning About Worship

A child is never too young to be pointed to God as the source of all things, as One who is a great God but also a God of love.

Can infants really learn about worshiping God?

As Bible teachers, and parents, model a lifestyle of praise, infants will begin the process of developing good attitudes toward God as their maker, a great God who made all things and a caring God who loves them. Simply speaking words like “God loves you and so do I.”, leaves an impact. The same effect can happen by holding babies up to a mirror and saying something like, “There is … (child’s name). I’m so glad God made you.” As teachers walk around the room with them looking at pictures and objects, saying things like, “God made … puppies, pretty flowers, or whatever it is.,” they’re pointing these little ones to God as the Source of all things. Praying with short phrases of adoration and thanksgiving to God and singing words of praise, suggests God must be Someone special.

What can toddlers and preschoolers learn about worship?

As children grow into their toddler and preschool years, they can begin to participate in worship activities. Clapping, singing, and simple prayers are ways to engage them. Remind them that they are doing these activities to and for God because He is a great and good God. He is worthy of their praise. They may not fully grasp the significance but it continues to reinforce that the Lord is God and He is the source of all things.

How does learning about worship change at the Grade School level?

By the time children are grade school age, they can begin to grasp the theological basis behind who this God is that they worship, why they worship Him, and how He is worthy of their praise. Younger grade school children still struggle with abstract concepts but they are able to understand that there is Someone greater than them who merits their praise and thanksgiving.

All, young and old, can be taught about worship.

Begin in the nursery, and continue into adulthood, to help people “know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Encourage them, at all ages, to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”

Exhort everyone to “give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Why? – “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100).

Resources for Learning About Worship:

Children Learn to Worship
Psalm 100 forms the basis for the Children Learn to Worship Curriculum by Ministry Tools Resource Center. It makes memorizing Scripture and learning Bible truths about worshiping God fun for grade school age children.

Teach Adults the Truth About Worship

Help adults learn about worship with The Truth About Worship Discussion Guides. As they study and discuss God’s Word together using the questions in these guides, they begin to see that worship goes beyond what they do one day a week to a lifestyle of worship.

Reminders For Teaching About God’s Love

Depth of God's Love in Christ

Teaching about God’s love must go beyond communicating truths about it. We must teach it in such a way that we present an accurate picture (2 Tim. 2:15).

You might first want to read: Truths for Teaching About God’s Love

Important Reminders for Bible Teachers When Teaching About God’s Love:

1) Be careful to present God in the fullness of who He is, not just the part that seems more appealing.

God does love us beyond measure, demonstrated in how far He is willing to go to reconcile us to Himself. But, it took the death of Jesus on the cross to bring salvation because He is also a just and holy God who cannot overlook sin. Jesus died to take the punishment we deserve.

2) Guard against over-emphasizing certain traits.

Bible teachers must present God in the fullness of who He is, not just the part that feels good. He is also a just and holy God. If you stress only the love of God, people could struggle to understand how a good God can allow suffering. If you primarily emphasize God’s judgment and wrath due to Him being a just and holy God, people could struggle with understanding how personal and approachable He is.

3) Help students understand God’s love by being an example of His love.

Remember that God demonstrates His love. He doesn’t just talk about it. You will model His love by the way you respond to questions, disruptions, misbehavior, breakages, etc.

Resource: Does your heart beat with the love of God? Worksheet

Model for Children to Study the Bible

Bible Study Tool for Children
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin. You are permitted to print a copy of the image to distribute to students.)

We can give children tools to help them remember how to read and study God’s Word, but that will only take them so far. They need to see it modeled. Personal reading and study of God’s Word needs to be reinforced by their Bible teachers. Even how a teacher speaks of and uses God’s Word in the classroom can make a difference.

In a previous post you were given a tool you can use with children to help them read and study God’s Word. If you did not read that post, let me encourage you to do so before reading this one to help you better understand the significance of the words in the Bible acrostic I will be referring to below.

Believe

If you want children to believe the importance of the Bible, they need to see their Bible teachers using it when teaching, not just referring to the curriculum lesson book. If they don’t see you using it in church, why should they use it at home? Also, Bible teachers need to make sure they are emphasizing the right things about the Bible, that it isn’t merely a book of rules or nice stories but a way to get to know and love our great God and to hear from Him.

Investigate

Teach children how to discover truth on their own by practicing it in the classroom. Don’t just tell them what the Bible says but rather ask questions and use methods that require them to dig deeper. By doing this, you will increase their understanding of how to study the Bible on their own.

Benefit

Get beyond merely teaching what the Bible says, head knowledge, to helping students see how it relates to them. Use questions and discussion methodology to help them think through the implications of the lesson’s truth to their lives. If children aren’t used to thinking through the benefits of Scripture in the classroom, they might have a more difficult time doing so on their own.

Listen

Go far enough in your teaching. Helping children see the implications of truth to their lives is good but giving them opportunity to practice the application of those truths is even better. Role playing is one method you might use. Also, seek commitments from them for steps they will take. If they see the difference it can make in their lives when they obey, or put into practice, God’s Word, it could spur them on to go that far in their own reading and studying of the Bible.

Encourage

Children will be more likely to believe, value, appreciate, and apply God’s Word when they share what they have learned with others. Help children understand that reading and studying God’s Word isn’t just for the effect it has on them but also so they can encourage others with it. Model this step by ending class with at least a few students being able to share one thing they learned that day. Or, have them make crafts representing what they have learned for them to pass on to someone else. Or, perhaps you can make a take home paper for them, if not provided by the curriculum, for them to use as a tool to tell parents or friends what they learned.

Teacher Training Resource:  Discipling Students in Word of God Worksheet

Tool for Children to Study the Bible

Bible Study Tool for Children
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin.)

You want the children in your ministry to study the Bible on their own, not just when they are at church. But, how will that happen? Since children do well at memorizing, you could give them a tool to help them remember how to approach the Bible. Here’s an acrostic using the word “BIBLE” which you may give to children.

You are permitted to print copies of the Bible acrostic. Simply click on the image to enlarge it in Pinterest and print the number of copies needed, preferably on cardstock paper.

Make sure children understand the significance of these words:

Believe

Children need to believe that the God of the Bible wants to communicate with them through the Bible. They also need to believe the importance of Bible reading and study for their personal lives. This helps with children’s motivation to spend time in the Word on their own.

As part of this step, encourage children to begin by thanking God for His Word and telling Him what they believe about it, asking for His help to understand as they read.

Investigate

Children need to do more than passively read God’s Word. They need to dig into the Word, investigating like they are detectives looking for answers. Such involvement with God’s Word will help keep children’s attention as they read.

As part of this step, encourage children to ask the who, what, when, where, why, and how types of questions. For example, what does this passage teach me about God?

Benefit

Children need to get beyond head knowledge to seeing the implications of what they are reading for their lives. Whether it is promises they can hold on to or principles to live by, God’s Word is useful even to children (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Understanding the relevance of God’s Word to their everyday living helps them attach even more worth to reading and studying the Bible.

As part of this step, encourage children to ask the “how does it benefit” questions. How does this benefit my relationship with God? How does this benefit my friendships? How does this benefit me with my family? How does this benefit the way I feel? How does this benefit me at school?

Listen

Children need to not only understand the implications of Scripture for their lives, how it benefits them, but also do something with it. They need to apply what they learn — to listen in the sense of obeying or doing something with what they heard God say in His Word. This is how they will truly benefit.

As part of this step, encourage children to ask questions like: What will I do differently as a result of my Bible reading? To listen to God, do I need to change my attitude? Do I need to change the way I think about things? Do I need to change what I do?

Encourage

Children need to grasp that with an understanding of God’s Word comes responsibility to share it with others. They too can become teachers of God’s Word by encouraging others with what they have read. Sharing God’s Word with someone else helps cement the truth in their minds and hearts.

As part of this step, encourage children to think of at least one person they can be an encouragement to by sharing what they have read. They could share how God used His truth to change their lives. They could share verbally, with a note, e-mail, on social media, making a card, etc.

Giving children a tool is only a starting point. In the next post we will consider to how to reinforce this emphasis. (Click here to subscribe to receive e-mail notice of new posts.)

More Resources for: How to Teach Students to Value, Study, Know & Apply the Bible

Also, use the share buttons below to pass this on to parents and children’s Bible teachers you know so they can use this tool.