Heartprints

Teaming With Parents To Build Strong Biblical Foundations Through The Impressionable Years

Computers, iPods, and video games are found in almost every home in America. Technology is everywhere with new products, gimmicks, and tools to help teach, train, and entertain children.  If you were to ask a 7, 8, or 9 year old if they owned and used any of these items, a majority of them would say “yes.”  Technology is the future of our world and a tool that many parents are using to entertain and teach their children. Whatever happened to playing outside, riding bikes, and reading books for entertainment?  Are children being over stimulated as a result of too much technology? 

Computers, iPods, and video games are found in almost every home in America. Technology is everywhere with new products, gimmicks, and tools to help teach, train, and entertain children.  If you were to ask a 7, 8, or 9 year old if they owned and used any of these items, a majority of them would say “yes.”  Technology is the future of our world and a tool that many parents are using to entertain and teach their children. Whatever happened to playing outside, riding bikes, and reading books for entertainment?  Are children being over stimulated as a result of too much technology? 

As children’s leaders, we must be informed and current on technology trends and new products that are introduced to our children daily.  New video games, game systems, and computer programs are just a few of the methods of stimulation that are introduced to our children and used to entertain and teach them at home.  Are we giving our children what they need to develop and grow in a world with so much to offer, so many different learning opportunities, and so much technology?           

During the impressionable years you can help parents build on a spiritual foundation by being sensitive to the way children develop and learn during the young elementary years.  As children’s ministry leaders, familiarize yourself with the developmental characteristics of children…what and how they learn at different age levels…so that you can offer parents sound direction and guidance.  Also, be aware of what is new in the area of technology and how it might influence children positively or negatively during the developmental cycle.

Children of all ages should be given the opportunity to know, love, live for Jesus and grow spiritually in their relationship with Him.  Therefore, continue to build on the previous foundation that has been laid in the early years and assist and equip parents with the necessary tools, materials, and information that will encourage and promote spiritual growth.           

Did you know that children in the first, second, and third grade need interactive materials that will allow them to explore, create, and use new skills to stimulate learning?  Activities using thinking skills and participation are necessary during this age of development.  When a child participates in an activity which encourages thinking and active learning they are more likely to remember the Bible lesson or principle that is being taught.  Some activities that can be included in a lesson plan that would encourage thinking skills and participation would be reading, drama, writing, and drawing.  When using these learning activities, think of creative ways to implement them into the lesson plan.  How would you creatively have children read the Bible story, act out the Bible story, write about the Bible story, and draw the Bible story?  At this age children learn to accept the Bible as a place to find answers to their questions so encourage them to seek, search, and find answers through the Scripture. 

Did you know that first, second, and third graders need to be guided through their Bible study so that they can learn the Biblical standards, embrace principles, and make lifestyle choices that are pleasing to God?  Children at this age are curious and are asking questions about God and heaven, they are seeking answers and developing personal values that will influence their choices, attitudes, and behavior for the rest of their lives.  They are learning that God forgives and are embracing Jesus as Savior.  Therefore, teachers who demonstrate and model forgiveness and share the gospel in an unintimidating way are found to be good leaders in the classroom for this age group of children. 

Did you know that Jesus grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him?  (Luke 2:40).  No technology, but only the favor of God was upon him.  His stimulation came from God not manmade tools and He grew in wisdom and strength.  Teach the first, second, and third grade children to grow in wisdom from God’s Word and trust it for their answers.  Is the use of technology wrong in teaching children the things about God?  You will have to make that decision, seek God’s wisdom for your answer.     

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Lisa Goodyear

Lisa Goodyear holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education, with a focus in Children's Ministry, from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has over twenty-eight years of local children's ministry, as well as an extensive background in early childhood education and international ministry to children. Currently, she is serving with the family/children’s ministry in her local church in Shawnee, Kansas. Lisa's passion is to see children from every nation, tongue, and tribe trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and grow in their relationship with Him. She is married to Rolla and they have two grown children and three grandchildren and a little Yorkie, Romeo. Lisa lives in Olathe, Kansas.