Priesthood of the Believer for Children
One of the reasons I joined the Baptist Church as a young adult is the view that Baptists assert that each individual is created in the image of God, and therefore each individual is competent under God to make moral, spiritual, and religious decisions (Shurden, 1993). The question I have been pondering lately is, “How do we teach that to our children?” One of the goals I believe every parent has is for their children to claim the faith they have been taught from their parents as their own one day. Here are a few suggestions that might help on this journey:
Admit: Too often as parents or spiritual leaders we feel the pressure or need to have all of the answers. To our children that may not leave much room for them to be a part of the journey. Kids (as well as most adults) have a need to use their minds, their imaginations, and their creativity; spiritual issues are no different. As you read the Bible with your child, let them see the wonder of God, and let them experience that He has created each of us as individuals. He wants to use all of us to further His kingdom, even children.
Question: Let kids ask questions. Even if they seem outrageous or crazy. They are not being disrespectful to God or His word, they are trying to figure things out for themselves. Kids gaining more knowledge, or wanting to have more is always beneficial. Create ways to find the answers together. Even if you know the answer, guide them to look for themselves. Also, you don’t have to know all the answers. It’s okay to tell them you don’t know an answer if you don’t. That actually is healthy for kids to hear from their parents. Always follow up by stating that you can nd it together.
Ask: What do you think this means? Why is that in the Bible? How does this help you live your life? Always apply scripture to their lives, make it relevant. The Bible is NOT just a history book, it is a living document that applies to their lives and our lives. So help children and themselves in the story of the Bible.
Interpret: When you are reading the Bible or talking about it, ask your kids what they think. Every time I teach a group of children I learn something from how they interpret things. Teaching should be circular. We all learn from each other, your children are no exception. Let them teach you sometimes. They may have an insight or understanding that gives you “new light”. They will be more excited about spiritual things if they are part of the process.
Living the Christian life as a parent can be so exciting. Let God illuminate you as you share His love with your kids and let them “speak” into your life. And when that happens, let them know how God used them to talk to you. at is very empowering to all of us, but especially our children.