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The Bible Tells Me So!

Peter Christian Olsen

Children's faith growth is a journey, and their images of God expand as they struggle with life's complexities. We can contribute to their spiritual growth by accepting their immature perceptions and continually challenging them as their ability to think abstractly develops. We move them, slowly but consistently, from their perceptions of God as concrete person toward God who reveals himself as "spirit and mystery"; it's always a progression, never a leap.

Peter Christian Olsen is the author of Youth at Risk: Ministry to the Least, the Lost, and the Last. He's been a Christian educator for 25 years, and is a children's and youth counselor in New Braunfels, Texas.

Faith Nurturing Tips

Use these simple ways to help kids better understand the Bible.

• Questions-Be prepared for the "whys"--the cause-and-effect questions about good and evil and other faith issues. Also, ask more questions than you give answers. This develops a sense of wonder in children.

• Age-appropriateness-Always use age-appropriate language.

• Rituals-Expose kids to religious rituals and traditions.

• Acceptance-Accept kids' interpretation of religious concepts without criticism.

• "Everydayness"-Make conversations about spiritual matters and Bible content a regular part of your conversations.

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