To answer this question, we need to consider children as whole people that have spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, and social dimensions. You can check out my "Faith Like a Child" series on this blog to see what the Bible says about the spiritual capacity of children.
Here are those posts:
Faith Like a Child (part 1)
Faith Like a Child (part 2)
Faith Like a Child (part 3)
Faith Like a Child (part 4)
Faith Like a Child (part 5)
Faith Like a Child (part 6)
Faith Like a Child (part 7)
It is important to us that disciples of all ages can fully participate in the mission. Therefore, it is critical that children understand the essentials of our practices without "watering down" their meaning and power.
A child does not receive a "junior-sized" Holy Spirit, but the Bible teaches that children have tremendous spiritual insight and often receive profound Kingdom truths more easily than adults. Simultaneously, a child's human development requires that the gospel is presented in its simplest form in terms of the language and imagery we use. Therefore, we process our core practices in "kid-friendly" terms because we want to pass on essential truths to the next generation form the earliest moments possible.
Here are the child-friendly, essential truths of our mission (what we call our "Cores for Kids"):
- Jesus teaches us that praying helps us get close to God!
- Jesus teaches us that we can worship God by doing good everywhere we go!
- Jesus teaches us that baptism is a way we can show we want to follow Him with our whole heart!
- Jesus teaches us to obey Him and be like Him by loving God and others!