by Mark Entzminger/ June 22, 2015
God’s love gets a lot of attention in kids’ ministry. From the most popular songs—“Jesus Loves Me”—to the verses we focus on the most—John 3:16—God’s love receives a lot of focus and discussion. So what is missing from this conversation?
The One Essential Word for Teaching Kids about God’s Love
If we truly want the kids in our ministry to understand the depth of God’s love, we must teach them about the limitlessness of His grace.
For example—have you ever had one of your kids respond to the call for salvation every time you present it? This is fairly common in kids’ ministry. Many kids go through a season of questioning their salvation. This is why grace is such an important concept to teach them.
When we teach kids about the grace of God, we teach them how radical God’s love really is. It’s a life changing, unshakable, forever kind of love. It’s a love that changes our life if we commit to it. Grace says God knows we’re going to mess up. That’s why He asks us to live in His grace. It helps us move beyond those troubles that keep tripping us up if we will come to Him and be honest with Him about what we did and why we did it.
Kids understand this love when they think about their favorite stuffed animal or toy they took with them everywhere they went. The eyes may have fallen off, it might be slobbered on or half-eaten by a dog, but they love it. We think it’s nasty … but the child loves it. Not because it’s beautiful, perfect, or even loves them back. The child loves it simply because IT BELONGS TO THEM.
That’s what grace is. One of my favorite bedtime traditions with my two boys is to pray with them, give them a kiss on the forehead, and tell them, “I love you.” They will say, “I love you too.” And then I ask … “Do you know why I love you?” To which they always respond … “No.” (They like to play this game.) I respond, “Because you are mine. And you will always be mine, so I will always love you … no matter what!”
That’s the kind of grace-filled love that Jesus has for us. And kids need to understand that.
If we truly want kids in our ministries to understand God’s love, we must teach them about God’s love AND God’s grace. You can’t have one without the other.
Do you spend time in your ministry focusing on the grace of God? How do you teach this truth?