The Child Today: A Challenge for the Church


“If he is small, we talk about his parents; if he is a teenager, one is interested in his delinquency; in institutions, it is often the issue of the debate, called to endorse the choices of adults. He is no longer the infant of yesteryear, the one who does not speak. He speaks, the floor is given to him. It is also in his name, in the name of his good that we speak.

Is the child of politicians, educators, sociologists, shrinks, parents the same? This multiplicity of often contradictory discourses, which underpin modern Western educational practices, has led to a new conception of childhood that has gradually become part of practices and law, and which affects the relationships of authority, education and transmission between generations. (The Cluster’s Research)


And for God the child who is he?

His creature he loves, which is valuable to him. A unique being in its own right, recognized. A person in the making, who is the object of all his attention and with whom He wants to communicate. Someone who will be able to take on important responsibilities.

God intervenes The child has not changed in the eyes of God, and his love has not varied towards him. God does not talk about the child, He knows him perfectly, he sees where he is, he knows what he needs, he is able to hear him and respond to his cry. He loves her with immeasurable love. Does he not say in the Bible: “If a woman abandoned the child she breastfeeds, I would collect him,” said the Lord. “Let the children come to me! Don’t stop them,” said Jesus (Luke 18:16)

I like God’s intervention in the narrative we find in the book of Genesis in chapter 21 of verse 17 to 20. A maid has just been driven from her master’s house with her child in the desert. She cries and doesn’t know what to do.

An angel comes and speaks to him: “God has heard the child’s voice; in the place where he is. Get up, take the child, grab it with your hand; for I will make him a great nation. It’s an order, but with a promise. “I will make him… She went to fill the extra with water, and gave him a drink. God was with the child, who grew up… »

Agar obeyed, God kept his promise. He did not abandon the child, but blessed him. He is a God who loves all children in the same way, regardless of the colour of their skin, the place where they live, whether they are rich or devoid of everything. He is a God of consolation, of mercy, a God who does not accept anyone. He takes care of his creature contrary to what we hear very often: “Where is God and what is he doing?” To believe that He is the author of evil! This is a great lack of knowledge of its nature. Nothing is hidden from him. He sees children wherever they are, He knows their needs, their thirst, in this arid world. He said again, “Get up, grab them by the hand.”


We want to respond

… eagerly and go fill our extras in order to give them a drink. We are aware that most children in our country have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us make known to the greatest number of people “the greatest promises ever made, and what God has done to keep it.” “For God loved the world so much that He gave his only son so that anyone who believes in him does not perish but is eternal life.” (John 3/16)

Play, musical, distribution of the Bible, relief for the most needy, distribution of food, clothing, toys, games, sponsorships of children, support to humanitarian and charitable organizations… Every day for a long time already take action to meet the immense needs of all these children who suffer in one way or another, in order to bring them a little happiness, draw across borders a smile on their young faces too often marked.

All life needs to be heard, understood through its expectations, aspirations, worries, suffering, satisfaction in everyday life and uniqueness. There is no greater joy than giving what we have received with abundance. This ability to see, to hear, to listen is essential to avoid the double pitfall of perceiving the child only through theoretical, disembodied and generalizing concepts or alienating him in the representation of our own childhood.

Timothy’s legacy

As a young boy, Timothy lives with the Apostle Paul, he sees, hears and learns. “For you you have followed closely my teaching, my conduct, my plans, my faith, my gentleness, my love, my constancy.” What a testimony for a child!
He knows the price of living with God. He knows the difficulties: “… my persecutions, my sufferings.” But what he acquired as a child, that is, a solid teaching, will allow his faith to take root. Paul’s example and conduct will guide his life. “You remain in the things you have learned, and recognized some, knowing that you have learned them; from your childhood, you know the holy letters that can make you wise to salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. »

When he became a man, he followed Paul. In this passage, the apostle exhorts him that “All writing is inspired by God, and useful to teach, to convince, to correct, to instruct in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fulfilled and fit for all good work.” The Word of God is indispensable for our children, it is the foundation par excellence.

Paul’s testimony, a reflection of the Word of God, will mark the life of this young boy, to lead him to be in turn a witness to Jesus Christ. What Paul passes on to Timothy is the legacy he has received from Jesus Christ, that is, all that he himself has learned from him.

The child is like a malleable land: he trusts; He is open and attentive; he is much more sensitive to spiritual things than the adult; he craves love and absolutes.

Mobilizing is a real necessity, both within and outside the Church. Let us go to the children of our neighbourhoods, of our city, and passing on to them the Gospel, the Good News. Others, with far less laudable intentions, understood this. Let us give this new generation of true values, an eternal hope and a reason to live that will change their world into a less cruel world, and above all into a world where we can freely speak of Jesus, our true hope.

Let’s commit to:

To respect the child:
As a person in his own right,
By listening to his needs, his questions, his difficulties…
By giving ourselves the means to put themselves within his reach,
By doing everything possible to encourage its development and preserve its physical, emotional, psychic, social and spiritual integrity.

To pass on the gospel taking into account the child’s age and context:
By offering appropriate materials, activities and pedagogy,
By also reaching out to those who do not know Jesus Christ.

To recognize the place of the child in the church:
As a full member,
By empowering him in the life of worship,
By accompanying him in his life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

To encourage the child to find his place in society as:
Full member,
Responsible citizen,
Witness of Jesus Christ.

To equip parents and all those who work with children by proposing:
Various and varied training courses,
Appropriate tools.

To pray for:
The children of our churches,
The children of our neighbourhoods,

Jesus said:

“Refusing a nostalgic vision of the ideal child, we must think of it in the context of today’s life, so that he imagines himself in his life of tomorrow.”

The conversion of a child


Salvation for all

The Bible makes no restrictions on who is affected by the offer of salvation (John 3.16). As soon as a child is aware of his sin, he needs to reconcile with his Creator.


Disciple of Jesus





For the child to know:
– > make God known, show the state
human being without God, explain
The work of Jesus.




For the child to believe:
– > tell the story of the powerful actions of
God, destroying false reasoning,
encourage faith.





For the child to start walking:
– > reassure him, encourage him, surround him.





For the child to grow up:
– > feeding him the Word of God,
removing barriers to growth
(doubts, questions, fears…)





In order for the child to strengthen:
– > teach him to feed himself
spiritually, to use the “tools”
spiritual, encourage communion




For the child to bear fruit:
– > teach him to love Jesus and
to obey him.




For the child to serve God
and the others:
– > open up fields of action for him.



Toddlers in church

An article by Andrée LOAS, missionary.

andree_loasA Parisian teacher (retired today), Andrée LOAS has taken the training for instructors provided by the A.E.E. She opened a children’s club in Seine Saint Denis, taught for 13 years in Tunisia in the primary school of a Swiss mission, trained instructors in Chad for 4 years, then collaborated with a Belgian publishing house (the ELB) to rewrite and adapt a complete Sunday school material for Africa. It was not until 2000 that, led by the Lord, she began to take an interest in the biblical teaching of 2-3 year olds, and then wrote two textbooks of “biblical lessons” intended for this age:

Chouquette discovers God

Toddlers discover God

Why aren’t the Bible taught to toddlers in churches?

Is it a language problem?
Because a toddler only blurs a few words, one imagines that he does not understand what he is taught. However, if he does not have a sufficient level of language to react to teaching, rest assured that he records everything. In fact, every parent knows that a toddler understands a lot!

Too small to understand?

Is the problem rather that we think it is too small to understand God’s things?
By the way, at what age does human beings need God? Or, formulated otherwise, at what point in his development does God consider the man he has created to possess a spirit, that is, the ability to communicate with him? If man is not a spiritual being from birth, at what age would he become a spiritual being? And how would that happen?
The Bible gives answers. John the Baptist is said to have been filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). This fetus had a spirit to receive God’s!

The baby that comes into the world is a complete being, that is, physical, psychic and spiritual.
Every parent expects their baby’s body and intelligence to develop and does their best to contribute to it. But what does he do for his child’s spiritual development? What time is he waiting to start worrying about it? How does he respond to the Master’s order: let the “little” children come to me, the ones Jesus was able to take in his arms to bless them?

fille_dos_sacOr you think that at this age, you just have to teach it at home.

Every week, the toddler goes with his family to the church where there is usually a daycare. But the church does not have a daycare like the others. Mom doesn’t put her child there because she has errands to run or she has to go to the doctor. The whole family goes to church for a specific reason, and so does the toddler.

Why does the whole family go to church? Because it is the place where we talk about Jesus, where we sing for him, where we pray to him, where we tell him that we love him. The Bible has a great place in the church: it contains everything we know about God.
So when he goes to church with the whole family, the toddler will also find out how wonderful Jesus is. He’s going to get to know him, sing it, and thank him.

He will see the Bible, touch it, listen to what it says and learn to love it.
For him and his parents, the church will be a very special place, different from any other place. This is where those who love Jesus gather.

Lack of space?


No, you might say, the real problem is that we lack space.
We don’t already know where to put all the Sunday school classes! So, babies…
Every week you can install small chairs, a rug, books, the Bible and all the necessary equipment in a corner of the daycare before the children arrive. Biblical teaching will be done when all the children are there. The lesson will last 5 minutes the first few times, and will not exceed 20 minutes at the end of the year. After the lesson, the little ones will play as they are used to.

But who will be able to teach this confusing age group without risking making mistakes?
Because it is not easy to put yourself within reach of a toddler, the ideal would of course be a mature and experienced person. But by using suitable equipment, any person will be able to learn to teach provided:

  • To let those who think aloud that she is wasting her time speak without flinching.
  • To “believe” in the little one, to be certain of his openness to spiritual things and his ability to respond to God’s love.
  • Not to be confused when you see your little students arrive in diapers and the softie in hand.
  • To be able not to get discouraged when she sings alone for a few weeks before the children start opening their mouths to repeat a word here and there.
  • To take the spiritual growth of children so seriously that she will potter her lesson, prepare her material (sometimes abundant) and pray fervently during the week.


This person will not necessarily be a nurse of the daycare. She can come and teach every Sunday while attending much of the worship. Because the toddler is fearful, it is indeed ideal if one person (or two at most) teaches the small group every week.






How to teach 2-3 year olds

Preparing the local

Ideally, the little ones should have a room of their own, which you can furnish and decorate to your liking. But this is not necessary.

You can install each week the small chairs, the carpet, the books, the rag doll for the 2 years and the Bible in a corner of the daycare before the children arrive. Biblical teaching will be done when all the children are there. The lesson will last 5 minutes the first few times, and will not exceed 20 minutes at the end of the year. After the lesson, the little ones will play as they are used to.

The important thing is that every Sunday, the child finds the same objects in the same place. The ritual is very safe for her.

The toddler and the Bible

If you want the little one to make the Word of God his only reference and like to read it when he is able, then show him the Bible, tell him that it is a wonderful book about Jesus. Let him touch the book carefully, caress it, and pronounce its name.

When you start telling the biblical story, keep the Bible open. The child will know that what you are saying really comes from this book. You will put it down as soon as you have the images to show.

In the classroom, the Bible will always be in the same place: either on a small table or prominently on a small low shelf. Choose a large Bible without images and take care of it so that the child understands how precious this Book is to you. Very early on, the toddler will want to own his own Bible.


Small, brightly coloured plastic or wooden chairs.
A carpet where children will sit down to watch the albums.
For 2 years, a small chair and a small table on which you will lay the Bible of the class. A large rag doll will be installed on this little chair in front of the Bible. (See the manual “Chouquette discovers the Gospel”)
The toddler and the Bible

If you want the little one to make the Word of God his only reference and like to read it when he is able, then show him the Bible, tell him that it is a wonderful book about Jesus. Let him touch the book carefully, caress it, and pronounce its name.

When you start telling the biblical story, keep the Bible open. The child will know that what you are saying really comes from this book. You will put it down as soon as you have the images to show.

In the classroom, the Bible will always be in the same place: either on a small table or prominently on a small low shelf. Choose a large Bible without images and take care of it so that the child understands how precious this Book is to you. Very early on, the toddler will want to own his own Bible.

The equipment you’ll need

A little one learns through the eyes, hands, mouth, much more than through the ears. You will therefore have to prepare a lot of objects or drawings.
Collect images of children, plants and animals. Good imagiers can be found in any large area.
Note: The toddler likes clear images, without too much detail. To illustrate the lessons, one image per biblical story will suffice.

Warning: no DIY!!!
A 2-3 year old child is not yet able to handle glue and scissors. So, to avoid a feeling of failure, no manual labor.

What to blackmail?

Toddlers are very shy so you may well sing alone until the middle of the year. But don’t be discouraged, they remember what they hear and one day they will sing with you.

The vocabulary of a two-year-old is very small, and limited to the field of his daily life. So choose very simple songs with a regular rhythm that correspond to his experience. Limit yourself to one song per month, i.e. one per theme.

Sing slowly and don’t hesitate to stop a little after each musical sentence so that those who repeat the last word can catch up with you.

The song will have its place throughout the small program. Intersperse the song with listening activities. However, don’t make singing a hole-in-the-wall activity. Each song must be brought in such a way that the child knows why he sings and what that song means.

To teach a song, don’t listen to a cassette: toddlers can’t distinguish a recorded voice. Introduce singing yourself as an integral part of the lesson and repeat it many times.

How a session unfolded

The Bible

She must have a place of honor in the class. Start each session by showing it and repeating that everything we know about God, all the stories told, comes from the Bible.

The subject

An image, an object will attract the attention of children and make them want to listen to biblical history.

Biblical history

You will be facing your little students, sitting on a small chair to be at their level. The story is told by heart, Open Bible. It is put on when there is an image to show. The attention of the toddler is very short, the story lasts only two or three minutes, sometimes less.
When showing an image, stop talking while the children are watching it. When everyone has seen it, hide it to continue the story.

The app

In His Word, God speaks and awaits an answer from us. It is of great importance that the child learns early on to react to the Word of God.
By teaching the little one how God loves him, created everything for his happiness, and takes care of him, his answer to a God so full of love will be simply: thank you.


By playing, manipulating objects, the 2-year-old will soak up the lesson.

With 3-year-olds, try as much as possible to have the children play the biblical stories. Take only the main facts so as not to make things difficult, and focus more on actions than on words: three-year-olds are still shy and language in some people is poorly developed.

Why attach so much importance to stage play? The little child learns by imitating others. It is also by playing a biblical story that the young child really understands it. It is then that he makes it his own, that he appropriates it.

At 3 years old, the child can also color the image of the lesson in a model and little detail: an image too large and too complex would discourage him quickly!

2-year-olds’ manual


Dosed for him, adapted to his development, presenting him to God as he can appreciate him, love him, and learn to trust him, he can be used both in church in daycare and at home.

Author: Andrée LOAS
Publisher: League for Bible Reading
(On sale in Christian bookstores)

It includes 11 very detailed lessons divided into three themes:

  • Series 1: Jesus loves children
    • Lesson 1: Jesus receives children (4 sessions)
    • Lesson 2: Jesus heals a little boy (4 sessions)
  • Series 2: God did everything
    • Lesson 1: God made water, plants and animals (7 sessions)
    • Lesson 2: God made me me (6 sessions)
  • Series 3: God Takes Care of Me
    • Lesson 1: God Protects Me (3 sessions)
    • Lesson 2: God gives me food (3 sessions)
    • Lesson 3: God gives me a family (4 sessions)

Typical lesson from this manual:

Series 1, Lesson 1:   Jesus Welcomes Children

For the first session, if the children are only two years old and not yet going to school, they will be very intimidated. Some people may cry.
Nor will they understand that they are being asked to sit for a few minutes.
This should not disturb you. Your little students will gradually know what you expect from them. Week after week, they will be able to stay more attentive to the program.
If one or two children are worried, or if they don’t sit for a minute, your assistant take them on her lap.

What the Child Will Learn Biblical History Song Material
– Jesus is kind.
– Jesus loves children.
– Jesus loves me. Mark 10: 13,14,16 Jesus loves little children
A photo of every child in the class
The image of Jesus with the children (page 64)

The lesson

First contact
Children see their photos displayed on the wall or placed on the ground.
They look at them (it can last a long time), they recognize each other.
Every child is appointed.
This exercise will give them confidence: they are known!

The Bible

You direct their attention to the rag doll that sits in front of them. Her name is Chouquette. She reads the Bible.
You take the Bible: It’s the Bible. Children repeat “the Bible.”
The Bible speaks of Jesus.
You open the Bible and say: Listen to the beautiful story of Jesus that I read in the Bible.

Biblical history

The kids are very happy. They’re going to see Jesus. In the street, the little girl smiles, the little boy jumps for joy.
Finally, they come close to Jesus, but they don’t see him. There are a lot of great people. They listen to Jesus.
The children try to get close to Jesus, but a man says to them, “Go away, children. Jesus speaks to the great people. There is no time for you. Go away.”
The children are sad. They don’t smile anymore. They want to cry. They won’t see Jesus!
But Jesus sees them. They call them: “Come, children! Come! I love you. I want to see you.”
The children run to Jesus. How happy they are! How nice Jesus is! He takes them in his arms, he talks to them. Yes, Jesus loves children.

And me?

Show the image of Jesus with the children.
Jesus loves children. Jesus loves Marine, Jesus loves Thomas, Jesus loves Camille… (name each child). Jesus loves little children like Marine, like Thomas…
Sing “Jesus loves little children” several times while showing the image of Jesus among the children.
The kids aren’t going to go with you. They’ll just listen to you and watch you, for many more weeks if they’re only two years old! But they will gradually withhold, and soon will repeat a word here, a word there. Keep singing alone without being discouraged: the children record everything.

For the first session with two-year-olds, that’s all. You don’t have to want to do more.


While the children are playing, sing for them: Jesus loves small children (several times).
Take the children one by one on your lap and sing “Jesus loves children like you.”

Other sessions

Do this basic lesson in a whole four weeks in a row. Don’t be afraid: children won’t get tired. They need this rehearsal to learn. To relive what they have already experienced will produce a sense of security, which they need very much.
For the next three sessions, gradually add these activities:

  • Bible

You ask a child to go and take the Bible and give it to you. Children of this age are not used to obeying instructions. But once they understand what you expect from them, they will do so with pleasure.
When you present the Bible, children can say with you: This is the Bible. She’s talking about Jesus. Just hear them repeat “Bible” and “Jesus.” It is possible that only one or two children will know how to do so. But every week, the children will become a little more confident and will soon dare to talk.

  • And me?

After biblical history, tell each child individually: Jesus loves you.

  • Finally,

Make a little round to sing. But don’t be too demanding. Holding hands to turn is something new for the little ones. It will take several weeks until they know how to do it, and even longer until they can do it by singing!

Jesus loves little children
like me (bis)
Little ones like me
Jesus receives them
Jesus loves little children
Like me

© copyright – all rights reserved. Author: Andrée Loas – Publisher: League for Reading the Bible