Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
It is important to create an accepting environment for children to begin to appreciate faith in God. Adults need to recognize that even though children may not be able to talk about God, they do have an ability to think about and appreciate God (Lester 174). Because children have an active imagination and are just beginning to develop some logic skills, this is an easy segue for a child to understand many of the stories and parables that adults may discount. When children ask questions, it is important to get them to think through the issue and to provide some guidance; one should not simply make up an answer to appease them. Telling the child about faith issues in terms of "I believe" can also help them establish their own faith instead of having it imposed on them. There seems to be a careful balance between providing true direction and letting the child discover things for him or herself.
The first necessary thing would be the involvement of a local church. This requires time to build rapport and become familiar with the people there and how programs work. Although this idea is a model ready to be implemented, it must never be held as more important than what the needs of the community really are, and the reactions of the church members there. Some type of steering committee consisting of parents or members eager to see this model develop will need to advocate and support this program within the church. This would be a committed group of adults willing to lead and develop the program. They would also lay a foundation for this ministry in prayer, believing that God will truly provide for the program, the church. and the children who participate.
An appropriate name for this educational program would be Learning and Educating about Prospering Under Pressures (LEAP UP!). This catchy name sets the tone for a program that will positively promote the growth and development that children can experience through this initiative. Following this, ti will be necessary to develop vision, mission, and goals around which everything in this program can be structured.
Hubbard, Cheryl, "Leap up! For children: a church based education program" (1994). Honors Theses. 1207.