My 20-month old daughter has a favourite song. We have a new favourite song most weeks, but this one seems to be sticking a little longer than some of the others (along with The Wheels on the Bus!)
She puts her two little pointer fingers in the air and looks at me expectantly. She is only happy if I start singing “Our God is a great big God” and she does the actions while I sing. Psalm 8 says “You have taught children and babies to sing praises to you. This is because of your enemies. And so you silence your enemies and destroy those who try to take revenge” (ICB).
Babies and children have an important role to play in terms of singing praise to God and being part of His Kingdom. Sometimes though it can be difficult to know how to involve children of this age in ministry. Their abilities are limited, they have short attention spans and many may not even be able to communicate easily. It is easier to babysit them while the older children, teenagers and adults carry on with the main ministries of the church.
But let’s remember what Psalm 8 says. “You have taught babies and children to sing praise to you.” These children have a place and they need to learn about their God and their Saviour; it simply needs done in an age appropriate way.
Little Day Out events
One of the ways that we do this is through our Little Day Out events. These are specifically tailored to 0 to 4-year-olds and aim to teach them a truth about God through story, music and other activities. This year, after a little break, we are running our fifth event in the series.
This year’s event on 12th October and is called Little Day Out Overseas. It will look at the journey that Abraham took and the promises that God made to him. We will use story, music and craft to help the children learn in a simple way about the faithfulness of God.
The children need to be accompanied by an adult and, after all the activities, we will share a light lunch for the children and refreshments for the adults. These events are not simply one-off events that are then forgotten about and never revisited. All the information needed to replicate the event are put in our Little Resources section, which an be downloaded here and any congregation, or Presbytery, can run their own version of the event, knowing that the process is tried and tested.
Singing the truths about God
We sing the Wheels on the Bus and other nursery rhymes a lot in our house but I hope that my daughter never gets tired of singing the truths about God and knows them to be true in her life. The song says “Our God is a great big God and He holds us in His hands”. What an amazing truth for the tiniest of children connected to our congregations to learn and to know to be true.
That’s what we aim for with our Little Resources and Little Day Out. We want the littlest of children to learn big truths about God in bite size chunks that they can hold in their hearts as they learn to trust their great big God.
Ruth Bromley is PCI’s Children’s Development Officer.
To find out more about Little Day Out Overseas and register for the event on Thursday 12th October 2017 visit our events page here. More information on Little Resources is available here.