One day we were learning about the Lord’s Prayer. During large group time, we read it out loud, invited kids to read/say it with us, and went through the Lord’s prayer, explaining the different parts.
When we got back to small group time, I asked the question: “Does anyone have any questions about today’s lesson? Anything that it made you wonder about?”
One 2nd grade girl said, “I wonder what kind of art God makes in heaven.”
And I said, “You know, that’s a good question, I wonder what kind of art He makes too. What made you think of that?”
She said, “Well you know, it says at the beginning of the prayer, our father, who art in heaven. I like to make art too.”
This elementary schooler, with her developmentally literal-thinking brain took that to mean “Our father, who does arts and crafts in heaven.” Her concrete thinking skills (more on elementary developmental thinking and teaching strategies here) led her to interpret the Lord’s Prayer much differently than is intended, but it led to a wondering question that took our conversation deeper and helped her (and other kids) connect with God in a new way.
Because of her question, we were able to talk about what “art” in this context really means (our Father, who lives, who resides, who is in heaven, etc.), reminding her of what we talked about in large group. But then we also talked about how creative God is and how we can see his “art” in all of creation. The whole group got excited talking about their favorite animals and parts of creation, and some of them got to share about their passion and skills in art too.
This discussion was quick (not even 5 minutes long), but you could see kids connecting with God and thinking about Him in a whole new way. Their Biblical imaginations were piqued, and we moved into the morning’s art/craft activity with much more excitement than normal. They were also more excited to talk to God in prayer, practicing saying the Lord’s prayer but also voicing prayers of their own while they crafted.
So be encouraged kidmin leader: Even when kids seem to miss what you’re teaching (we had definitely talked about what “art in heaven” meant during large group time), the questions and misunderstandings can create opportunities for deeper conversations and connections.
Be obedient. Continue teaching. Encourage questions. What you do each week has a lifelong and eternal impact on kids’ faith, even when there are misunderstandings.
Looking for a series that can help you teach the Lord’s Prayer? Teach Us to Pray is a 9-week series that’s perfect for the more low-key summer months. Each week, kids learn about a different part of the Lord’s Prayer and have the opportunity to ask questions, explore, and pray together. Learn more about the Teach Us To Pray series here.