When I first began teaching in children's ministry, I didn't place much significance on the preschool years. In fact, I tended to look upon this time mainly in terms of "baby-sitting" while the parents were in the worship service or Sunday school. That is why I am so thankful for people like Connie Oman who cast a big, God-centered, Christ-exalting vision and philosophy for the preschool years.
I asked Connie why ministry to preschoolers is so much more than baby-sitting, and this was her response:
Little children absorb everything—they will either absorb, “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” or “My God is So Big.” We set the table—we decide what they dine on—we are in a position to shape their appetites.
1) LITTLE CHILDREN - Jesus welcomes children and calls them to believe in Him. Children don't have to wait until they are older to trust in Jesus.
2) NEED TO BE TAUGHT - Children are learning machines. Although little children absorb much by informal interaction, they also need to be taught—just like we teach children to count or write their names, so we need to be intentional about teaching them about God. We cannot assume that children will learn about God without being taught about God.
3) TRUTH ABOUT GOD - Little children are capable of understanding great truths—little children can be led to God. Can preschoolers have a theology of God? Can they understand that God is sovereign and that He is just? Yes, if they are taught truth, and if that truth is made understandable to them. They may not understand the word “sovereign” but they can understand that God is in charge of everything. He is the boss! God is the greatest! God is the best!
In the following video, Connie provides practical training and equipping for ministering to these little ones.Download the notes.