People as Image BearersAt their core, all of these issues center on one critical doctrine—what we study this week—that God created people as His image bearers. Being image bearers speaks directly to our gender, to the amount of melanin in our skin, and to our value as people. The reason why we matter—all of us—the reason why we are to treat others with deep, genuine respect—everyone—is because we all bear God’s image. That is what matters. And that is what our kids need to see this week. Each and every kid who walks, crawls, or is carried into our rooms this week matters and all of their lives have meaning and hope because God created them in His image and He loves them accordingly. This is why we want to take a session and drill down into God’s creation of people—because it gives us the opportunity to declare this beautiful, vital truth clearly, loudly, and passionately.
Where True Value Comes FromDon’t assume that your kids are inoculated from what is going on in our culture. I know this is hard and unpleasant to think about, but the reality is that many of our kids have experienced racism, sexism, and abuse. Many have likely struggled with their worth—failing to see that their value is based on being an image bearer and instead falling into the trap of trying to find self-worth. Some may already be considering suicide, or at least doubting that their lives matter. Again, I know this is difficult, but we need to step in and feel the weightiness here. Because contrasted to it is the grace-saturated, liberating truth that our identity rests on being image-bearers of God and, for those who have trusted in Christ, God’s beloved children. Our value and meaning comes from the infinite God who we are patterned after and who we reflect in Christ. No matter what grades we get. No matter how far we can kick a soccer ball. No matter how well we can paint. No matter how symmetrical our faces our. No matter how nice of clothes we have. No matter what. This is the hope our world needs. This is the hope our kids need. This is the hope that God has given. This is the hope of the gospel.
The Soul of the poorest Beggar that cries at the door for a crust, is in its own nature of equal dignity and value, with the Soul of the most glorious Monarch that sits upon the Throne.” — John Flavell (1630-1691) Preschool Tip: Some of us might come from backgrounds where all we talked about as a church was God’s love. We never talked about sin. We never talked about judgment. And consequently, we never really talked about the gospel. But we cannot throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water and make the opposite mistake and fail to talk about God’s love out of fear of sounding cliché. Talking about sin and judgment without God’s love still doesn’t get us to the gospel. Our preschoolers need to hear about both our sin and God’s love. When they do, they can hear the gospel. As you teach this session, take every opportunity you can not only to share God’s love with your preschoolers, but to joyfully proclaim it. Kids Tip: Before I go any further, I probably should present my thesis that drives much of my thinking about kids ministry: we often fail to give our kids the credit they deserve. These kids are smarter than we treat them. They can handle deeper truths than we tend to give them. Just try to help a fourth grader with her math homework and you’ll realize this. With that said, here goes: this week, don’t be afraid to talk about the Trinity. Yes, the bedrock doctrine that God is three in One. Yes, the doctrine that no one understands, but that we all must accept. And yes, the doctrine that is not merely academic, but instead is intensely practical. We don’t understand howGod is three in One—we don’t. But we believethat He is. And here is why it matters: because the Trinity helps us understand why God created us. God did not create people because He was lonely, as some believe. A Triune God is not a lonely God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit have enjoyed an eternally satisfying, beautiful, perfect relationship within His Triune nature. So God didn’t create us forrelationship, but fromrelationship. We were created so that we might enjoy the overflow of the perfect relationship God has always enjoyed. From the very beginning of Scripture, this is what we see. This is the purpose of our existence—to enjoy relationship with God.  John Flavell, Pneumatologia: A Treatise of the Soul of Man (London: J.D., 1698), 46.