This post is an encouragement to focus on the main points of the faith with your children instead of spending a great deal of effort in teaching kids the less essential truths.
I once heard of an exercise with a room full of missionaries. Someone asked them, “What are the key concepts that a new believer must accept in order to be truly saved?”
Some produced short lists while some were quite long.
What is your list?
What might be on your Pastor’s list?
We know that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. We know that He is our Lord and Savior.
What else do you teach your kids?
My guess is that you haven’t explained concepts like the virgin birth.
How about the tenet that Jesus will come in judgment when He returns?
Be careful with the Trinity. In seminary I learned that it’s easy to overemphasize either God’s oneness or the “threeness" of our Trinitarian God. It seems best to say “one essence, three persons" without trying to explain or illustrate too much so as not to fall into heresy.
What does your denomination like to highlight?
For example, when you teach your children about the miracles in the Bible, such as Jesus’s miracles, do you teach that God continues to be actively, powerfully involved in His world and in our lives and various circumstances?
What is your family’s commentary when angels and demons appear in Bible Stories?
Passing on the faith to your young disciples is a most unique Theology test.
Without sounding too negative, I hope to invite you to screen all of the “Christian” books, programs, schools, teachers, etc. that contribute to discipling the children God has entrusted to your care.
A pastor once pointed out to me, for instance, that many sermons in some churches are a form of pop psychology seasoned with a bit of Bible.
Is the Bible the meat of your Catechism?
How do you screen books and such?
Romans 12 exhorts us to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Let’s exercise the utmost discernment with our little treasures.
What do we teach them about God, Jesus, mankind, sin, origins, the end of the world, the church, Israel, the Holy Spirit, evangelism, Missions, stewardship, etc.?
I would like to suggest focusing on Jesus (Christology) as much as possible.
Here are some basic ideas:
Jesus is fully God.
Jesus is fully man.
Jesus died for our sin and rose again.
Jesus is King.
Jesus is coming back.
Jesus didn’t sin.
Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
You could also talk about God in a general sense.
He’s The Creator.
He’s all-knowing and all-powerful.
He doesn’t have a beginning or end.
Discuss the Bible, God’s Holy Word.
It’s good to plant these seeds of truth in them early.
I was the sort of child who asked questions early on- like how did people in the Old Testament get to Heaven?
Your little ones may not be able to articulate their questions now, but by giving them the answers ahead of time, before they encounter confusing thoughts in the world, you’re helping to guard their souls.
Blessings in Jesus,