The Spiritual Development of Children
Human development is a lifelong process that occurs in five areas: emotional, physical, cognitive, social, and spiritual. A child’s family, individual differences, and exposure to spiritual concepts are merely a few of the many influences that impact their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. While facts about God, the Bible, Jesus and other biblical concepts do not change with time, children’s vocabulary and understanding do change as they grow up. During the early childhood years, children understand what they can touch and smell and taste. Beginning around age seven or eight, children explore the meaning of abstract concepts like faith and love through personal experiences and traditions. Some societal observers believe that today’s savvy middle graders can process the complexities of difficult topics, like the stories of Abraham and Isaac or David and Bathsheba. Contemporary issues related to gender and sexuality have divided denominations, but what content is developmentally appropriate fiction narratives for children? The session will address this and other topics.
- Jana Magruder, Strategic Initiatives Director, Lifeway Kids
- Naomi Krueger, acquisitions editor at Beaming Books
- Betsy Childs Howard, editor for The Gospel Coalition and children’s author
- Catherine DeVries, Publisher, Kregel Publications
- Linda Howard, Associate Publisher for Children & Youth, Tyndale House Publishers | moderator