The Place of Wonder in the Faith Formation of Kids

Every child is a wonder and we can remind ourselves to see them that way as we guide them in faith development.
5 min read

There’s nothing quite like the wide-eyed wonder of a child. Only a kid, un-pressured by to-do lists and responsibilities, can get eye level with a caterpillar and spend long minutes studying its every move. Kids wonder and delight at everything from the stars in the sky to the sprinkles on a cupcake.

God designed us to be people who wonder—people who are excited, amazed, and astonished by things too great for our understanding. And kids are the best wonderers among us. While their endless fascinations and questions may sometimes be taxing, their wonder is a gift to those involved in their faith formation.

God designed us to be people who wonder—people who are excited, amazed, and astonished by things too great for our understanding.

What could be more wonderful than the God who created heaven and earth also being the one who numbers the very hairs on our heads? “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders,” declares Psalm 65:8, and we get to invite kids into that sense of awe.

We can do that through the Bible lessons we teach, the prayers we pray, and the words we use as we talk to kids about their lives and the God who made them.

Wonder in Scripture

Your Bible may feel familiar and common to you. But don’t ever forget that it is the most spectacular book ever written!

In every Bible lesson we teach, we can tap into kids’ built-in sense of wonder. Some of the Bible’s wonders are obvious. God parted the sea so that the Israelites could escape their oppressors. The sun stood still in the sky so Joshua’s army could fight against God’s enemies. God shut the mouths of hungry lions to keep them from eating Daniel, who had been faithful to God. Tongues of fire fell from heaven on the day of Pentecost.

Adults may have a hard time imagining these biblical events, but kids are well equipped to imagine. As you share the Bible’s stories with kids, ask them, “What do you think that looked like? How do you think God’s people felt? What would you have been thinking if you were there?”

The Gospels

Of course, the greatest wonder in the Bible is the Gospels themselves. Jesus left His home in heaven to put on flesh and dwell among us! Does it get more mind-boggling than that? It actually does! Consider these wonders:

  • Jesus was dead and came back to life. Death had no power over Him (Matthew 28:6).
  • During His time on earth, Jesus knew every temptation we know, and yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15).
  • No matter what we’ve done, Jesus allows us to be blameless before God (Jude 1:24).
  • Jesus made a way for us to approach God with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).
  • Through Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, and we are filled with God’s power (John 14:16-17).

It may seem easier to explain to kids how God shut the mouths of lions than to explain all the wonders of the gospel of salvation. But we need to do both. From cover to cover, the Bible is packed full of God’s amazing works, and we get to help kids wonder at them all.

Wonder in Prayer

When we lead prayer for kids, we can communicate wonder and amazement. Psalm 145:4 tells us to commend God’s “mighty acts” to the next generation. The words we use in prayer can do that—it can be as simple as starting with, “Great and mighty God, we are amazed by you.”

When we address God as the one “who created heaven and earth,” we help kids marvel at God’s greatness. When we pray that they will see the power of the Spirit in their young lives—the same Spirit who raised Jesus Christ from the dead—how can they not be in awe?

We may think we need to keep our prayers simple as we pray with children. But that doesn’t mean our prayers can’t be big and bold and filled with wonder.

Wonder in our Words

As we talk with kids—as they tell us about their lives and share their stories—the words we use can tap into their sense of wonder:

  • “Wow, just think about how much God loves you and all He’s done for you!”
  • “Can you believe God had a purpose for your life before you were even born?”
  • “Isn’t it amazing the way God sees you and cares about you?”
  • “Doesn’t it blow your mind that God wants to use you to tell people the good news about Jesus?”

If words of wonder don’t readily roll off your tongue, try spending some time contemplating God’s mighty acts for yourself. What do you find most awesome about His character? As you consider what Jesus has done for you, what takes your breath away?

When was the last time you were amazed by Him? Ponder these things in your own devotional time, and let these thoughts infuse the words you speak as you interact with kids.

The Wonders That They Are

Creation is a wonder. God in human flesh is a wonder. Resurrection and eternal life are wonders too great for our imaginations. We want to teach and celebrate all of these things with kids. We also want them to see that they, themselves, are wonders.

Their bodies are a wonder. Just how do our hearts know to keep beating on their own, without us even giving it a thought?

Their minds are a wonder. They can think and study and learn and imagine and create.

Their uniqueness is a wonder. No one else in the whole world is just like them. God made them each one of a kind.

Their purpose is a wonder. God put them in this place with this family at this time for a specific purpose. Before they were born, He had written all the days of their lives.

Every child is a wonder, and every child is naturally filled with wonder. Let’s remind ourselves to see them that way, and let’s be intentional about tapping into their ready sense of awe and wonder as we develop their faith.

God designed us to be people who wonder—people who are excited, amazed, and astonished by things too great for our understanding.

wonder ink

Wonder Ink

What if Sunday morning was just the starting point? Wonder Ink is a customizable digital curriculum and toolkit for creatively engaging kids and families in God’s Word. Wonder Ink sparks curiosity and guides children on a journey of faith through the wonder of God.
wonder ink

Wonder Ink

What if Sunday morning was just the starting point? Wonder Ink is a customizable digital curriculum and toolkit for creatively engaging kids and families in God’s Word. Wonder Ink sparks curiosity and guides children on a journey of faith through the wonder of God.
wonder ink

Wonder Ink

What if Sunday morning was just the starting point? Wonder Ink is a customizable digital curriculum and toolkit for creatively engaging kids and families in God’s Word. Wonder Ink sparks curiosity and guides children on a journey of faith through the wonder of God.
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  Updated on May 18, 2022

About the Author

Post Author
  • Leura Jones is a writer and editor, and most importantly, a wife and mom of three teenage girls and a college-age son. Her family lives in Colorado Springs, where Leura has been an AWANA leader for 13 years at Woodmen Valley Chapel. Inspired by a discipleship group her son was part of for nine years, she also leads and has written curriculum for three small groups for each of her daughters. She loves discipling women and girls and walking outside on her prayer track while her prayer partner, Oakley, chases birds.

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