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Growing a Child's Faith

Some churches do ministry to children, others do it with them.

Scottie May believes children can have a real and growing relationship with Jesus. In Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey (IVP 2010), May and co-author Catherine Stonehouse describe how children express their experiences with and growing understanding of God. They suggest ways that parents and ministers can aid children's spiritual growth. Leadership's Brandon O'Brien interviewed May, associate professor of Christian formation and ministry at Wheaton College (Illinois), about how understanding of a child's faith development affects the way we minister.

How do different Christian traditions understand the beginning of a child's faith?

There are fundamental theological differences among faith traditions regarding how children come to faith in Christ. Some churches in the sacramental tradition baptize infants in order to eradicate original sin. Churches in the conversional tradition teach children to accept Jesus as their personal Savior in order to overcome the sin problem. Churches ...

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