The toddlers were sitting in a semi-circle eating their snacks. The teacher held up a Bible and asked, “Do you know what this is?” One little girl, with an enthusiastic voice and raised arms, shouts “BIBLE!” Some of the other toddlers repeated it.
A seed has been planted! And that excites us in Baby Bay! Some may comment, “She was just mimicking the adults.” “She is too young.” “She doesn’t really understand what the Bible is.” No, she isn’t ready to fully understand and accept Jesus as her Savior, BUT she is more than ready to begin learning. As I mentioned – a seed has been planted. It’s now up to the parents, and the church partnering with them, to cultivate and nurture that seed as she grows up and learns more about the Bible and Jesus.
Coming to know God is a lifelong process and believe it or not, our journey of faith begins at birth. Some will even say before birth. Research is finding that babies in the womb are hearing (and possibly understanding) more than previously thought. Did you know that the brain begins developing in the first trimester?
“The first three years of a child’s life are uniquely important because this is the most sensitive period for brain development. The experiences a child has during this time will shape the architecture of her brain and build the connections that allow her to develop lifelong skills like problem-solving, communication, self-control, and relationship building.” Zero to Three
So what better time to start teaching your child about the Bible. Infants start to form associations about everything else in their little world, so why not take this time to also introduce them to God and Jesus? Think about this example: a child may not fully comprehend who “Grandma” is—especially one that lives far away and the child has never met. However, you want them to know their Grandma, so you start talking about her and you refer to her from day one. It’s similar with the awareness of God. Just as your child will learn to take your word that Grandma is an important part of their life, they can also learn to take your word for it that God is also an important part.
So where am I going with this? Children begin to form their image of God as infants. Parents who are loving and dependable help develop their child’s feelings of trust. Their faith grows as they learn to trust. Then we, as a church, partner with these parents. These children are not only a blessing to their families, they are a blessing to the church. The care your child receives in the nursery will also have an impact on their faith development. It starts when a familiar face greets your baby and calls them by name. When the nursery caregiver rocks your baby, sings to your baby, talks to your baby, and feeds your baby they are showing your child God’s love and building trust.
Baby Bay Nursery is more than just a “babysitting” service. Along with home, the nursery is where faith development starts to form and be nurtured. Jesus didn’t turn away the children. In fact, he told his disciples that they must humble themselves and become like little children (Luke 18:17; Mark 10:15). Parents have a great impact on teaching their children of Jesus. The Bible tells us Timothy learned from infancy about Jesus from his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 3:15)
In the Baby Bay Nursery, we start with the infants (newborns – 6 months) by building their trust, building their spiritual vocabulary and showing them God’s love through meeting their needs, singing to them, and loving them. Then in the crawlers (7 months – 11 months), we build on this by introducing them to the Bible, building more on their spiritual vocabulary, and familiarizing them with the name of Jesus. As toddlers (12 months – 17 months) and cruisers (18 months – 23 months), their faith foundation is continued with trustworthy routines as we play, pray, sing, tell Bible stories, and interact with the children. In Baby Bay we, along with their parents/guardians, plant the seeds of their faith development. As your children develop and mature, and with continuing partnership between home and church, those seeds are nurtured and grow as they continue learning through KidzWorld.
Everything we teach your children in Baby Bay is based on one of three simple, yet influential, truths.
- God made them.
- God loves them.
- Jesus wants to be their friend forever
The curriculum we use is created to meet your children where they are cognitively, spiritually, physically, emotionally, as well as socially. Using age appropriate activities, we are assisting you in planting the seeds to build their spiritual foundation. So bring your babies to Baby Bay Nursery and let us partner with you.
By the way, the toddler, mentioned in the first paragraph is now 2 years old. She started in the Baby Bay nursery when she was only a few weeks old (the seed was planted). She has been brought to church nearly every weekend of her life. Her parents use the Bible and the Parent Cue app to reinforce what is taught at church. She is learning to pray. She is learning Bible verses. She is learning God loves her and more. The seed is being nurtured and is growing!