Spiritual Growth Charts
Psalm 145:4, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”
These charts in this handout are from the book Parent’s Guide to the Spiritual Growth of Children. The information in these charts will help equip parents in leading their children toward a biblical understanding of God, the need for a relationship with God, and living in accordance to the Word. Below are the five categories specifically addressed in the accompanying charts:
- Who God Is
- What God Has Done
- You Can Have a Relationship with God
- You Can Be All God Wants You to Be
- You Can Do All God Wants You to Do
Note of Caution: While these charts can be helpful teaching tools for parents, the charts for the older children assume that the child is converted. It is our hope that you could use these charts as a teaching tool even if your child is not converted. It is also worth noting that you may operate from the belief that your child is under the age of accountability and therefore not have the awareness of their need for “new birth.” In either of these situations, consider rewording teaching points to better fit your child or your perspective. For example, you may want to put some context around one of the main categories as listed above “You Can Be All God Wants You to Be.” You might do this by teaching your child that they can only be what God wants through Christ working in them. This would be an example of valuable truths to instill in your child’s heart, along with the reality that even after conversion we wrestle with the flesh and need to be acutely aware of our ongoing need for Jesus.
Directions on How to Use the Charts:
Print off a copy of this document for each of your children and write their name in the space provided. Consider scheduling a time with each of your children to discuss each of the items in the four charts. When you find an item your child adequately understands, cross it off and move to the next item. Circle items that need additional teaching and develop a plan on how to grow your child’s understanding in that area. Taking the time to discuss each item with each of your children will help you gain insight into their understanding, which can then direct your daily interactions with them. For example, item 5 in the chart for children ages 0-4 is, “God created everything.” As you discuss this item with your child, you may find they could benefit from additional teaching on this truth. This information could help you in directing family devotion time (e.g., reading the creation story).
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” These verses teach us that teaching opportunities are around us virtually all of the time. This also means that the parenting tasks that seem mundane or insignificant can actually be the springboards to teach our children valuable lessons. The most powerful spiritual lessons your child learns will often not be during family devotion time. Knowing what your child is ready to learn can help a parent utilize the countless “teachable moments” encountered throughout the day. For example, a visit to the zoo becomes an opportunity to teach that “God created everything.” Knowing what your children do and don’t understand about biblical truth can give you direction in how and where they need instruction.
Consider starting with the first chart, regardless of your child’s age. The first truth on the 0-4 chart is: “God exists.” If your child is not yet five, you can review the 5–6-year-old chart to see what is ahead but don’t feel like your child must progress faster than other children. If your child is older than 4, continue going through the items until all the items are appropriately understood by your child. By taking the time to start with the chart for 0–4-year-olds, you will ensure that your child has the necessary foundation for future growth.
Take your time and don’t try to cover all 91 items quickly. Remember, these are items for your child to build and grow over the first 12 years of life. Reviewing the truths over time will help your children learn and will help develop a firm foundation for them. When you find truths that require a deeper understanding than your child currently possesses, take courage that these areas have been identified and can lead to rich discussion and teaching opportunities.
Reviewing these charts is a great opportunity to train up your child. May God bless the time you spend training and teaching your child.
To view complete PDF, click here.
For Further Information:
Spiritual Growth for Kids: Practical information related to spiritual growth of children. You will find helpful articles on topics such as mealtime devotions and serving as a family. [Focus on the Family]