GrowthRings: Spiritual Formation in the Faith Family Age 6 through 10 and Beyond

The church, or faith family, plays an active role in the spiritual formation of children. Teaching classes and building community through games are common ways we serve. These opportunities, along with following a curriculum and providing safe environments, are all pieces in the larger faith formation puzzle.

Spiritual benchmarking provides another critical piece to that puzzle. These markers help parents and faith families walk alongside children as they grow in Christ. We call them GrowthRings®.

We’ve taken twenty years of GrowthRings and grouped them into five-year phases. The church can develop practices that contribute to children’s faith formation in each phase. In the previous issue of Entre Niños magazine, I shared ideas for birth through age five and beyond. As we continue to explore the faith-forming team of church and home, let’s now focus on ages six through ten, remembering that these markers should continue to permeate the lives of children of all ages.


The Bible provides clarity in every area it shines its light, telling the truth about God, humanity, and our redemption in Jesus Christ. Walk in a lifestyle of truth by committing to Scripture.

• Encourage a daily Bible reading program for families.
• Send an encouraging note or text message to a child with truth from Scripture.
• Whenever your church has a specific Scripture focus, encourage the children to memorize the verses, as well.


Share intentional worship experiences at home and with the faith family.

• Encourage children who play an instrument or sing to use their gifts to serve in worship.
• Welcome children — wiggles, noises, and all — into the “adult” worship service the same way Jesus welcomed the children — with a blessing and open arms!
• Allow children to experience worship as the Holy Spirit leads them. It may be through movement, art, or other activities.


Recognize the importance of the Bible, God’s story, as both a cornerstone of what has taken place and a projection of what is to come — not only in your life, but in the lives of the children around you.

• Present children of a certain age in your church with a Bible. Have parents or guardians write words of encouragement or a prayer for their child inside the Bible.
• Ask children about their story. “What challenges and joys did you experience this week?” Encourage children to see how God is working in their lives.
• Give children opportunities to share their testimony throughout the church year. Encourage them share how God is showing up in their lives.


Consider how you live under a special covenant with God and one another, doing your best to make sure they live in a way that honors God.

• Explore covenants in the Bible with children, then create a classroom or small group covenant together.
• Host a night for your church families to create a “family statement of faith” as a spiritual covenant of their homes.
• Resource parents to have intentional discussions about covenants with children relating to topics such as safety, relationships, his/her body, and social media.


Wisdom is using our experiences and understanding in order to make good decisions. It serves as a foundation of truth for children to draw upon when the tough choices of this world present themselves.

• As a church, consider starting a mentoring or “befriending” program, pairing an adult with a spiritually-mature child for faith support and relational connection.
• Seek to be available to converse about spiritual questions with children in your faith community.
• Guide children in understanding and living out spiritual disciplines.

Continue to adapt these markers to use with children as they grow. Seek ways to connect with children in truth, worship, story, covenant, and wisdom as a faith family. As we make a habit of living out these practices with children, we will grow closer to God and one another.

You can access this entire magazine for free here: Edition 37

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