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Why We Focus on 3-12 Year Olds

While global statics show that from birth to 12 year olds are the most vulnerable to the horrible effects of systemic poverty there are other real and powerful reasons God has us focusing on the 3-12 year old age group.

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

  • Train up = root word meaning is “to develop a thirst, create a hunger for”. How are we creating a hunger for God in the little ones hearts? More on this in a future blog.

  • In the way he should go = literally mean “in keeping with his natural bent” or nature or personality. Children are not “cookie cutters”, each is a special and unique creation and loved unconditionally by Papa God. We need to enjoy every child’s uniqueness.

  • When he is old = Hebrew would be “when he has hair on his chin”  or when he is approaching maturity and just beginning to have facial hair. Many kids “leave” church at about the age of 12… why? I believe it is because we have taught them religion and not relationship with God.

  • Will not depart = Does not say he will depart and then come back. Let’s make our children fall so in love with Papa God, they won’t want to leave!!

  • By age three a child has already developed their own personality.

  • By age five they have a brain the size of an adult.

    By age five they have learned 85% of everything they will learn in their entire lives. (verbal skills, mechanical skills, language, colors, numbers, etc.)

  • By age five the foundations of their belief system is established (what they believe about themselves, their family, and their world) and everything they learn from that point on will be filtered through that belief system.

  • By age seven he is a miniature version of what he will become as an adult.

  • By age nine his moral anchor is in place. Their fundamental perspectives on truth, integrity, justice, morality, and ethics are formed by this time in their lives.

  • After age ten most people simply refine their views without much change in their opinions.

  • By twelve or thirteen a person is who he is, and whatever he believes by then he will basically live his whole life and die believing those same things short of a move of God.

  • Research shows that in most cases a person’s spiritual beliefs are  formed while they are pre-teens (ten to twelve years of age.)

  • The most important time to begin discipling a person is when they are preschool to nine years of age

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