Understanding Preschoolers: Spiritual Growth

Christian Concept areas

Active, full of energy, and imaginative are a few words to describe preschoolers. We can see their growth physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. What about their spiritual growth? How do we know that preschoolers are growing spiritually? Read over the following lists for an overview of ways we can see their spiritual growth.

Babies, Ones, and Twos

  • Develop a sense of trust in caregivers when their needs are met.

  • Begin to associate good, loving feelings with God and Jesus.

  • Sense God’s love from caregivers at church.

  • Begin to recognize that the Bible is a special book.


Threes and Fours

  • Sense the awe and love of God.

  • Remember stories from the Bible, and repeat Bible thoughts.

  • Begin to pray to God in their own words.

  • Learn right from wrong and develop feelings of guilt.



  • Understand biblical truths that are related to their experiences.

  • Express concern for others and become aware of ways their church helps others.

  • Aware that God and Jesus can do things people cannot do.

  • Continue to understand God’s love through the example of loving caregivers.

In guiding preschoolers to grow spiritually, use the 9 different Christian concept areas to lead preschoolers in learning spiritual truths. The 9 Christian concept areas are: God, Jesus, Bible, church, God’s creation, self, family, community, and world. We begin teaching these truths with babies and build on each of the concepts as preschoolers grow. You can see the progression of learning for each of the concept areas in the chart in Mission Friends Guide for Leaders, pages 44–45. In Mission Friends, we focus on one Christian concept area each month. Bible thoughts, activities, and conversation during the month will center around the Christian concept area.

As preschool teachers at church, we set a strong foundation for preschoolers as we lead them to grow spiritually. To go more in-depth about preschoolers’ spiritual growth, consider taking the Develop online training course, Uniquely Designed: Preschoolers, at ChristianLeaderLearning.com. What a wonderful task we have in leading preschoolers to grow toward God.

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