Helping Kids Ask ‘Who Am I?’

Ed Drew 1 year ago
Blog 3 mins
Found in: Identity, Church
Who am I?

How would you answer that question? You would start with your name. Maybe your job. Perhaps where you live. If there was still an awkward silence, you might fill it with listing your hobbies. Would you then blurt out, 'I’m a Christian'?

How would the children in your church answer that question? Do you think that their answers should be different from their unbelieving friends’ answers?

The spirit of our age tells our children they can create their identity. They can decide who they are. They can be whoever they want to be. According to the world, 'If I feel it, it’s true.' Children are told that they are the masters of their future.

Younger children sing along with their heroes in Frozen 2:

Show yourself
Step into your power
Throw yourself
Into something new
You are the one you've been waiting for

Older children sing along with The Greatest Showman:

I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Children are being asked to create themselves in our culture’s image. They are being pushed into having labels to define themselves.

Eight-year-old Georgia came home from school telling her mum that she is bisexual because she has friends who are boys and girls. Thirteen-year-old Mark says everyone in his year identifies as gay (because his year group of pre-pubescent boys at an all-boys school has no desire to hang out with girls). Sixteen-year-old Laura is being told by her friends that it’s time to ‘come out’ as heterosexual (that is not a mistype). So far, she has wisely chosen to discuss those intimate parts of her life with trusted Christian friends and her silence seems to be irritating her school friends.

This pursuit of labels and self-definition is not freedom, it is a bewildering burden.

This pursuit of labels and self-definition is not freedom, it is a bewildering burden. The better story is that our children have been created in their maker’s image. Their loving heavenly father has already said who they are. The Bible’s story tells them the truth. They can find out who they were made to be, who they are, and even who they will be. Once they understand these truths, they can confidently make decisions and live life to the full.

While we are all having to navigate the loud cultural voices that call us to create our own identity, there are reasons why we should pay particular attention to children’s hearts. The Bible calls us to remember that the early years are disproportionately significant in shaping our lives (Proverbs 22:6; Psalm 78:4-8). The data confirms this, with 60% of active Christians in the UK having come to saving faith before the age of 11.1 If we want a strong church that understand where their identity lies, then we need to be intentionally discipling the youngest generation.

Faith in Kids have released 'Who am I?', a free downloadable Sunday School resource giving children the Bible’s answer to the question. The seven sessions include

  • I am made to love God and others. This session looks at how we are all made to enjoy friendship, while also introducing a Biblical understanding of sex, marriage and sexuality.
  • I am given a body. This session explores how God has handmade each of our bodies as a good gift to us, helping children to work through issues of not liking their body or feeling they would rather be the other gender.

The sessions come with parents’ handouts because this is a topic that most parents find difficult to discuss with their children. Training videos are also available because we have learnt that Sunday School leaders feel intimidated by this topic.

We are grateful to Living Out for their help with these resources. The podcasts to accompany this series include the introductory episode with Ed Shaw and an episode exploring gender identity with Andrew Bunt.

‘Who am I?’ is available to download for free here.

  1. Mapping Practising Christians’. Accessed 12 January 2023.