Teaching children about faith can be difficult because faith is not something that we can tangibly see or feel. We have faith when we experience and know something without proof. Demonstrating faith to children is challenging, but it is a vital piece in any Christian education program. The right children's games will help kids to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to have faith in God.
Blowing in the Wind
Give each child a kite and spend an afternoon flying the kites in the wind. When you get back to the church, talk about the wind. Like God, wind is hard to define because it cannot be seen even though the effects of it can be felt and seen when the kite is blowing in the wind. When God works in our lives, we cannot always see, define or prove God's presence, yet the results of our faith are visible in the life changes we experience.
What Is the Item?
Place several random and common household items into a brown paper bag. Have the children sit in a circle on the floor. The children should put blindfolds on and take turns pulling items out of the bag and guessing what they are by feel only. They might know that an apple is an apple, yet they cannot prove it without sight. They simply have faith that they know what they are touching. Likewise, they will know a cotton ball when they feel it because they have had experience with cotton balls in the past and have faith that they are experiencing the same thing. Explain to the children that our faith in God is much like faith in understanding the items in the bag. While we cannot clearly see God, our experiences with God help us to have faith and identify God's working in our lives.
Faith and Knowledge
Older children can play a game of faith and knowledge. Have them write down statements of belief about God and the world and talk about which beliefs are based on faith, which beliefs are based on knowledge and which statements are based on both. The great philosopher Augustine claimed that faith was different from knowledge insofar as it exists even in the absence of proof. Ask the children to talk about how they have faith in God's existence and action in our lives.
Trust exercises are a wonderful way to demonstrate faith with children of varying ages. Younger children can stand blindfolded in a circle and pass a ball from person to person, talking about how they trust that the next person is there even though they cannot see them. Older students can fall backward into the waiting hands of classmates, trusting that their fellows will catch them before they hit the floor. After the exercise is over, the children can talk about how faith in God is trusting that God is there, even without being able to see God.