Faith & Imagination
Close your eyes, imagine a busy lunchtime club in a primary school, children giggling and chatting, decorating hearts and treasure boxes, exploring gems and beads, sharing what Jesus has just been showing them:
I saw Jesus’ heart was beating for me. I felt happy. That’s the first time I’ve heard Him!
I said to Jesus “Take this worry and it’ll be gone for ever.” He took it away. God came and held my hand and said “Whatever worry you have give it to me.” I really felt His hand…
These children were buzzing with excitement, they’d just experienced an Adventure Time: a prayer tool that helped them meet with Jesus using their imaginations. A whole new way of engaging with Jesus was opening up to them, many for the very first time, and it was easy and fun and full of love and friendship. Full of who God is!
Jesus is with us in the busy moments of everyday family life. He is with our children when they are at school, He is with our pre-schoolers and babies as they play and explore, He is with us all the time…
The Godhead is endlessly creative in the ways He engages with us and our families. He is full of joy and delight in us, His children.
And He has made us to be like Him:
Genesis 1:27 (NLT)
God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
He made us in His image to meet with Him in various ways, the imagination being one such way. Our imaginations are a gift from the creator.
Creativity and imagination go hand in hand…
We can use our imaginations for good; for example by being creative, believing God’s truth and dwelling on good things. Or we can use them for bad; for example by worrying about the future negatively or imagining awful things happening.
I believe God wants to sanctify our imagination; for it to be renewed and restored to be used for His glory and our benefit: God is super serious about what we think about and dwell on in our imagination, especially thinking about and engaging with Him!
Ephesians 4:23 (NLT)
Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Romans 8:6 (NLT)
Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
We want the children in our lives to know God’s life and peace, to be confident, empowered and equipped by Him, to learn how to dwell on Him in their minds and imaginations.
Let’s help them use their God given imagination and creativity for good.
Ways to get started:
Start where your child is at - what do they like to do, what is their favourite thing to play with, what draws their attention, what do they talk about?
Anything can be a starting point, as God is in the everyday: a walk in the woods, a story, playing with cars and diggers, putting out the bins, a drive in the car, a favourite movie…
Listen to them, what are they saying, noticing, experiencing, and get pulled into their world of being easily awed and their endless wonderings.
And whilst you do this listen to Holy Spirit too, what is He highlighting, what is He wanting you to engage with, or learn about or just rest in?
Seek to create an environment of learning together, being humble and present and having lots of fun.
Get ready for your heart to expand with God’s love and revelation as you play with God and your child.
An idea to get you started!
Make a joyful noise Encounter Fun activity:
Psalm 100:1-2 (NCV) Shout to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with joy; come before him with singing.
Find some musical instruments, grab a pan and wooden spoon, or create your own with pasta/rice/oats in a yogurt pot/plastic bottle!
Explore the different noises you can create together such as shake, bang, tap?
Show your younger child how to play quickly and slowly, loudly and quietly and see if they can copy you.
Challenge your older child to create a rhythm for you to copy.
Say ‘Let’s praise Jesus together with our instruments. We can make a happy noise to say we love God and thank Him for loving us.’ Have fun making a joyful noise to Jesus together.
Why not shout out different things to praise Him: “Father God, You are good”, “Jesus, we love You!”, “Holy Spirit, thank You!”
Regularly launch into a 'family praise time' during your week to express your love and worship to God until it becomes a cherished part of your life!
Sarah Cornthwaite is passionate about children knowing Jesus for themselves. She is the founder of Adventures With Jesus and has a huge range of resources and tools for helping children to explore faith on her website, as well as on her Instagram page. You can subscribe to receive her inspiring emails here. Sarah also works within the Children’s Ministry at Vinelife Church, Manchester. She is married with three children. She loves running, gardening and baking brownies!