Prepare Preschoolers for a Postmodern Culture

Our preschool group looked at a photo of the missionary family we studied that month in Mission Friends. We had been learning about this missionary family for a few weeks. I had just finished telling our mission story for the week of how the missionaries tell others about Jesus. One of the 3-year-olds leaned in to look at the picture and asked, “Are they real?” At first, it struck me as an odd question. Of course, they are real. As I thought about it, I realized that this question is indicative of the current times in which photos are altered and what seems to be real may not be the truth.

Searching for reality and truth is part of the postmodern world of which our preschoolers are a part. Preschoolers are growing up with a postmodern worldview that people can determine their own truth. Growing up as postmodernists, preschoolers will also have a much more global worldview than previous generations.

So how can you help preschoolers live in a postmodern culture?

  • Teach preschoolers that the words in the Bible are true. When telling a Bible story, tell preschoolers it is a true story.
  • Help preschoolers distinguish fantasy from reality. In your preschool rooms at church, do you have books about princesses and superheroes beside Bible storybooks? Preschoolers cannot determine which of those stories is truth or fantasy. For preschoolers at church, use books and pictures that show reality so preschoolers do not become confused about the truth of God.
  • When talking about characters in the Bible or missionaries of today, tell preschoolers these are real people.
  • Help preschoolers relate the truths of the Bible to their activities. For example, when a preschooler makes a nighttime picture, say the Bible thought, "God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night'" (Gen. 1:5 NIV). 
  • Guide preschoolers to learn about people of other cultures. When talking about how people are different from you, also talk about ways the people are similar to you. Instead of focusing on variations among people, teach preschoolers that God loves all people.
  • Help preschoolers develop empathy for others. Guide preschoolers to do things to help others and show care to others. Help them to know that we can share God’s love with others.

More than ever, our preschoolers need for us to give them the solid foundation of a biblical worldview. We can give preschoolers this foundation as we teach them that the Bible is true and yes, the missionaries are real.

Joye Smith is consultant and team leader for the Preschool Resource Team, national WMU.





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