One of my kids in Sunday School asked about Jesus being God. That set me off on trying to explain it to the kids, and I did some Googling for a fun way to explain it.

The Braid

I found Suite101’s article called “Teaching Kids about the Trinity”.   So, I used braids to explain it to the kids, and it seemed to go over well.

First, I had two volunteers stand up and hold each end of a string. It was two boys, and I asked if they were strong enough to break my string. When I said go, they broke the string strand with a little effort.

Then, I brought out four more volunteers. One person held the end of three strings, and the other three each held the other end of one of those strings. Once in place, I tried to get them to go over under, over under to braid the three strings together.  That proved to be a fun exercise.

To illustrate, I held up the rope, and I tried to show them that the braided part actually looked like one rope instead of three strands. Of course, if you ask them, they say it looks like three, but I think they still got the point.

Finally, I had two more volunteers try to pull on the string the same way we did the single strand, and it didn’t break. Just to experiment, I picked the same two boys to see if it really was that much stronger. They were able to break it. I am curious if I had done a better job braiding if it would have broken, but I didn’t have time to mess with it.

Discussion in the Bible

I also talked about creation. In Genesis, it talks about God creating the Earth and everything in it. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This appears to talk about God the Father as a single person. Yet, as I understand it, the word is Elohim, which is plural. Then, in Genesis 1:26, the Bible says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …”. In the very next verse, it says that “God created man in his own image…”. The lines between God being plural and singular are blurred in such a way that only the Trinity explains it. Also, in Colossians 1:16, the Bible says, speaking of Jesus, “For by him were all things created…”.  That would contradict Genesis if it were not for the Trinity.

Other Illustrations

I was sick the week before I taught this, and apparently the kids had asked the substitute teacher. So, they told me last week’s illustration was the egg illustration.   (It’s fun when they give you clues that they actually listen sometimes!)  There are three parts to the egg — the shell, the egg white, and the yolk.

I really like Rey Reynoso’s comment on this article. He listed the egg illustration, plus a few others. God is like water in that it has ice, water, and steam. Also, God is like a Pizza in that one piece is still completely Pizza.

What I really liked is that with each illustration he pointed out the problems with the illustration. You must understand that the concept of the Trinity is something we can’t completely grasp. It is just as unlogical as an angel existing near us where we can’t see or hear him. Everything in the spiritual world is above our understanding including the Trinity.


Becca · March 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

The best clues on the Trinity, I think, are in the first verses of John. I love wikipedia for topics like this:

A lot of the early debates over the wording in creeds (which still go on today) had to do with the Trinity and its nature. Really interesting stuff with serious implications. Extra credit challenge: define and explain “hypostatic union.”

digitaleagle · March 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm


Yea, I think I have read a little of that in the past. I could stand to study it some more.

I can define Hypostatic Union: the fact that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man at the same time. Explaining it is a different story. I think my favorite angle at explaining it might be from Philippians 2. God’s power is unlimited, and the most amazing aspect is the fact that he can fully limit that power. He can forget our sins even though He is all-knowing, and he can become a limited human even though he is an all-powerful God.

But, the real challenge is to explain all that to 3rd and 4th graders so they can understand it!

Becca · March 7, 2011 at 7:30 am

Heh. If 3rd and 4th graders can understand it, they will be way ahead of most of the world’s greatest theologians.

But really, sometimes I think kids do understand the deeper mysteries of God better than smarty-pants theologians. “Faith like a child” has a beautiful simplicity that’s often lost in all the big words we make up to try to describe the indescribable.

digitaleagle · March 9, 2011 at 4:39 am

This morning, I found this article about Jesus’ use of “I am”, and I felt like that was worth adding here in case anyone was looking for another angle:

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