How early can faith formation really begin?
What we know from developmental neuroscience is that the human brain is at its most “plastic” during the first three years of life. This means that experience is especially influential in shaping how brain cells are networked together. There’s a lot going on inside those cute little heads, even when they’re sleeping! So it’s pretty clear from the research on infant learning that faith formation can happen from the start. The infant brain is already very active in starting to figure out the world. What can I expect from this smiling person? Where is that sound coming from? How can I see more of those colorful shapes?
St. Mark’s realizes that as a church family, we can do a lot to nurture what’s already happening in those busy brains of newborns! During an infant baptism, when we welcome the child as a fellow worker with us in God’s kingdom, we don’t tack on the phrase “When you’re old enough.” Instead we believe that faith formation happens right then – as a baby! So we seek as a congregation to equip parents of newborns to begin the process of faith formation right from the beginning with resources and activities to do with your new child!
Our congregation sends out a newsletter once a month to new parents for the first three years of a child’s life as they grow into being formed into the faith. The resource we use for this is called “Splash” and it contains lots of easy to do activities, songs, bible stories, and developmental connections to bring faith into the life of your new child. We hope that it will be a helpful resources to you as we all help to develop faithful Christians.