To help children gain a detailed understanding of the Christian concept of God’s grace, The United Methodist Church recommends teaching John Wesley’s three aspects of grace. Wesley outlined grace as prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace. For children, compare each concept to aspects of life that children typically experience.
Wesley defined prevenient grace as grace operating in the lives of Christians before they enter the faith. One way a child can understand this aspect is to compare it to the love of parents for the child before birth. According to Wesley’s teachings, justifying grace involves forgiveness of sins. For a beginner’s understanding of this aspect, compare this to reconciling with a friend or family member. Wesley taught that sanctifying grace is a cleansing process that continues through life. Compare the sanctifying aspect of grace to how children continually learn from new experiences.