1. Avoid illustrations. The Trinity complex for adults to comprehend. So it is difficult to explain to children. Some people use illustrations such as a triangle with three sides, or water having three forms or an apple having a skin, seeds and flesh. But ultimately these are often floored as they never accurately represent the fullness of the Trinity.
2. Use biblical examples. The best approach is to describe the Trinity in the same way it can be seen in the Bible. A good example is the baptism of Jesus is Matthew 3. The Trinity is a special name for God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are three persons, but they are also together as one being. We can see this in the Bible. When Jesus was baptised the Holy Spirit came down on him like a dove and God’s voice from Heaven said ‘This is my son’. Here we can see the Trinity as God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit as three persons.
3. Explain the Holy Spirit. The part of the Trinity that is the least familiar for children is the Holy Spirit. Therefore it’s important to provide some direct teaching about the Holy Spirit when explaining the Trinity. Children need to understand that after Jesus’ rose from the dead he returned to be with God in heaven. Then God sent the Holy Spirit to be with his people (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit came upon God’s people as a fire and they were suddenly able to speak in different languages. This was only possible because of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can lead and help us to trust in God.
4. Prayer. Show children that when we pray the Trinity is also working. We pray to God the Father (Matthew 6:9). But it is Jesus’ death on the cross that means our sins are forgiven and allows us to speak to God in prayer (Hebrew 7:25). The Holy Spirit is inside of us (1 Corinthians 3:16), we pray through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:2).
5. All God. Be clear that all parts of the Trinity are fully God. God the Father is wholly God. Jesus the Son is wholly God. The Holy Spirit is wholly God. Each of these three persons are completely God. God the Father didn’t make Jesus or the Holy Spirit. All three parts of the Trinity have always existed since before creation. God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:2). Through the Word (which is Jesus) all things were made (John 1).
- Everything A Child Should Know About God by Taylor includes a chapter the Holy Spirit.
- These videos gives explanations for school children: