Because life is a series of edits

It’s for the Kids

In Church, Education, Seminary on February 9, 2008 at 4:44 am

In a class on the topic of children’s ministry this weekend at Covenant. Regardless of how what I learn gets used in the church, having four kids in the age range, I’m interested (I figure it’s time to go back and learn what I thought I already knew about children and any ministry to them – like many, I did all my best parenting before I had kids).

Personally, the musty church basement of the Griggsville United Methodist Church was a warm place for me when I was a child in Sunday School. I remember being fascinated by the stories and characters of the Bible, singing songs, and knowing my teacher would be there every Sunday. In retrospect, this was the beginning of God drawing me to Himself.

By my standards today, I would not consider any aspect of my Sunday School experience particularly biblical or well done – the moralistic curricula played into my perfectionist tendencies; the songs were cheeseball and the piano was always slightly out of tune; and I always sensed that there was unspoken tension among the teachers as to who got which room (they were all different sizes), who was the better teacher (we kids had favorites), and whether each of them truly believed what they taught (sadly, children’s ministry was and still is the victim of the wretched “warm body” recruit).

Yet I include my experiences as ones God used to reach me. Unlike Richard Dawkins’ argument in The God Delusion that “natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe whatever their parents and tribal elders tell them” (p. 205), I believe that, despite imperfect curricula, less-than-ideal space, and adults who had barely more knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures than I did at the time, God designed me – as he has all of the elect – to respond to Him, even (and often) at a young age.

God laid enough of a foundation of faith during my childhood to hold the weight of my first real spiritual steps to become a Christian at age 14. If He could do this despite the inadequacies of my church’s children’s ministry, I wonder what He would do through redeeming curricula, good space, and teachers called and trained to minister to children.

Indeed, I wonder.

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