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Hearing From Kids

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by Thomas Hawk)

A few days ago, I posted a link to a humorous video about a kid’s questions about Jesus and talked about the need for us to take kids more seriously when it comes to spirituality.

I’ve been doing some more thinking about that challenge. When I was at Asbury College, I took a general course on Christian Education. One of our assignments was to interview a few children about their perceptions of God and Jesus and salvation and spirituality issues. I don’t remember all my findings but I do remember enjoying the exercise and being surprised at what children did and didn’t understand at different ages.

It got me thinking about my approach to ministry. We have our lesson plans and our assumptions on what children need to learn and how to teach it to them, but how many of us have sit down with the kids in our church at different age levels to find out what they understand/need to understand and how to best teach it to them? I’m sure that doing that exercise today would generate different findings than most of us would expect… especially with all of the changes in how information is disseminated today due to the digital nature of most everything and the ability to access and manipulate information non-linearly. Would we change our approaches to how we communicate spiritual truths to children? What would that look like?

I know there is a lot out there that we can read, and there are a lot of experts who have done work like this. I think, though, that this would be a good exercise for any of us in children’s ministry to do with a handful of kids at our churches from different ages. It would probably help to contextualize what we are teaching better.

Has anyone done something like this at their church? If so, what did you find?

Would you be willing to do something like this?

I plan on adding this to my summer project list and posting some of my findings for my church! Like I didn’t have enough to do already.


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