I had the wonderful opportunity over the summer to sit down with a long-time Sunday School teacher who has spent her career as a Clinical Nurse Specialist working with children. Not only did we exchange thoughts and understandings about the spiritual development of children, but interspersed between these ideas were stories of children we had worked with and ministered to. Every story lifted up the fact that children are capable of understanding way more about God than we tend to give them credit for.
Current psychological research is supporting what the Church has known for millennia: that every baby is born with the capacity for spiritual involvement. All that we have to do then is nurture it.
One of my pet peeves in worship is the belief that we are nurturing that spiritual development by offering a Children’s Message. (You can read more about my views on Children’s Messages here.)
“I wonder where we can see God today…” is an example of such an invitation.
Preschoolers are our most vulnerable church-goers. Yes, they are energetic and impulsive and apt to put themselves in harm’s way unintentionally, but I’m referring to how vulnerable their spiritual growth is during this phase of their lives. Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development
“I wonder how we know that God is with us…”
The following characteristics of children give them great potential for truly experiencing our Sunday services of worship. In what ways can we enhance worship and our sanctuaries to capitalize on these characteristics?
Many thanks to Wendy Parker, APRN, member of the Congregational Church in Littleton, for her invaluable inspiration and input for this blogpost.
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