A walk with a toddler, if you are prepared to let them meander as they wish, can be the adventure of a lifetime. It’s about the journey, not the destination.
My daughter once stopped and stared at snails ‘sleeping’ in the holes of a wall. I’d never imagined how many snails could live there. The ability to look and notice where and how God is present is one of the most important tools we need for a lifelong journey of faith.
Likewise, if we are working with children in church, it’s worth considering whether we are using a deadline and destination model to teach them about faith. It’s easy to see the destination and the deadline as the point at which they will stop attending church, and so feel we must fill them up with as much Bible knowledge as possible first.
We desperately hope that this knowledge will magically transform into a living faith that will ‘bring them back to church’. That model is too broken to fix. Faith is a life-long journey. How can we find ways to journey together with children and young people in their spiritual life and faith?
We must be guided by them even as we guide them. This is all about spiritual practices that allow us to slow down, notice God and God’s activity in us, those around us, and the world at large. Our challenge is to rediscover the value of journeying together. Here are four ideas to get you started.