Intergenerational worship is something we should never lose sight of.....
Daron has a Soapbox moment
Having just returned from the international, interdenominational Children's Spirituality Conference, these are the key terms/themes across all presentations that all the academics, researchers and practitioners largely agreed on.
1. Intergenerational/together (sticky faith research found that intergenerational worship was the closest they came in their research to the "silver bullet" re developing a faith that sticks)
2. Conversational Theology - children are more likely to work out their theology/faith in conversation with their faith community rather then in deductional, doctrinal classes. They need the space to ask the hard questions and to also be given the space to wrestle with their faith.
3. Mentoring - having significant others in their life beside their parents is key. 3 to 5 others besides their parents will make a huge difference.
4. Stories - storying and testimony is key. Children will not believe their faith until they have an opportunity to testify to their belief/faith/journey
5. Rites/ritual/mystery of God. Children need to participate in rituals of the faith, see them modelled and experience/find God through them.
6. Participation - children need to feel like they belong not just to the children's church but to the whole church.
7. Immersion in Community Service -Shutting our children in a "Christian Ghetto" stunts and stagnates spiritual growth. They need to be involved in intergenerational service preferably with their family.
8. Faithful Parents -Children are more likely to adopt the faith of their parents.
9. Parenting in the Pew - far more beneficial to our children's long term spiritual growth. Children belong to the faith community and we need them as much as they need us so that we all understand God's Kingdom.
How we do this well is up to each church/family but intergenerational worship is something we should never lose sight of as this ticks many of the boxes.
Balance is key but so is intentionality in discipleship!
Daron gets off his soapbox and begins to cast a sticky web of faith around the church!