Wednesday, August 20, 2008

more about the chillens

I don't have kids, but I do share everyone's concern about how to raise them up in a spiritually healthy way without relying on Sunday school to do so.

I frequent a blog by Kathy Escobar who left a traditional church setting for a smaller group of Christians, and she recently posted some thoughts on kids and nontraditional groups. I encourage you to read the post as well as the comments. She asks the hard questions that I have heard many of you asking:
will they survive the lack of “knowns” that we used to hold on to so dearly? what will it mean for them to be raised in a wacky eclectic “community” instead of the typical church structure that delivers the kinds of programs that we used to thrive on? how has our cynicism affected them? does Jesus supersede language & systems? what will their faith journey really look like?


Arizona Bam said...

Thanks for turning our attention to Kathy's thoughts on this, Jamie! As I've read through and digested her post, I've found myself really resonating with her heart. I know many of us with young children have found ourselves in a very similar state of uncertainty as we process the implications of our own faith journey as parents for our maturing children.

Here are some of the excerpts that grabbed me:

"...It’s almost like it’s okay to ask questions once we lived a life of having all the answers, but what happens when you start out with just the questions & not the answers?"

" kids haven’t had a spiritual high in well over two years, but when they are around the Refuge family they have grownups that look them in the eye, love them, hug them, and care about how they’re doing. They love & play with the other littler Refuge-ees whenever we’re together. With a bit of loosely organized stuff here & there, that’s pretty much what they get in terms of “church”. Is that really enough?"

" hope is that regardless of the language they use and they way they express it, that the spirit & ways of Jesus are under their skin & into their heart & are reflected in ways that might not be noticeable to the religious system (or even us) but somehow, some way show up in relationship with people."

Some of my current thoughts on guiding my kids' spirituality:

- While I, personally, don't perceive Sunday school or programatic structure as inherently flawed, I do appreciate an arrangement in which I feel a parental responsibility to daily teach, direct, and partner with my children on their path to exploring God.

- In recent years, I've been learning to embrace a healthy dose of uncertainty as a requirement for humility and growth. When I think about "uncertainty" in a parenting context though, I get a bit more anxious because part of me wants to be a source of assurance and stability for my children. Yet, as I process that further, I move towards the conclusion that God honors uncertainty in the context of humility and faith, and that my children may actually gain spiritual health because Tara and I are open about our weaknesses and limits of understanding.

Anywho, I won't draw this out any further, but I would like to say that it is very encouraging to be in conversation and communitas ::wink:: with others (both parents and otherwise) that are wrestling with these issues.

P.S. Awesome photograph, Jamie...

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Thanks, Adam.