Spiritually-hungry Adults In Kids’ Bodies

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         October 22, 2013

 

                      “Spiritually-hungry Grown-ups in Kid’s Bodies”

 

Understatement that is about to be made. Kids like to have fun!

Nothing like a good game of “Red Light, Green Light!”

Kid’s birthday parties are celebrations of delight with icing!

A neighborhood gathering of children for a game of “hide-and-go-seek” still gives me goosebumps!

I love watching my grandson have fun playing soccer on a small-sided field with other five year olds. He hasn’t learned that you’re suppose to keep score yet, even though most of the adults watching are keeping track of that. He’s just having fun…and regardless of whether his team scores twenty goals or zippo the post-game snack will be be the same and taste just as good.

Kids often have a great perspective on things.

What I’ve been noticing lately in our church is that there are a number of spiritually hungry kids. I’ll call them “spiritually-hungry adults in kid’s bodies”, because a lot of them are asking deeper questions than how many loaves and fishes did the little boy give Jesus?

One young man, just a tee shirt size past being a kid, asks me questions of depth each week. He’s looking for substance in this thing we call “walking with Jesus.” He’s figuring things out in his heart and in his mind. His mom has told me that he’s thinking about being a pastor. What do you say to a “Samuel?”

“Be a good little boy for Jesus” does not suffice. I’ve come to realize that spiritually-hungry kids don’t need all the answers in one gorging session. They need questions that lead them to discovering answers, and they need conversations that bring them to certain points where they can hear my answer.

Spiritually-hungry kids want to ask questions that don’t necessarily have one clear answer. “If God created everything, why did he create Satan?”  “If God knows I’m going to tell a lie why doesn’t he stop me before I tell it?” “Why is our worship service on Sunday morning for about an hour? Why not thirty minutes or three hours…and why don’t we have popcorn? Is there something in the Bible that says we can’t have popcorn in church?”

     No question is out-of-bounds for spiritually-hungry adults in kid’s bodies.

And here’s something else that I have no proof of, but just a sense in my spirit about. Kids who ask deep spiritual questions are often borderline threatening to a church. Sometimes it’s because the actual grown-ups aren’t asking deep questions themselves. If the climate is always one where only questions that have easy answers can be asked, deeper questions weigh on people like the after effects of the Sunday potluck.

In other situations kids who ask deep questions create uncomfortableness because it throws the whole system out of whack. Kind of like someone taking college courses he though he’s still in high school. It isn’t the progression we are used to, and yet a whole lot of high school graduates now enter college already with a number of college credits.

Kids asking deep spiritual questions…listen to this…is the hope of the church!

How so? It’s a rescuing of the community of faith from meaningless ritual and superficial spirituality. It’s leading new followers of Jesus beyond the tyranny of the urgent that keeps telling us that everything else is more important than the murmurings of our spirit.

Kids asking deep spiritual questions conveys that THIS really is IMPORTANT, this relationship with Jesus and life amongst the other believers. When kids stop asking questions the church has questions to ask.

I close with a confession! Too often I’m more concerned with the agenda and schedule than I am with the questions. For instance, last Sunday I did a kid’s story in our worship service. It did not go as I planned. The kids had comments and questions that did not fit into my plan. I rushed them to “my finish line”, because there was the adult message to get to. Sometimes that’s how we are…rush the kids to the pre-determined end point and ignore the questions.

And you know something! Kids are more important than that! They need to be seen…and heard, especially while they are still willing to give us “older kids in adult bodies” a hearing!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Faith, Freedom, Grace, Jesus, Parenting, Pastor, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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One Comment on “Spiritually-hungry Adults In Kids’ Bodies”

  1. Kimberly Henry Says:

    One of the many reasons why we love your church and you! Thanks for always taking the time to listen to the children!


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