A person’s a person…

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who

I’ve been thinking a lot about little people lately.  How they learn and grow.  How they discover the world around them. What exactly makes them tick. This shouldn’t surprise anyone as I have a little person around me constantly. He loves texture and sensation. He wants to feel everything. He pulls things apart, puts them back together and then starts all over again. He wants to feel the world. He wants to be part of things.

This type of existing that is so common in toddlers and even young children is not really reflective of our worship style or faith experience {in my denomination anyways}. We expect kids to sit and listen. To be quiet. To behave. There isn’t a lot of room to move around. There’s isn’t a lot they can dig into. They’re expected to be tiny adults.

I worry about my son. How he will experience God as he grows and where he will learn about faith.  How will he experience the spirit?  Will he feel he has a place in all of it? Right now there aren’t many places left in my ‘church’ to do that. There are congregations that still have Sunday Schools but numbers are dwindling and programs are disappearing. Of all the programs in a church, the Children’s programs are often the first to go. We think that we’ll start them up again when we have kids but kids don’t come, families don’t appear because there isn’t anything for them.  It’s a vicious cycle.  It’s a frightening prospect.  In our efforts to save money/energy/time we’ve neglected the most important people in our church.  We’ve forgotten that they are the key to the future. We’ve forgotten how much they can teach us.

Jesus said, “…Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.” Matthew 19: 14-15

My son’s life is filled with texture and boldness.  He wants to experience and be part of everything around him. He loves music and sound. He has moments of great joy and also of sorrow. He feels everything intensely and is willing to share in your feelings as well.

If his life is so rich with colour, texture, emotion and expression and God’s kingdom is filled with people like him, should we not have more colour, texture, emotion and expression in our services and communities?  Should we not have programs that cater to young children and their families? Should we not want to learn from them how to live, worship and love?

We cannot do that the way things stand.  When we focus worship around what makes us comfortable and relegate children to the side as observers we’re missing out on a huge part of the experience God wants for us.  We cannot take ourselves too seriously.  God wants us to be fully engaged and as adults it’s natural for us to withdraw and hide a part of ourselves.  We need to learn from the children.  We must discover what it’s like to be a child again.

I worry about my son. He has needs and has a right to experience God in his own way.  There should be a place where he can go to make those discoveries and have fun while doing it. Children matter.  They are important.  They are the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.roushorne Daniel Roushorne

    I don’t worry so much about your son, he has you! I do worry about those children less fortunate whose Mom or Dad might not have your faith and knowledge. As a church we need to start taking this responsibility seriously. We seem to be content to make the church last long enough for most of our attenders. We fail to realize that most of our attenders are over 75. This attitude frightens me!

  • Pingback: Resources for Matthew 19:14 - 15

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