Make Way for Ducklings!
We have such an exciting thing happening at our house!
What we have is a mama duck who has built a nest in our little front garden.
She is tenderly caring for ~ and tremendously protective of ~ the eggs she’s already
laid. According to several environmental websites, we should expect a few more
eggs, a 30-day incubation and then – finally, hopefully, prayerfully….
I am so looking forward to watching the little ones waddle off behind their mama!
We have such an exciting thing getting ready to happen at Bethany, too.
Beginning April 10th (Palm Sunday), Sunday Fun will begin in the 9:30 worship
service! Your children will arrive with you and be with you for about the first 15
minutes of the service, and then we’ll head to Sunday Fun.
Now, some of you may be saying to yourself
“Pastor Cathy, that’s nice. Feels like new/old normal.
But such an exciting thing…Really?”
And I would say to you, yes, my friends, it is! Here’s why I think so…
In last week’s post I shared that one particular question,
“how do kids at Bethany learn to worship?”
has led me back to school to try to better understand kids and worship.
I feel it’s a critical and missing piece of our kids’ spiritual development.
I’m learning so very much and could honestly talk about it for hours and hours
(ask my colleagues!)
but I won’t take you down those rabbit trails.
(you should feel great relief here, just ask my colleagues)
But I will say, although I’ve not studied every single book on the subject, every book
that I have studied has agreed: worshiping God is something we must be taught to
do, not something that is innate. It turns out that kids don’t just pick up on the truth
that God has invited us to this special time and place to worship and that God’s
Spirit is actually present with us there; no one does! Kid’s don’t just pick up on the
reasons we sing or the story we are singing about or why we say the words we do in
church. Kid’s aren’t always aware that the Word read and preached is meant not so
much to inform as to change us in ways that make us a little more like Jesus.
We learn these things gradually…over time,
week after week, month after month, year after year.
We learn them from other people.
And guess who the best of those “other people” are that kids learn from?
Parents are the best of those “other people”!
Now I hear some of you saying, maybe even out loud,
“Pastor Cathy, that is definitely not where I thought you were going with this and you
are WAY more excited about this than I think I am. On top of everything else we’ve
got going on, you are saying I am the “other people” who will teach my kid(s) to
worship?! I’m not even sure what that means!
THAT DOES NOT FEEL EXCITING TO ME!”
And I will say, friend,
I believe (and I’m not the only one)
that for too long (generations)
the Church (the whole church everywhere)
has said we will teach your kids everything they need to know
so they will grow up to have great faith.
And now we have generations of kids who have lost their faith,
or never really had it to begin with.
Perhaps one reason is because God didn’t really set it up for the Church to be the
only teacher of faith. An important teacher of faith, yes. But not the only one.
God set it up so that the center of spiritual development is the family.
And typically speaking, on most days anyway,
parents are the leaders of the family.
My job is to give you everything you need
so you can be spiritual leaders for your kids.
My job is to partner with you in your kids’ spiritual development.
And that’s one reason why
I think it’s such an exciting thing for our kids to be back in worship…
because worship is a critical piece of their spiritual development and
partnering with you in your kids’ spiritual development
fills my heart with great joy.
Please do not be overwhelmed.
It is a way easier thing than words convey,
because it’s more about the rock star nurturer that you already are
than what you may or may not know about worship
or the Bible or God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit
or if you know the Apostles’ Creed
(or who the Apostles’ were).
It’s mostly about things like putting your arm around your child
and inviting them to sing the worship songs with you,
making sure they can see the screen,
and what’s going on in the altar area.
There’s more, but it’s mostly about things like that.
You’ve got this.
God’s got you.
And I am here to help.