Children as Spiritual Pilgrims

21 07 2011

Csinos builds off of Robert Coles work viewing children as spiritual pilgrims, “active agents who walk with adults on the journey of life rather than passively soaking up information according to the production line paradigm or banking model of education or simply passing through predetermined life stages according to the green house metaphor.” (12)

This concept of children on a spiritual journey is not new, but it is not old either.  At one time children were viewed as miniature adults and then later as sponges soaking up their world.  Only in the past couple decades have researchers began to value the spiritual lives and pathways of children for their own unique selves.  Csinos continues with “Regarding children as pieces of raw material or as divine seeds fails to capture the natural and supernatural qualities of their spiritual lives.”

I agree!  I believe that there is great value in embracing children’s spirituality for its own sake.  I do not think that current children’s ministry structures do enough to embrace spirituality in children.  Most children’s ministries exist to give kids information about God and the stories of God’s people (both REALLY good things).  However, this falls much more in line with the model of ministry which sees children as sponges than as those on a journey.

I do not want to scrap telling the story of God’s interaction with his people, but I want to see that story embrace children placing themselves in the story and journeying with that same God.  They need to experience God and see that he is walking alongside them and holding their hands each step of the way.  Just relaying information does not embrace the spiritual journey (which will last a lifetime) that these children are on.

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One response

26 07 2011
Justin Spurlock

Totally agree! This is a very important underlying theology principal.

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