Parent Page - Children
Welcome to the Parent Page for Children's Ministries at Christ Church! We trust that you will find the information here to be helpful in nurturing your children in their faith.
Looking for something in particular? Contact Lynne Jensen.
Nurturing the Spirituality of Children and Youth
Open hearts to wonder...
Children are spiritual beings with an innate sense of faith and wonder that is real and authentic. Joy, love, hope, and wonder of God's spirit are all present within each child, and every child has the potential for spiritual experience. The image I have when I wonder about children and spirituality is of an open heart. Young children are open to God's love and spirit in ways that we have long forgotten. Even before they have the words, children know God, and God knows each and every one of them by name. God engages children as they play, explore, and discover the world. Children have much to teach us about coming to God with open hearts ready to wonder and delight at all God has given to us.
Parents and ministry leaders have the privilege of becoming partners with God and nurturing children by giving them a place of safety and trust in God with unconditional love. We can help our children to be open to spiritual experience by giving them the words to help describe what they feel so deeply within their hearts and souls. We encourage our children to talk with God in prayer, discover the sacred stories, experience worship, wonder at the amazing gifts that God has given them in creation and life, and help them to be kind, generous, and compassionate to others. Parents and ministry leaders must trust God to bring children to that awareness of God. Early childhood is a time for being loved and protected by God—for enjoying God's love and responding in love. As our children grow, this foundation of God's love helps them to continue to seek and discover for themselves who God is and who He calls them to be.
When children begin to go out into the world, they experience all that life offers, both good and bad. They begin to experience death, loss, and unfairness. Parents and ministry leaders can help give children tools to work through these experiences by continuing to discover God in story, worship, and through others in community. Being part of a faith community is especially important at these times. Here, children can safely work through the hard issues and again experience God where they are, at any given moment. This is a great time of discovery and formation. Giving our children opportunities to be made aware of where God is in their lives keeps them open to experiencing God every day.
As our children grow into their teens, they are still searching, discovering, and looking for those experiences with God. Giving our teens space to explore, discuss, and work through their questions and doubts in community is an important part of the growth process. By sharing our own faith experiences and walking alongside our teens, we can again give them opportunities to experience God in new ways.
Prominent theologian John Westerhoff encourages parents and ministry leaders to think of the faith journey as a pilgrimage—to see children and adults as co-pilgrims, with adults being the more experienced pilgrims. Over time we journey together growing in faith, while engaging with each other and God.
As parents and ministry leaders, our role is to provide a foundation of experiences on which children build a life of learning and growth toward a mature and vital faith. With intentional experience and Christian formation, we become the people God calls us to be. As we develop our gifts, we can more faithfully encourage and guide others through their own journey of faith.
Join all of us here at Christ Church Christiana Hundred as we journey together—children, youth, and adults—with open hearts and minds to the wonders of God’s love!