Children: Let’s Be Like Them

God listens when children pray. Intently. Although he knows the words they will quietly utter even before they form on the lips of each child, he attends to them as if hearing it for the first time. He understands the stops and starts. Even the sidetracks. He doesn’t seem to mind so much when they open their eyes and peak at their friends during prayer. Why do we?

He understands the childlike assumptions. He embraces their unquestioning trust. And he looks at us saying, “Be like them.”

Somehow, beneath the veneer of our worldly sophistication, the admonition strikes a chord deep in that childlike place of our souls. We glimpse for a moment the reality that our theological argumentations are impotent to touch the heart of God. This is especially true for those of us within the fold of evangelicalism. For while argumentations might be helpful in wrestling with issues or engaging in apologetics, they too often become a distraction to relational connections with God and others.

We also realize that our fascination with the interface of culture and philosophy fade in importance as we reach back into the realm of childlike trust, and believe. For a moment, we lay aside our self-conscious worldview angst and simply believe. And as we reach out in belief, we remember that we had always been invited to belong in the sense that God sought us out, having drawn us to him by his Holy Spirit. It makes us wonder: what would happen if we reached out to the lost relationally, rather than argumentively? If we showed the kind of love that the Holy Spirit showed us in drawing us to Jesus Christ, is it possible that the lost would somehow be moved to reach back into the realm of their childlike curiosity to ask of the hope within us?

Those of us who work with children regularly have ample opportunity to be schooled in the ways of childlike trust. Embrace the opportunity. For even as we teach children, they also have something to teach us. So in the sense of trust, let’s “be like them.”

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Children: Let’s Be Like Them

  1. Hi j.c.,

    I am not sure who you are. I don’t think I have ever met you before in person or online. I am grateful you appear to enjoy my blog, at least in parts where you don’t perceive me to be hypocritical.

    I find it interesting that you would say: “singling out a group specifically those that look at business for inspiration in ministry seems a bit hypocritical.”

    I don’t recall saying anything about “business” in this particular post.

    So I am not sure what provoked you to critique my content as being hypocritical. Perhaps if you got to know me before making judgements, you would discover there is more to me than you seem to suspect. And even if you are correct and have made a valid argument, I wonder what that point of indicating my hypocrisy in this venue has cost in the potential for positive dialogue?

    In any event, thank you for your opinion. I pray you have a blessed week.

  2. Sorry i guess it was just a view over the past few blogs and maybe it was some introspection on your part but either way I didn’t want it to come off as an attack and perhaps hypocritical wasn’t the correct word to use.

    I was just wondering why you talked about the people in the “fold of evangelicalism”

    Please don’t take this as a personal attack or anything in that manner at all. I did not in any way to attack you at all. I apologize that my words would even come off in that manner. I guess it was me reading more than one post at a time.

    You had criticized those looking at business for ideas or models in ministry and then gave this introspective piece on being like kids.

    I guess I am confused as to your take anyway I am removing that comment and again apologize sincerely for giving even the inkling to anyone that I would personally attack someone I didn’t know or anyone on a public forum. I just wanted to know your take on the “business church” and why they can’t base their church on the bible and at the same time use biblical backing and sound scripture foundation for what they do?

    I should have placed this comment on that entry.

    Anyway I sincerely apologize for the hurt I have caused.

  3. Hi j.c.,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my concern and to explain further the cause of your concern. I appreciate your tone in your new post. It helps me understand better where you are coming from. I am happy to explain myself the best I can. I am an evangelical Christian. I have been associated with evangelical churches all of my life. At 43, it has given me a range of experiences within this theoligical perspective. Thus, I tend to critique evangelicalism from my point-of-view as an insider to evangelicalism. I can see how it might have given you pause.

    I am sorry if I offended you in any way. That certainly is never my intent with this blog. We always take risks in offending someone when we post our thoughts to the web. Yet, it helps to talk about it so we can gain a better understanding of each other.

    Also, I am bivocational. I work full-time in business and I volunteer in the church. I have no problem with learning from the world of business. I live out the principles of the business world daily so it is very much a part of my working experience. I do question an out-of-balance reliance on business literature at the expense of literature focused on Christian spiritual formation, not least the Bible. Having sat in countless seminary classes, I have experienced the frustration in some of those classes of feeling like I am studying for an MBA, rather than a divinity degree. Again, I appreciate the insights available in the business world. I just don’t think it should be our primary source of pastoral insight. Secondary, sure. Primary, no. Hopefully that helps explain what I mean.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to dialogue with you. I appreciate the interaction!

  4. Glen,

    again I am so sorry about making you feel like you were attacked in any way. And you answered all of my thoughts questions and intents with that post.

    I also think it is very cool that you are doing a Paul sort of thing. (preaching and making tents)

    Thank you so much for responding and I am once again sorry for the trouble I’ve caused and and love your entries and now that I am in the children’s ministry I will continue to read for inspiration and insight.

    Thanks

    J.C.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s