Last week, my daughter, Susannah, got to go with Dad to visit with the Bruns. The reason? Baby Colin will be baptized this Sunday. Liz, Jake, and the pastor’s conversation was made livelier by Susannah and Colin’s older sister, Teagan, feeding us often with play dough creations. Was it orange and green pancakes?
The meandering topic was, raising Christian kids. I went to encourage and celebrate—not so much to fill out a scorecard. I asked questions and listened. I gave them a book I found helpful. I highlighted the grace that accompanies the promises the parents will make on Sunday. I “ate” some “pancakes.” I even had the honor of reading Teagan a book.
Here are my core convictions about faith and kids (or anyone really):
- Faith is caught, not taught.
- The people a child lives with are—for good or ill—the primary Christian rolemodels and educators, and not pastors or Sunday School teachers.
- In the gospels, we see Jesus bless the children and teach the adults—even though most of the time, congregations get this backwards.
Susannah is nearly two and a half, so Sara and I get to walk this talk. Above all, that means walking the faith-talk in our daily lives. It also means other super fun stuff, like telling Susannah about Jesus.
Next week, I’ll tell a story about that. But for now, consider your own experience “catching” the faith. How did that happen? Who influenced you most? What did they do?
Thanks be to God. -PC