Intentionally Supporting Our Preteens

When a baby is born, he is not developmentally ready to walk. One day, he reaches an age where he is, except that he is not, because he is never done it before. He is ready developmentally, but not experientially.

This is when we encourage the baby. We hold his hands and walk with him, up and down the hallway countless times. One day, he scoots over to a coffee table on his own volition. He slowly stands, with pudgy fingers cling tightly to the table, struggling to find balance. Eventually after a few wobbly moments, he let go. He takes a few tentative steps and falls.

Now, think about what we do when he falls. Do we shake our heads disapprovingly and say, “What is wrong with you! Why are you acting like that?” Do we rescue him and insist that he should never try walking again with our help? No. Of course not.

We celebrate the steps forward with claps and encouraging words. We celebrate that he is slowly becoming a child who can walk on his own and. This baby, who was once unable to walk, is now ready (developmentally not experientially). We celebrate his experiments. We celebrate his efforts and his risk-taking. We encourage these things because we know he needs these experiences to eventually stopped falling and start walking with confidence.

Preteens, much like toddlers, are developmentally ready to use new functions but they don’t have the experience to know how to use these functions well. Many of us find it harder to respond with claps and encouraging words to preteens as they take risks because they aren’t just taking stumbling steps and falling on the carpet.

Continue reading “Intentionally Supporting Our Preteens”

Seeking God with the Eyes of a Preschooler

In Matthew 18:1-4, the disciples ask Jesus about who would be the greatest in heaven. Jesus answered by calling a child not much older than an infant. He presented the child to the disciples and told them,

“Truly I tell you, unless you change
and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes
the lowly position of this child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:1-4 (NIV)

What did Jesus mean by “become like children”? The years I spent working as a preschool chaplain taught me ways of seeking the Father that I often forget as an adult.

Continue reading “Seeking God with the Eyes of a Preschooler”

Praise and Worship

The word “worship” has almost become a cliché in our time and day. Whenever we hear someone says, “Let’s come to a time of worship…” or “I want them to start with worship.”, more often that not we think about a church service or a corporate singing experience. Others may also be hoping for an emotional experience during the song service. Depending on who you talk to, the word “worship” can mean many things.

Continue reading “Praise and Worship”