Listening to God

Going Deep

Bills

I wish I had a camera every time I mentioned that children are capable of practicing spiritual disciplines. The looks of skepticism and “you’re crazy” would make a fun collage on my office wall.

I’m not sure when or why the phrase “spiritual disciplines” became so scary to some. I’m sure church historians or theologians who are way smarter than me could explain it. Or maybe it’s just when I use the phrase in the same sentence as “Let’s do this with children!” that people look at me like I just said my husband is pregnant with twins. Continue reading

I wonder…

Suzetta Nutt is one of those amazing people whom you want to sit at their feet and attempt to absorb as much as possible from their deep wells of wisdom. Suzetta has been serving at Highland Church in Abilene, TX for 30 years; the last 11 have been as the Children’s Minister. She is passionate about listening to children and sharing life with them. She and her husband, Bob, have 3 children, Lauren (32), Ryan (15) and Tabby (4); so life is always interesting. Suzetta has learned first hand  that God definitely has a sense of humor! Please welcome Suzetta to the conversation today. May you be blessed by her as much as she has blessed my life & ministry.
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For more than a decade my church has been on an intentional journey of learning what it means to be the church with children. This journey has led us to ask many questions of our parents, our leadership and the children in our care. We’ve been amazed and challenged by what we have learned.

Two simple words have changed us forever, pointing us toward transformation and restoration.

The words – I wonder.

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Asking Better Questions

What would happen if we started asking better questions?

Questions that left room for messy. Questions that didn’t wrap everything up into a black and white bow at the end of class. Questions that left room for wonder & curiosity & what if. Questions that dealt with real life.

Generally speaking, I think a lot of us are really bad questioners when we teach. Rarely do follow up questions go beyond “Remember” or “Understand.”

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Our Educator friends are very familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy, and it is a great resource we need to be using regularly when we are writing or tweaking curriculum or lesson planning. Better questions often appear in curriculum for preteens, but we need better questions for children of all ages. Children are capable of wrestling with challenging questions, even in preschool.

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Evaluating Curriculum

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I’m calling a spade a spade today and confessing that searching for the “right” curriculum is hard and overwhelming and sucks. There are so many options out there and when you start digging in to the finer points of each it’s hard to keep it all straight in your mind. You have to look at price, format, actual content of the lesson and user friendliness. It doesn’t take long before you want to throw the piles of samples in the trash, yell at curriculum writers and play a game of inny-minny-miney-moe to just get the process over with already!

Who’s with me?

But here’s the deal:

A of all: Curriculum writers have the. hardest. job. ever. How are they supposed to write for all unknown churches, denominations, classroom dynamics, AND content levels for all children? Serious respect to all of you out there.

And 2. Continue reading

Why Child’s Praise?

Like a dog that gnaws on a bone only to bury it for a time then sniffs it out again to gnaw on it once more, the idea of starting a blog has weighed on me off & on for at least a year. When it did I created a convincing column of Cons and pushed it to the back burners of my mind, pretending like I had convinced God that He was crazy.

Until He made Himself abundantly clear, “No, really. I’m not the crazy one.”

 My response was very respectful: “Fine! If this is really something you want me to do, You’re going to have to give me a name for this stupid blog…and a purpose…AND ideas.”

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