Small children, donned in fancy dresses and sparkly shoes or jeans or pajama bottoms, dart here and there to find the right classrooms on Sunday mornings. A smiling teacher greets them while they sit down on miniature seats next to baskets filled to the brim with crayons and markers, glue and glitter as they learn their next Bible story. About 45-minutes later they emerge, completed craft in hand, sharing a story of what they’ve learned with parents, grandparents and other adults.
This image undoubtedly brings smiles to our faces. But, does the church have things a little bit backwards? Given that most mainline congregations are dominated by adults, why don’t we see adults darting off in their Sunday best to a variety of classes on Bible, worship, theology or church history? Why don’t we see them engaging in spiritual practices like Lectio Divina, a labyrinth walk or silent meditation?
The book Faith Formation 2020 by John Roberto, which our Called to Lead groups are reading this year, challenges us to think about faith formation across generations. How do we continue to form and nurture the faith of young people and adults from different generations? How can we think about faith formation to adults who are brand new to the church or who are returning after a long time?