There is power in asking simple questions. Especially when those questions are open ended questions. Not just a question that could be answered with a yes or a no, but the kind of question that invites reflection and elaboration. Rev. Donna McKee recently asked such a question of some of the people in the church who are educators - both those who are or have been educators in their careers as well as those who give of their time to serve in children’s ministry. The simple question: “What are some of the lessons you have learned from children?”
Their responses were thoughtful, rich and inspiring. Here are just some of the things that have been learned…
“A caring nurturing relationship is the foundation for all meaningful learning.”
“I learned the importance of knowing someone’s story. School records don’t tell the whole picture so I found ways to learn about my students.”
“...experience has taught me that no amount of preparation can match what God can do when you allow Him to lead the teaching. I have learned the importance of always being vigilant and ready to change course at any time because God chooses a different and better lesson plan.”
“Grown ups often complicate things so much that we miss the truth at the heart. Their approach to life with wonder and innocence allows them to see what should be obvious to all of us.”
“My shared learning experience with children has taught me how little I really know and how much more there is to discover. And in truth, I can’t think of a better or more exciting place to be.”
Their responses remind me of a few things about discipleship:
- Discipleship is a process.
It involves learning, growth and change. And these sometimes happen in unexpected ways.
- Discipleship is not a solitary journey.
As I learn and grow, I recognize that some of my best growth happens in community with others, especially when those in the community have a point of view or lived experience that is different from my own!
- Discipleship is cyclical.
My learning and growth as a follower of Jesus prompts me to pass on what I know. It leads me to serve, to teach, and to invite others to come along.
Since we are focusing on asking questions this summer, I invite you to consider and pray about the following:
- Who is on the journey of discipleship with you?
Are there people on your journey who are different from you in age, race, socioeconomic status, or political point of view? How much of their story do you know? What questions are you asking them? What are you learning from them?
- How are you being called to serve, teach or invite?
How might you participate in children’s ministry? What experiences have you had that you can share with or teach to others? Who might you invite into relationship so that they might know Christ?