Thursday, October 25, 2012

“Edutainment” or faith formation

Ivy Beckwith, one of my favourite writers on children’s ministry (her books “Post Modern Children’s Ministry” and “Formational Children’s Ministry” are available from the Kids Friendly library) critiques the schooling model most churches use to facilitate the spiritual formation of children. 
“I wonder if school is the best way to help children love God and live in the way of Jesus – especially when church school has morphed into what some label ‘edutainment.’

School is good for teaching some things important to the life of faith, such as the elements of prayer or the facts of a Bible story, but is it the best vehicle for helping kids become followers of Jesus? Perhaps what is needed is a formational model of children’s ministry with some schooling elements, rather than our current model of school peppered with some formational elements.”

Beckwith suggests there are three equally important elements of a formational model of children’s ministry: story, ritual, and relationship. 

Use her suggestions to inform and review your own ministry with the children of your church.  Read more in a Time to grow”.

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