So, my daughter and I were talking again about her memories. She's taken a long journey from faith through other things and back to faith and the scriptures. She was talking about things that shaped her faith. She can also tell you lots of things that totally turned her off to church.
We were talking scripture this morning before she left and I'm reminded that when we dedicated her the pastor prayed over her (or prophesized) that she would be a woman of the Word. For most of her teen years and into early adulthood I failed to see that. She's only met that pastor once. We moved when she was a toddler. If she runs into him again I asked her share with him that God is answering his prayer. Would you be encouraged if someone came up to you and told you that you prayed for him/her 30 years ago and God answered your prayer?
Here is an exercise for leaders, childrens' ministers, parents...maybe everyone in your faith community. We'll call it child sensitivity training or maybe toddler sensitivity training. Ha! Most of us probably don't remember back this far and it's probably a good thing but...
What are your earliest memories of something faith or church related? At home or alone? In church or with a group? How did it affect you?
Name five more specific situations or experiences that shaped your faith as a child. How old were you? Recall as much detail as you can. How can it help you better represent God to children?
I shared with you the finger game, the book. Here's another one. (Both sets of grandparents and my parents all went to the same church). I sucked my thumb for more years than you care to know. I remember being carried by one of my parents (probably my dad) and saying good-by to people after a church dinner waving good-by with the rest of my hand.
The doing with my hands, the rhyme, the book, family, community - just a couple of memories. Try it.