Shifting culture isn’t easy. I still laugh at Common Core math because it just isn’t right! It isn’t right because it’s not the way I learned math so therefore it just can’t be more effective or better. And let’s be honest, I can’t figure it out when I try to help my little cousin with his homework. Math education is shifting and I struggle to accept it.
Orange is attempting to church culture and sometimes it’s hard to make the adjustments to our mindsets and routines, but I’m impressed with the results and depth of relationship kids are having with each other and, most importantly, Jesus. Orange is our strategy that is built around small group/relational learning. Our kids aren’t in Sunday School, but instead, they are part of a LifeGroup with ownership of their spiritual growth.
With ownership, kids have more conversations about how their own stories are part of God’s meta-narrative.
“Elementary kids love to imagine, and we can help them own their faith even more when we help them imagine even further, rather than shut down the conversation with a black and white answer.
Although some weeks, your group will be more apt to talk about it than others, the topic of faith is going to be an ongoing conversation in your group. And that’s okay! Every week, you are creating a safe place where your few know they can ask questions when they have them.
And here’s the thing! When you’ve created that environment. . .your kids WILL ask questions. So we need to be prepared to answer and ask and guide the faith conversation as it happens. Here’s a few phrases that might be helpful to you as you facilitate a faith conversation:
- “Why do you guys think God asks us to be honest/kind/patient, etc.?”
- “God wants us to make the wise choice. What do you think the wise choice would be in that situation?”
- “I’m so glad you asked that! Why do you think God… chose Noah’s family/ raised Lazarus to life/ made so many different kinds of animals, etc.?
- “We might not be able to see God, but we can know he’s there by looking all around us! What are some other things we can’t see but we know are there? (examples might be the wind, the sun at night time, gravity, etc.)
- “I don’t know the answer to that either. Let’s find out together! (Hey SGL- it’s OKAY that you don’t know the answer to everything! Show your kids you find out new things about God every day.)”
-Afton Phillips excerpt from http://leadsmall.org/elementary/faith-conversations-with-kids/
Orange is really onto something with their Lead Small philosophy. I’ve been asking everyone around me the first time they can remember a Sunday School teacher asking them how the lesson applied to their lives and most people are floored that they can’t remember that being part of their early church experience.
A LifeGroup is the perfect space for an exchange of wisdom, hopes, and knowledge about who God is, how Jesus is part of every day of our life, and where we can respond to His voice each day.
Of course – there’s an app for that. Leaders – check out the lesson plans, tips, and cool devotionals. Parents – there’s supplemental material to partner with your leaders to continue LifeGroup conversations at home.