Sunday, January 30, 2005

Spiritual Parenting

The odyssey is in conversation with the Prodigal Kiwi on the topic of spiritual parenting. I tend to agree that churches do this very badly. This is one area where the cross-generational nature of the Church can really help fill a need. This is where our older Christians can come alongside the younger Christians and help them move forward. It's essential for many reasons. I'm constantly amazed, as I sit in a class of 75-85 year olds, how much wisdom and knowledge of theology there is in the congregation I'm a part of. It truly amazes me.

At the same time, younger Christians can also come alongside older believers and do much of the same from a different perspective. The class I've been sitting in, mentioned above, loves to have me because I bring a lot of insight into how younger people think, feel, and act. I don't put on a show or tell them to quit complaining about modern music, I simply am myself, with all the good and bad that comes with that. I have seen these wonderful saints grow in their willingness to accept things that they don't understand or relate to because they now see how similar we are to one another as well. They are learning to trust one younger man who's willing to be honest and open about how I view the world.

I've just finished teaching on the book of Jonah in the class. Today I showed a five minute clip of Jonah:A VeggieTales Movie. It was a blast, and they really appreciated seeing a modern interpretation of the old story. The challenge was also there, though, to think outside of our safety zones. Jonah was asked by God to take a message of salvation to Jonah's enemies. He hated the idea, and even when he finally got around to doing it, he did it with a bad attitude. God was still able to use what little message Jonah spoke and lead an entire city to repentence. That's an awesome thing! These wonderful saints have so much wisdom to offer to people like me, I simply love hanging out with them. Someday I'll even put up this web address so that those who use computers can follow along. Their prayer requests are still done with a typewriter (remember those?), so there may not be many who would follow my blog, but I know that those who do would love it.