The end or a new beginning?

I have been excited and encouraged by a variety of pastors, teachers, and lay leaders who I have come to know over the past few months in many different congregations, denominations, and countries. All of these people have a passion to minister with children in new, innovative, and more authentic ways. Some of them have already seen their midlife years and are close to retirement. They have expressed concerns about whether or not there are younger generations willing and able to continue building on the important foundation they have laid in children’s ministry and spiritual formation. But I have also been corresponding with several younger people who are passionate about the spiritual formation of children. So, while some of the retirement-age folks are worried that the curtain with fall as they leave the stage, others are keenly aware that the show will go on with a new set of actors. And, best of all, I have witnessed and heard stories of wonderful and well-experienced leaders mentoring and nurturing younger generations of children’s ministers in important areas like intergenerational worship, faith formation, story-telling, justice work, and advocacy on behalf of children in the church and across the globe. Thank God for these tenured leaders who have not let their vision for authentic children’s faith formation fade away. Thank God for younger leaders who are rising up and carrying the banner for children. And thank God for relationships between these two groups of people.

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