I enjoyed reading Sheila Whittenberg’s comments about Children’s Ministry that Fits at her blog, Explore and Express: http://exploreandexpress-sheila.blogspot.com/2011/08/summer-reading-update-childrens.html
She made the important observation that I limited my qualitative research with children to churches within two of the three broad streams of Christianity that I identified in chapter one of the book. One church is covenantal, two are conversional, but none are sacramental. The reason for this imbalance is that my research project actually began as an exploration of how physical environments at churches affect children’s experiences with God and church. The churches were chosen primarily because they each offered children with different physical environments, from the more symbolic Presbyterian church to the highly generic classrooms and gym-natorium of one of the Baptist churches. However, as is common in researching children, the comments, ideas, and experiences of the thirteen children involved in my research led me to explore spiritual styles. This led to more research, the development of spiritual style assessments, and finally the book.
I appreciate the fact that Sheila pointed out this flaw in my research and book and I respond by affirming it. More research is needed in the area of children’s spiritual styles and I think it would be fascinating to explore how children in sacramental churches make use of spiritual styles in comparison to those of other streams of Christianity.