I recently received a message from a children’s pastor at a progressively-oriented church asking if I am aware of any good resources for addressing doubt with children.
As far as I can see, there aren’t too many resources on the market that seek to really help children wrestle with their doubt and questions in order to build their faith. Of course, there are some—like one Bibleman video that I saw a while back—that show doubt to be something that should be squashed rather than a means of growing and forming faith. I am happy to say that this is something that Ivy Beckwith and I address in our upcoming book, Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus, which is set to release in October. We devote an entire chapter to how pastors, parents, teacher, and practitioners can help children as questions arise and as doubts appear and, rather than skirting around difficult questions and running from doubt, we believe that welcoming questions and embracing doubt is a vital part of children’s ministry that takes children and their faith seriously.
Here’s a preview:
When we listen to children’s questions and join them in wrestling to find answers, we tell them that they and the things they think are important to us. We tell them that they matter. And we encourage them to keep asking questions. When we treat a child’s questions with respect, we are treating the child with respect. And we are teaching them that it’s okay to ask questions.