Conspire 09 Live Blog – General Session 2

  • 8:51 PM henryjz – being led in worship by Lakewood Kids’ Church Worship Band
  • 9:09 PM henryjz – great energy by the kids’ worship team
  • 9:10 PM henryjz – watching a humourous video about spiritual development of children… kinda creepy watching a baby talking 🙂
  • 9:11 PM henryjz – amy dolan setting up the panel discussion
  • 9:16 PM henryjz – We need to work with the experts in spiritual development to change the statistics of kids leaving church
  • 9:18 PM henryjz – going to watch an interview of Zach Huner… met him at The Idea Camp
  • 9:20 PM henryjz – ivy beckwith is part of the panel
  • 9:21 PM henryjz – donald radcliff is also part of the panel
  • 9:23 PM henryjz – How do you define spiritual formation of children?
  • 9:23 PM henryjz – Dr. Ratcliff – encourage children to be christlike
  • 9:24 PM henryjz – Dr. R – involved connecting God and the child, the child having and experience of God, child is growing and learning, God doing the formation while we facilitate
  • 9:24 PM henryjz – Dr. Beckwith – helping the child to love god and live in the way of Jesus
  • 9:24 PM henryjz – Dr. B – hard to measure but can be seen in the life of the child
  • 9:25 PM henryjz – Amy – How do we know when spritual formation is happening?
  • 9:26 PM henryjz – Dr. B – “when he really gets the God thing” from a mom who sees when her son gives towards compassion ministries
  • 9:26 PM henryjz – Dr. B – another example of 3-year-old who prayed thanking God for different things and then saying “I love you God!”
  • 9:27 PM henryjz – Dr. R – “It’s not a test. It’s a testimony.” measuring spiritual formation
  • 9:30 PM henryjz – How does a church influence a child’s formation?
  • 9:30 PM henryjz – Dr. R – there are negative ways… sort of like rats who eat at foundations
  • 9:31 PM henryjz – Dr. R – eg, sword drills ended up being a skill making ppl think they were spiritually superior because they won… need to look at things like that
  • 9:31 PM henryjz – sometimes we teach kids they are incompetent by saying, “I am the teacher, and you aren’t.”
  • 9:32 PM henryjz – sometimes our songs teach inaccurate theology… we need to listen to them
  • 9:32 PM henryjz – spiritual formation is not OUR effort or the effort of children… it’s God’s work in their lives
  • 9:32 PM henryjz – Dr. B – we’re looking for the “hidden curriculum”
  • 9:33 PM henryjz – John Westerhoff – church good doing things for children but not good at doing things with children
  • 9:34 PM henryjz – Dr. R – went to a Montessori school and saw all the furniture was child level.. .and churches do a good job of doing that
  • 9:34 PM henryjz – but when went on their level… there was stuff all over the place that they could see what they were doing at their eye-level… we need to be child-sized in our lessons
  • 9:35 PM henryjz – Dr. B – how much competition do we have in the church? what does that teach about community?
  • 9:36 PM henryjz – How does the church influence child’s faith negatively?
  • 9:37 PM henryjz – Dr. R – we need to be careful because children are having spritual experiences and we tend to downplay them sometimes
  • 9:38 PM henryjz – even if it is part of the imagination, there is nothing wrong to encourage a child’s spirituality
  • 9:39 PM henryjz – children growing up in the church come to know god gradually but are taught that they have go forward and then feel that they’ve done something wrong because nothing feels different
  • 9:39 PM henryjz – we need to see where kids are spiritually and affirm them
  • 9:39 PM henryjz – give them language they need to talk about their faith
  • 9:40 PM henryjz – Dr. B – kids need to experience worship services… need to include them
  • 9:41 PM henryjz – we need to be careful, though, what we teach them when we involve them in multi-generational services
  • 9:42 PM henryjz – How does the church positively influence child’s faith?
  • 9:44 PM henryjz – Dr. R – in intergenerational ministry, you need to have something that is geared towards them at times for them to participate
  • 9:44 PM henryjz – need to have both adults and children involved in ministering together
  • 9:44 PM henryjz – kids can minister, too
  • 9:45 PM henryjz – Expand on what you mean by spiritual formation not being cookie cutter
  • 9:45 PM henryjz – Dr. B – there is no model to make spiritually formed children
  • 9:45 PM henryjz – you have to look at your community and church and see how church defines spiritual formation and see how you can get kids to that point through the ethos of your community
  • 9:46 PM henryjz – What is your opinion on the role of the parent and family ministry? Why all the talk?
  • 9:46 PM henryjz – Dr. B – parental influence cycles around
  • 9:47 PM henryjz – within the last 5-6 years, parents with young kids are open to all this family ministry but don’t know how to do it so they are looking for resources and help
  • 9:47 PM henryjz – Dr. R – parents are greatest spiritual influence on children
  • 9:47 PM henryjz – parent’s don’t feel equipped to do it
  • 9:48 PM henryjz – so church needs to be there to give resourece BUT to allow for mistakes… encourage parents
  • 9:48 PM henryjz – amy wrapped up panel discussion with Drs. Beckwith and Ratcliff
  • 9:49 PM henryjz – amy is introducing casey sunstead (don’t know if i spelled her name right) to come up
  • 9:49 PM henryjz – there is another group other than church and parents who influence kids… they are those adults, outside of parents, who work with kids
  • 9:49 PM henryjz – Casey has been small group leader for six years for same group of girls
  • 9:50 PM henryjz – It started in high school, but she is still an influence in their lives as they are in college even though they are all over the country
  • 9:50 PM henryjz – getting ready to hear from Casey
  • 9:51 PM henryjz – Casey – 7 girls who were in her group and in their 20s now
  • 9:51 PM henryjz – amy-what was the moment you decided to stay with them?
  • 9:52 PM henryjz – casey – she had same leader for all 4 years of high school and was greatly impacted by it so she decided to make the same commitment… also realized as time went by that she loved these girls and wanted to be a part of their growth
  • 9:53 PM henryjz – amy – how have you been able to influence their faith?
  • 9:53 PM henryjz – casey – over time got to deal with more topics… first year was the building year of trust… so able to grow from there
  • 9:54 PM henryjz – amy – how did you navigate your role with them?
  • 9:55 PM henryjz – Casey – I’m their friend but not the same as they are with each other, so it’s different… but I am not their parent, either… I see myself as an advocate for each of them… I’m in their corner and love them no matter what.. also consider myself as a partner with their parents and the church in their spiritual formation
  • 9:57 PM henryjz – amy closing the event and to worship with brenden
  • 9:58 PM henryjz – oops, there’s still more
  • 9:59 PM henryjz – there’s a brief segment by World Vision… ok, now it’s done 🙂

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