I’ve started reading N.T. Wright’s most recent book, After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters. In it, one of the things Wright challenges is the view that morality and character are mere rules that we follow out of guilt or a sense of obligation until we reach the “real” prize of heaven. It’s begun to make me think of the context in which we teach character to children. I think we are good at teaching kids how to “make God happy/proud” with how we live, but is that the point of character? Or is character about something more? What we do… what kids do… in that time between conversion and eternity has got to be about more than putting a smile on God’s face. It’s got to be about ruthlessly reflecting God to our world and being a part of bringing redemptive transformation to our world now.
What are the implications for your children’s ministry when approaching character this way?
How do you equip families to pass on this kind of view of virtues and character and morality?
How is this way of thinking different than how you’ve approached character? Is it different?