Engaging kids

I’ve been making an effort to travel with my husband both for business and pleasure. Travelling can be hard on a partnership but so can the separations. So a note to those caring for couples that experience separation due to work commitments, there really is no “one size fits all” solution. Both situations have their advantages and disadvantages for the families and those of us caring for this increasingly common situation need to be mindful that caring for a family in the midst of any crisis is what our calling is about. We need to love more, judge less.

But that’s actually not what I feel called to write about. I have taken more interest in the ways that the different countries value and interact with children. Now that I am no longer travelling with children, I have the luxury of observing. How can I judge. I have my fair share of cranky, overtired, out of routine and time zone episodes. Mmm unfortunately I’m not just talking about the children!!

I’m noticing more children’s play area’s in the world’s airports. In Portugal last year I even discovered children’s toilets at a train station. Museums, art galleries and classic arts such as music and theatre are making more effort to engage children in the exhibits or performances. Interactive displays at children’s height has almost become the norm. But I can’t name one church that I have visited lately, either at home or abroad that makes any effort to engage the younger visitor outside of worship services.

What is the artwork about, how is the stained glass used or what are the stories they’re telling? What are the buildings used for? How do we use them? What happens when people aren’t allowed to wonder around them? Why is the cross like this here and like that in the church down the road? If we fail to engage our youngest visitors, educate or excite them, will the museums and galleries be more significant to people of the future, than our churches have been in previous centuries? Do we really believe these monuments will continue to speak to future generations?

It is not just worship that is changing. How we engage, outreach and treat our faith monuments are also up for review.

Let me know what your church is doing to engage children outside of worship.


Wendy Lewis


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