As a young child, I sat with my parents in the body of the church, until the children were released to Sunday School, and I would join those of my own age in class, where the Bible reading and some activity was engaged in, then my parents would collect me when the service was over. While in church, I learnt to sing from the Hymnal, with my Dad showing me how to read the music and follow the melody line. At home, we said grace with our meals and prayers at bedtime. Once a week our house would fill with my parents small group. When I was 8, we moved from the outer suburbs to a country town. As well as weekly church, I attended RAYS and once a month, we would travel to one of the farms, for a church families get together. It was during worship, that I would admire the stained-glass windows in our old brick church and the patterns that they made, so different to the stark modern church we had left, it was here I slowly started to listen to the little sermon our minister gave before we went out to Sunday School. But it was the actions of our Minister and his wife that made we want to to take on this faith as my own. Their actions appealed to me, like helping me buy a knitted bear for my baby brother from the church fete, and I wanted to have a faith that spoke in actions like theirs did. I taught Sunday School from my mid teens, and finally found an expression for my passion in Child and Family Ministry. Only 1 out of my 4 siblings accepted Christ, but it is still with my siblings that I can comfortably speak about faith issues. It is part of our shared upbringing.
My own children were bought up in a similar manner, but as my husband didn’t share my faith, though my children and I regularly attended Church, as a whole family occasion we only experienced it 2-3 times a year. Grace also only happened when I ate alone with my children, or when we were at my parents house. Neither of my children have accepted Christ at this stage. Interestingly though the children of one non believing sibling have gone on to have faith, despite growing up in a house hold without faith practices but with 2 sets of grandparents that practiced their faith and prayed for them, and who attended a school where faith was practised as well as taught on a weekly basis.
This is my experience, it framed my work in Child and Family Ministry. It has fed my interest in the question How is faith formed? I came to faith as a child, in a traditional manner for the day. What is your story and how does it frame your Ministry?