By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of the CYF Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary
“Grace is Experienced, Not Explained”—- Bp.Todd Hunter
People who are leading children’s or youth ministry in the church often talk about the program time–Sunday School, Confirmation, Youth Group–we have with students as a GREAT OPPORTUNITY. This time of year especially, parents are interested signing up their kids for our programs, and that’s why we get excited. We have this unique opportunity to share the faith with them in the time we have together.
Rembrandt’s painting “The Return of the Prodigal Son” (c. 1669) is a classic picture of forgiveness and grace.
But how are we using that time? Are we all about explaining Grace? And how, in that hour a week can we possibly help kids experience Grace–other than pointing out how they are screwing up right there at church and how we forgive them just like God does.
We know that experiences of grace are essential in the process of faith formation. If you haven’t had them, you are far more likely to walk away from the faith before adulthood.
What would it be like to spend the time we have together hearing God’s story of sin and forgiveness, and telling our and listening to one another’s stories of the same. What if that were the primary curriculum? Experiences of Grace.
So as you go into this program year, what would it take to over and over help kids see the Grace they are experiencing in life. That question obviously leads to another one, “what if your students aren’t getting any experiences of Grace out there?” What does the curriculum need to be in that case Experiencing Grace.
Join the conversation on Facebook.com/FirstThird!
Nancy Going is a life-long youth minister, who loves Jesus, other people learning to love Jesus, her husband Art Going, and the two new families that are her kids and grandkids. See more >
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