When I reread my posts about my work in ministry, I now see how I was an educator serving in a ministerial role, trying to establish the structures of school into a church setting. This includes the methods I used for behavior management (or even the term behavior management itself), the lesson planning methods I used, and the goal I set for kids to engage in critical thinking, free from the limitations of doctrinal constraints. In fact, if a kid would have out and out rejected Jesus, but had a well reasoned argument for that, I would have found that to be a success. I definitely subscribe to the Paul Tillich maxim that serious doubt is confirmation of faith.
This leads me to wonder whether I could see myself going back to leading a children’s Ministry program in the future. Well, definitely not a traditional program where we merely try to spoonfeed faith into our kids or where there are specific doctrinal goals. But rather I would need to be in a setting where we can explore the nature of one’s ultimate concern and the correlation between our ultimate concerns and faith. What is the foundation for that we consider ultimate?
This type of discovery is something I think I could engage a group of youth with in any educational setting– not just Christian. My concern for the ultimate definitely impacts my teaching philosophy. We should always wonder where we are leading our young people and what opportunities for discovery we are providing for them.