Our local school district hosts an annual conference for educators. A few years ago the guest keynote speaker was Ian Jukes. One of his main points was the FACT that kids today are very different. Now that, in and of itself, might not shock anyone. We all observe how they are different culturally, socially, etc., BUT he points out (along with many others) that it goes much, much farther and deeper than that. His conclusion may be a difficult pill for some adults to swallow.
His contention is that kids today are also neurologically, biologically different! That's right! They have different brains from even their parents' generation. It is a long, in-depth discussion about brain chemistry and media stimulation and technology. I can't explain it all, but it raises questions about the importance of striving to understand children. It is not about only what we can teach them, but also genuinely caring about what we might learn from them.
One of my convictions is to see a vibrant faith passed on to the next generation. The foundational belief within this conviction is that children should be an active part of expressing ekklesia. In other words, children not only belong to the church as members of the body, but children are also ministers in a very real way. They are an important realization of our "called out" identity as the ekklesia of God.
We are not only the family of God for the benefit of children, but also because of the children. We are something less without them. We become something different, something not quite of holy design. I believe we need to take the Bible more seriously here. We quote lots of Bible verses about children as though they are cute and sweet, but I'm starting to think we dismiss much of the penetrating spiritual truth behind them.