In the tenth in a series of articles from Through-Lines: Defining What a Christian Is – Christians will find harmony and order in God’s creation.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
—Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV)
Why is the sky blue? How do caterpillars become butterflies? How is electricity made? Why is the sea salty? Where do babies come from? Most kids are natural Order-Discoverers.
As ministry leaders and as adult mentors, what if we encouraged these questions and the wonder that inspired them? Let’s find ways to pause, ponder, investigate, and reflect together about the order that God has woven into creation.
When a child asks a question, take some time together to ponder and think about how God made that “great thing” work. Today’s world allows us to “google-search” and to quickly learn new things. At the same time, while Google might give us a fast answer, it’s also okay for questions to sit for a while.
We need encourage children’s curiosity to discover God’s created order. Inquiry is to ask a question, and to encourage further study. The adult does not have to be an expert in front of the classroom, but a fellow learner who says, “You know, I have wondered about that same question. Here’s what I know, but let’s find out some things together.” You can also choose to say, “Let’s open this up, see what’s inside, and figure out together how it works.” Exploring a “great thing” teaches kids that you might not find all the answers you wanted, but you might also find better questions.
The church community can also lead in discovery by sharing our gifts and our interests with children. If we have the gift of car repair, baking, gardening, or carpentry, have children at an early age be your assistants. Let them see the car’s oil. Bake some cookies together. Start a community garden at the church. If the ministry leaders don’t have those skills, introduce children to other church mentors who can help build curiosity, teach problem-solving skills, and create wonder. As adults, we too will discover God’s mighty works. Let’s praise His holy name.