Alison Hendy, former Children & Families Ministry Adviser
What difference does it make if we interpret this goal as ministry by children and young people as well as to them? For me it increases the transformational nature of the goal by sixty- or one hundred-fold.
A quote appeared in my inbox recently that seems very pertinent to this question:
"When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth which we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life, childhood is life. A child isn’t getting ready to live – a child is living. The child is constantly confronted with the nagging question, ‘What are you going to be?’ Courageous would be the youngster who, looking the adult squarely in the face, would say, ‘I’m not going to be anything; I already am.'" Professor T. Ripaldi
"We need to be far more proactive in reaching and ministering to children and young people, but we need to have the humility to listen to and receive from them as well"
We read of how God called Samuel as a boy in the Old Testament but do we recognise the calling of a 5-year-old or a 13-year-old in our own parishes today?
Let’s start giving our children and young people the time and space to speak and act as God calls them. Yes, as adults we need to be far more proactive in reaching and ministering to children and young people, but we need to have the humility to listen to and receive from them as well so that we all have the opportunity to be transformed as both individuals and the Church.