Posted by: judy | April 6, 2009

Empty ‘Conversations’: issues emerging parents face

From Next-Waze Ezine, Author Julie Clawson struggles to find answers to the issues that emerging parent’s face:

 most emerging gatherings don’t have anything to offer children

Emerging parents are left with these options:

1. Intergenerational worship
2. ‘glorified babysitting where they might be taught some traditional curriculum or sat down to watch Veggie Tales’
3. ‘left at home with mom while dad joins the conversation.’

What is an emerging parent to do?

Throwing up her hands, Julie admits:

But as we stumble through our spiritual journey, we find ourselves at a loss regarding how to approach spiritual formation at all.

and then there is always:

traditional structures of the church and hope they turn out ok anyway.

Clawson’s lament continues:

So while we think that there may be more to the gospel than “Jesus died on the cross for your sins so you can go to heaven when you die”

and she concludes:

It’s just hard to find brightly colored picture books that explore the Kingdom of God, or children’s bibles that don’t chop up the text or impose moralistic interpretations on the stories. I’ve yet to find resources that don’t limit spiritual disciplines for children to going to church and praying and reading the bible.

As a parent I would rather my daughter learn that scripture is messy, that following Jesus is an entire way of life and that believers are to seek justice for the oppressed.

I am struggling to muster sympathy for the emerging parent dilemma.

Although I do have great sorrow for these parents’ sense of instability and no foundation on which to build their children’s faith — If Jesus’ death on the cross is not enough for emerging families then there is nothing left but empty conversations . . .

. . . and it is at the expense of their children’s eternity that these conversations continue.

You can follow the ‘conversation’ at Emerging Parents



  1. wow – just read the referenced article. Is it really that surprising that a non-descript, “messy” theology is difficult to teach (& find resources to support), even to their own children? The lyrics from Sara Groves song “the Word”come to mind…

    People are getting fit for Truth
    Like they’re buying a new tailored suit
    Does it fit across the shoulders
    Does it fade when it gets older

    We throw ideas that aren’t in style
    In the Salvation Army pile
    And search for something
    more to meet our needs

    Sounds like there is lots of searching going on.


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