In her book Children’s Spirituality: what it is and why it matters, Rebecca Nye writes:
Taking time to think about children’s spirituality is important, but obviously not easy. There is still a lot we don’t know (and) a lot more to consider. In a scientific age we are perhaps more comfortable with things we can measure or test or that have specific objectives and outcomes. This is rarely, however, a helpful way of coming closer to what spirituality is about, for ourselves or for children.
To think about children’s spirituality we need to draw on theology, scripture, child psychology, educational theory and our own personal experience. It may also require thinking critically about things ‘we’ve always done’ or things that were done to us. But, equally, getting to grips with children’s spirituality may help us recognise the skills we already possess for accompanying children in faith – as parents, teachers, friends or clergy.
Then the really hard work begins – conciously putting what we understand about children into the heart of our practice. But if the stakes are as high as the quotation suggests, then this is certainly not an area that should be left to chance. Failure to nurture children’s spirituality not only threatens to harm them, it has deadly consequences for us, both personally and for the church community.
Rebecca Nye in Children’s Spirituality
pub. Church House Publishing 2009