Why do so many kids find church boring, uninspiring, and irrelevant to their lives? This is a questions that I have spent countless hours pondering since I was a teenager.
I have always been an odd duck – I’ve been into faith, spirituality, and theology since I was 8 years old! So whatever makes me glued into faith is not the normal experience for most 8 year old kids.
Recently, I came across a great article on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy has become a basic building block of educational theory. Our educational system here in the USA is built around it. Knowledge or remembering is the first component and forms the basis of the pyramid of learning. Only the best students ever reach the pinnacle of evaluation and creation.
The article, written by Shelley Wright, questions whether Bloom’s taxonomy needs to be turned upside down. Perhaps the problem in education and learning is that we assume creativity can only happen for the elite. Perhaps, creativity is where all of us need to begin.
This got me thinking about learning, which got me thinking about Children’s Ministry and Churches. I would probably not advocate for turning Bloom on it’s nose, but I would advocate for something like the circular process model found in the picture here.
Kids are bored and find our religion out of sync and and out of touch because they are rarely asked to create, to invent, to produce, or to imagine. Usually, in church, we ask them to remember. Often churches forbid their pupils from understanding. Churches often ask kids (and adults!) to make shallow applications. Little analysis or evaluation is allowed to happen, and when it does, it often leads to people leaving the Church. And creativity…. that pushes many congregations way too far.
Yet, creativity, understanding, analysis, and evaluation are all needed. There is no true knowledge unless all of these steps are engaged. If we want our kids (and adults!) to connect, experience, and be inspired, then we must start with creativity. Improvisation and innovation are necessary for free individuals to experience grace and hope and love.
The questions is, “How can we create a space and place that allows and encourages creativity for our kids?”