In recent years, the spiritual formation of children has received considerable attention from scholars in the fields of theology, church history, and practical theology. In what ways, if any, are those theories and insights being received by local churches? The intent of this project was to explore ways that the new forms of church that have appeared in North America in the past 20 years minister with children and their families. Visits and phone interviews were made to 25 new-form churches. This article reports the findings of that investigation, noting patterns of similarity and difference in the views of children and the types of ministries the children experience.
Bible memorization is a hallmark of many of the educational programs of evangelical churches. But the motive for memorizing Scripture for many is extrinsic. The effects of extrinsic motivation are explored through research literature and biblical reflection, along with some very telling anecdotal information. Studies on rote learning and uses of extrinsic motivation are examined, but the value of Bible memorization is retained. Suggestions for responsible approaches for encouraging Bible memorization are offered.
This article describes several different modes for learning and worship with elementary age children that are currently in use in churches in North America and, in some cases, in other countries. The context is typically Sunday morning, but not exclusively.