Thursday, 24 November 2011
GYKTC - stages of belief
There are Four Stages of Belief
These are true for children brought up within the church, for young people searching through the church youth group, adults coming to church through Alpha or those who've seen every Sunday service for the last half century.
1. The first stage is about experience - everything is formative in this stage and will inform their theology of life. Everything churches tell and show and engender in this stage will affect how the kids view and know Christianity. The problem isn't that kids aren't listening to us. It's that their listening too much.
2. Peers take over the power of a child's life as they hit teenage years; this is when youth leaders are vitally important. Being part of an affiliate faith is vital.
3. Searching faith comes next; you don't have to know the answers but you do have to be willing to hear the questions.
4. Owned faith is the final stage; suddenly you own your faith internally. We can't force anyone into faith, this is a choice and we must not hold guilt around it!
We need to be aware of where we each are on the journey of belief and ensure that those leading our young peoples works have a real owned faith and understand the process they went through to get there. We also need to be able to identify where others are in their journey to help them be fed in the way they need where they are. There is no "one size fits all" solution, it is about providing a structure that is flexible enough to allow those accessing it to source what they need.