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Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey: Guidance for Those Who Teach and Nurture Paperback – June 1, 2010
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"A work that is enlightening, challenging, and encouraging all at the same time. It provides a long-needed look into the actual spiritual life experience of children and helps us consider how what we do in our homes and families can better encourage a growing, vital faith in Christ. It is both moving and convicting to read, and if we will give attention to what the children say, it will cause us to change some of what we do in our ministries with children and with young parents."--Kevin E. Lawson, Talbot School of Theology; editor, Christian Education Journal
"Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May have listened carefully to children, using interviews and interpreting their art, and they have listened to parents. Their conclusion is that setting the stage for children to wonder together about God, guided by a wise and skillful mentor in a carefully prepared environment, enables them to know God well and to express what they know by making room for the Holy Spirit to be their most important teacher."--Jerome W. Berryman, Center for the Theology of Childhood, Denver, Colorado; founder, Godly Play
"An outstanding resource for those who lead ministries with children and families. Pastors who care about the spiritual development of the youngest in the flock will appreciate the implications for ministry not only with children but with all the people of God, even--perhaps especially--adults."--Diana Garland, Baylor University School of Social Work
"This book is an important addition to recent literature and research on the spiritual formation of children. The fine work by these authors, long committed to the spiritual nurture of children, should lay to rest any doubts about the capacity of children to know, love, worship, and experience God in ways that put to shame many adults."--Ivy Beckwith, Congregational Church of New Canaan, Connecticut; author, Formational Children's Ministry
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Top Customer Reviews
As a child psychologist with a particular passion and speciality in spirituality, particularly spiritual formation, I was very excited to review Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May's Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey. This book discusses the results from multiple projects exploring childhood Christian spirituality. Before thinking it may be boring, allow me to assure you that it's not. While it could definitely be used in an academic setting (the publishing house emphasizes that), it really is meant for laity, not academics.
I recently began a spirituality group as part of my organization's child partial hospitalization program for psychiatric problems. This book was helpful in developing some activities to initiate discussion on spiritual topics. However, it really is meant for a parents and church-based ministries rather than therapists. And it is focused on Christian spirituality. So if you're looking for ways to explore the spirituality of atheist children, this book is probably not what you're looking for (although I would also argue it's techniques could be altered for the appropriate spiritual context).
Stonehouse and May begin their tome by beautifully introducing their passion for developing child spirituality and discussing their research methodology. It's detailed enough to moderately satisfy those of us with a critical eye on methodology (their more detailed appendix helps), but does not get bogged down in academic technicalities so as to lose readers of the intended audience. They then wisely move into beginning to tell some of the stories of kids' responses to various prompts.Read more ›