Last week Newsround, the BBC news programme for children, turned 40. I have always been a huge fan of the programme and am consistently impressed with its coverage of the news with care but no patronisation.
For the 40th anniversary the programme understood a survey and had a special report on children’s spirituality. They surveyed 1000 6-12 years olds and 1000 46-52 years olds about spirituality and their lives. I wasn't surprised by the results, although many of the older generation have told me they are shocked, that the children surveyed are twice as likely to say that religion is important to them compared to those who were that age 40 years ago.
Of course the headline has been that half as many of today's children will know the Lord's Prayer than did in 1972, but that is not what's important is it? Rachel knows the Lord's Prayer, but even if she didn't she would know God and that's what matters to her and affects her life.
My experience of Rachel, her friends and peers and the children I work with in the local schools is that they are fascinated in God and faith and prayer and heaven and religion. They have questions they aren't afraid to ask if you're happy to hear them and be honest. They don't understand how there can be different religions and denominations within churches and are searching for their way through these separations. They are eager for God and for a meaning in their lives. They are searching and fascinated and open.
Our children show us what really matters; they focus on emotions and happiness and friends and love. They know that there is something out there and they gravitate towards adults who "have it"; we just need to be available.
This is my passion and my mission.
Not to promote my agenda, but to help kids deal with theirs. We should be available more to the kids in our society and allow them to experience what we believe, with no pressure or judgement, just love.