I get to drive one of the children in my extended family (age 6) to her weekly ballet class. It’s fun to have a few minutes each week of one-on-one time with her. I try to think of one question that might lend itself to a spiritual—or heart—conversation, amid the funny or imaginative chatter in the car.

This afternoon I think I’ll ask her, “What did you do to help someone today?”

Several years ago, the Barna Group published an incredible statistic. It found that less than 10% of families have spiritual conversations in the home. This includes families who are a regular part of a faith community!

One real practical action

Here’s a practical action we adults can take to contribute to childhood spiritual development. Ask a question that makes them think, and search themselves for an answer. “What do you think heaven looks like?” (or “If there’s such a thing as heaven, what do you think it looks like?”) With a question like this, Glennon Doyle says:

“[Kids] are looking inside to see what they’ll find and as soon as they find it: there it is – their hands fly up and they say: “I know I know!!” And then they pull something out of themselves that they didn’t even know was there. Look! Look what I found inside of me! And we smile or nod, and either way we are saying: wow, that is so cool. I didn’t even know [you imagined] that. I didn’t know that about you!”

Sometimes the reason we don’t know what’s going on in each other’s lives is that we don’t ask.

Possible questions:

  • Who helped you today?
  • If you could change anything about me, what would it be?
  • Who in your class seems lonely?
  • What is something you know how to do that you could teach others?
  • If you could switch places with one friend for a day, who would it be?
  • What is something you’ve always wanted to ask me?

 Tweetable: Step up your efforts to strengthen a child’s spiritual development this year. It takes planning, but not much planning, and an opportunity for 1 and only 1 thoughtful question. More here. Click to Tweet