Home Podcast Holly Catterton Allen: How Your Church Can Help Children Be Spiritually Resilient

Holly Catterton Allen: How Your Church Can Help Children Be Spiritually Resilient

Holly Catterton Allen
Photo courtesy of Holly Catterton Allen

Dr. Holly Catterton Allen is Professor of Family Studies and Christian Ministries at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her areas of scholarly interest are children’s spirituality and intergenerational issues, and she leads two national, ecumenical conferences. Holly’s new book is “Forming Resilient Children: The Role of Spiritual Formation for Healthy Development.”

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Key Questions for Holly Catterton Allen 

-What do we need to consider about children’s spirituality, and what misconceptions do Christians have of it?

-What’s your definition of resilience? What is the relationship between resilience and spirituality?

-What are practices churches and church leaders should be engaging in to help children be resilient?

-Can you give us some practical ideas for how pastors might better think about crafting a worship service so that it applies to all generations, but specifically, so that it is meaningful to children?

Key Quotes From Holly Catterton Allen 

“We often have not had a good definition of what we mean by ‘children’s spirituality.’”

“Children are born as spiritual beings. They are created in the image of God and they are endowed from birth with the capacity to relate with others, with God and with themselves.

“We’ve had an ambiguous theology of what we think of children before that time [when they can choose to follow Jesus].”

“Children are spiritual because they’re created by God as spiritual beings all around the world. All children are spiritual.”

“All children everywhere are being formed spiritually, maybe not in a positive way, but are being formed in that we are nurturing our children in their relationship with themselves and with others and with a transcendent other.”

“I think one of the gaps we have in Christianity is we’ve tended to equate teaching children and nurturing them spiritually with learning information.”