Cultivating Children… and Their Grown-ups

Welcome to the blog for the seminar on “Cultivating Children…and Their Grown-ups”at First Presbyterian Church (Gainesville, FL). We will be posting here readings and other content for our Sunday morning discussions, as well as additional resources for thinking about the formation of children and ourselves.

Facilitators: Holli and Todd Best

Class description:

What are children? And what is our role as adults in the nurturing and guidance of children as they take steps along the path of life in the formative years? How are we to best understand children, and how can we join them in their life in the world and their life with God? This will be a class, rooted in reading and discussion, for adults of all ages and stages who encounter children in any way, but especially in the home and in the church. We will explore how we might better understand, care for, nurture, and engage with children as we root our own lives in the life of God. Implications for parenting, teaching, grand-parenting, church family engagement. Particular attention will be given to forming healthy theological perspectives about children, parenting, spiritual formation, church life, and citizen-making.

April 8: intro – why a class on children? and what is formation?

April 15: what are children? a theology of children


April 22: what is formation after all (for us and for children)? (“what are we doing here, anyway?”)

In order to better understand what formation is – and how we might pursue it, we will need to think about what we are, as human beings. We need a proper understanding of ourselves in order to pursue our own formation. We cannot begin to nurture children without first understanding what our goal is. Similarly, we need a story that will frame our formation.


April 29 – in the home: (on spiritual parenting?)

Last week we were not able to get to two shorter readings that we don’t want to skip, so we will cover these as we start to focus on the practical side of cultivating children.


May 6 – in the church community


May 13 – in the “neighborhood” (public life)

Additional resources:

Worshipping with Children (blog)
The Gospel Revisited, Tim Keel, Q Ideas
“Spiritual Formation in Christ”, Dallas Willard
“Children’s Spirituality: God Makes the First Move”, Lacy Finn Borgo
“Growing in Love’s Likeness: Two Halves of Life”, Richard Rohr
“What We Nurture” podcast interview with Sylvia Boorstein, On Being
“The Art of Neighboring”, The Crossing Church, Columbia, Missouri


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