Greetings to the handful of people reading this blog. I have been attending an Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church where I serve – not the most exciting event out there – and have just a few observations to post about.
While I enjoy connecting with fellow ministers that I have not seen in quite some time, there are many components of Annual Conference that I am not a fan of. Primarily, you can only “church up” a business meeting so far, or throw so much business into a worship service, before making you end up with a completely bipolar meeting. If I were king for a day, I would separate the two elements and simply have business meetings and worship services, but not worship/business meetings. I appreciate what they are trying to do, but it seems too strained.
Now, onto something more interesting. My family and I recently completed reading through the Bible together as a family. Woohoo! During the course of our study everyone had the chance to ask questions, offer comments, and voice concerns. Interestingly, the questions that were asked by my children were not the ones that I find so often advertised in books. While I certainly recognize the uniqueness of every person, I also found it telling because it raises the possibility that perhaps the folks at the brain trust (wherever or whatever that may be) are answering the wrong questions.
For instance, Natasha Crain wrote a book titled Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side. While I confess that I have not read the book, the table of contents lays out all the questions it seeks to answer. Of 40 questions in the book, my children asked at most 3 that I can recall, and this is over the course of reading through the entire Bible around the supper table.
I am certain that Natasha’s book is an excellent guide for conversations around the table, but I am curious who the questions are really for: the parent or child. I encourage my children to ask questions, but they should be their questions and not mine imposed on them. At the same time, I am okay with it if they don’t ask a lot of questions. After all, as my grandfather used to say, “It’s their little red wagon and they’ll pull it how they want.”
All of this is to say that I am extremely proud of my family for the reading accomplishment. And yes, as a father and husband, I am extremely biased in this regard.