Learning from others
One thing I saw that was just perfect: Some of the kids—Chris, Max, Evan, and Amanda—were raking sticks and leaves to burn. And Colby, a toddler in his stroller, wanted in on the action. He not only got hold of rake, but actually put it to use. Colby had watched the adults and then the kids working hard to clean up and he wanted to do the same. It's only natural.
We all know that kids learn so much by watching others and mimicking what they do. It was just nice to see Colby learning at his church. It's a place where Colby is well known and loved. A place where he can learn many things, including how to use a rake. But along the way, Colby will also learn that there is a God who lovingly made all that is who loves Colby even more than the congregation that loves him a lot. And Colby will learn to pray. And he'll learn stories of Jesus' life and how the rest of us work to pattern our lives after his life. So much to learn and all without feeling like your being preached at or even taught at.
Yet this is how we best learn from others as we pay more attention to their actions rather than merely their words alone. The Apostle Paul counted on this so much, he dared to teach others to do as he did. In Phillipians 3:17, he wrote, "Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us." I wish I could be so bold, but I am all too aware of my own failings. Instead, I prefer to think that we can do it together. Together, we can be a place where people actually see Christians working to pattern their lives after Jesus' life and teachings. And sometimes one of us will mess up somehow, and then we'll teach about grace, love and forgiveness through our actions.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church