“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8)
The middle school religion students at Our Lady of Peace School as well as students in our EDGE middle school faith formation program are encouraged to ask questions. As religion teachers, youth ministers, catechists and parents alike know, kids have plenty of questions and rarely enough space or time to ask them all.
To help provide a place for the big questions of faith that aren’t able to be answered in a particular class period or faith formation session, the religion classroom and the parish hall are each home to a “question box”. Students can write down any questions they have and put them in the box to be answered at a later time.
Young children are unashamed of asking “Why?” whenever they have a question, no matter how many times a day. At some point between our toddler years and adolescence, we lose some of that innocent curiosity. As adults, we rarely question our lives or our beliefs the way middle school students tend to. Maybe we don’t have time in the busyness of our chaotic lives to ask the deeper questions, so we’ve stopped even pondering them in our minds and hearts. Maybe, all of our questions are still inside of us, but we’re ashamed or embarrassed to not know all of the answers so we keep quiet. I know both are sometimes true for me.
I’m grateful for the willingness of my middle school students to question their faith, because it so often helps me to learn something new along with them. The students are able to hear their questions answered in class, and my hope is that adults who are willing can find some of their questions answered in upcoming blog posts.
After a recent EDGE session, I opened the question box and found questions ranging from “Can we play dodgeball?” to “What is purgatory?”. I’ll tackle one of these questions now, and the other in a later post.
Can we play dodgeball? Not today.
Youth & Young Adult Minister