Childish Ways

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11

If only that were true!  I know a lot of adults who have not put aside childish ways. How else do you explain all those boats, fast cars and silly games on Facebook?

At our church, we’re gearing up for that wonderful summertime tradition of Vacation Bible School. I know the kids love it, but I think the adults volunteers love it the most.

It’s a chance for grown ups to build dramatic scenery out of old cardboard boxes, and get all messy while painting them. The theatrical types get to dress up in Bible costumes and act out stories in front of children who suddenly get it: the Bible is about real people, just like us! Except that back then, the people wore old bathrobes, fake beards, dish clothes on their head and plastic swords around their waists.

I heard a rumor that this summer, the adult volunteers at our church are all going to get a bright orange construction hat with lights on them. Don’t ask me where they found this style of dress in the Bible,  or what possible pedagogical purpose this attire will serve.

I think these adults just want to wear funny hats with lights on them. And who can blame them? There are childish habits worth putting away, like selfishness and shortsightedness. But your childlike spirit of joy and play is worth keeping.

So here’s to all the Vacation Bible School volunteers.

Stay childish and keep mentoring. You guys bring us the best of both worlds.


Bless the big kids and little adults who keep us all on our toes. Amen. 

16177.jpg About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the Senior Minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ, Dubuque, Iowa, and the author of When “Spiritual But Not Religious” is Not Enough.