I happened by the Mt. Calvary Sixth Grade Classroom the other day, and their teacher asked whether I had a few minutes to answer some questions. She said that there were some theological discussions they recently had for which she did not know the answers.
So we had an impromptu “ask the pastor” session.
Although they were asking me questions, I learned some things that day, too:
1. Sixth Graders today, at least urban Sixth Graders, are a lot more worldly wise than I was at that age. One question went something like this: “What if a dude falls in love with a dude…will he go to heaven?” Did you ask that question when you were in Sixth Grade? It’s a whole new world out there.
2. Sixth Graders are very interested in stuff that really matters. They want to know what it means to be baptized; they want to know how one is “saved”; they want to know what it means that we eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper. We owe them answers.
3. Sixth Graders aren’t afraid to ask questions. That day, most every student in the class had at least one question to ask. And they were good questions. Isn’t that what learning and education are really all about: asking questions and seeking answers?
4. Sixth Graders respect people who give them time and consideration. It was an incredible feeling to have spent some time with those kids. In just a short time I felt warmth and love radiating from them. Have you given time and consideration to any kids recently?
5. Sixth Graders respect their peers when the subject is serious. I could have imagined giggles or laughter after some of the questions were asked that day; but there was none of that. Adults could learn a thing or two.
What have you learned lately from a Sixth Grader?