The men and women invited to participate in a CT Institute forum are experts in a given field. And this particular forum on faith development called for no less. So, invited to discuss the question of how a child learns to love God were child developmentalists and educators whose area of expertise has been the spiritual training of children—their own included. Among the four participants featured in this month’s special 16-page institute supplement are 12 children, each of whom unwittingly played a part in this day-long discussion: There was five-year-old Mark Willis, making it very clear to his father, Wes, that he was ready to accept Jesus “now”—no matter what his father thought of his limited “maturity.”

And there were John and Mike Joy joining their mother and father to pray for tragedies they could barely comprehend, yet learning with each experience that God must truly be interested in the affairs of his people.

With each of these stories came an insight fleshed out—some lesson depicting a milestone of faith and spiritual awareness. No ready-made faith formulas were offered. In truth, there were none to give: just clear expressions of faith’s process—and variety—in the lives of individual children. “Child rearing is not simply trying to foster a single act of repentance,” observed two-time father, Kenneth Kantzer. “It is a multi-decade process of shaping the soul of the human person.”

On another development front, we are pleased to announce the first edition of our new “Church in Action” column (see p. 14). Almost a year in the making, the column will feature individuals and ministries serving God the old-fashioned way: quietly.

HAROLD SMITHManaging Editor

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