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How Spiritual Americans Practice "Spiritual Self-Care"

...and how spiritual practices in Sunday School could encourage such self-care.

Barna, the respected research group, publishes a lot of interesting surveys and stats about American Religion and Spirituality. Here are some conclusions from their 2018 Spiritual Practices report.

In their 2018 survey, How Spiritual Americans Practice Self-Care, they found some interesting similarities between how "Christian or spiritual" adults of different generations feed their sense of spirituality, i.e. practice "spiritual self-care."  The similarities between the generations should tell us that these forms of self-care will also be true of children and youth in our Sunday School (at least, eventually).

  1. Spending time reflecting in nature
  2. Reading books on spiritual topics
  3. And notice that "Journaling" was the biggest spiritual practice reported by Millenials. 


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These spiritual self-care practices should be encouraged and taught by the church.   

For example, how do we teach silent meditation? Star-gazing? Creation as a restorative. How do we help children sense the presence of God under a canopy of trees or their life in the ebb and flow of the tide? What meditative books is your church making available to people?

One thing we need to do with children is to help them DEVELOP the ability to think in metaphors and analogies so that they can see the messages of God around them, ...the metaphors of life in trees (roots and branches) and stormy skies, in cool breezes on hot days, in sunsets.  These things are more difficult to do seated around a table in a classroom.

The Psalms are full of such imagery and metaphors. Years ago, it was common to see quotes from Psalms on classroom posters of waterfalls and oceans.


Isn't it interesting that Jesus himself often retreated to nature for "self care."  What can Sunday School do to promote "retreating." 


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