What About the Kids?

from Shane's Muslim Connect

I’m up to my ears in middle school kids this week, deep in the woods of southern Indiana. We have plenty of food and kool-aid, but please send wifi! 

A fascinating phone call this morning and hanging out with these awesome little animals has me thinking: How can we prep kids to act like Jesus toward Muslims? Maybe we start with helping them act like Jesus to their moms! That would be appreciated! 

But really, what can we do to build into kids at the earliest stages of their mental and spiritual development the habits of Jesus relative to Muslims? (Tweet this.)

I suppose a case can be made that in many areas today kids will grow up with Muslim kids in the neighborhood and will not necessarily see them so much as “others” like many of us do. This is good, right? 

But are more kids growing up now than before with a conviction that as long as you believe in God or are spiritual or maybe just a good person, that’s what matters? This is a concern well above my pay grade, but it factors in. A strong current in our culture presses us, including the munchkins, to exalt nice overall. 

Assuming smarter people than me (maybe you!?!) will get that figured out, I’d love to hear your ideas for building understanding, empathy, and gutsy engagement into middle school kids and high schoolers. What kind of teaching has been, or needs to be, developed? What sort of modeling might work? What experiences could be built to connect younger Muslims and younger Christians? 

How do we say, “I know your Uncle Bubba calls ‘em ‘towel heads,’ but you probably don’t want to do that,” in a way that helps, but doesn’t get the poor kid yelled at? 

I’d deeply appreciate you sharing your thoughts here. Thank you.