I am in the routine of watching the 1960s American series Batman on tv every Friday evening with my eight- and ten-year-old children. It was my idea: I remember watching it myself as a child or teenager. The whole programme is very tongue in cheek and seems to work on different levels. An adult or a teenager can see how silly it is, and how it pokes fun at the whole superhero genre. A child enjoys it without analysing it: it’s just fun. It can be hard to find such programmes that different generations can enjoy in different ways, which makes them all the more enjoyable when you do find them.
It’s always pleasant for an adult to find things they can enjoy doing with their children without having to ”think down” to their level. Sport is one, visits to a café are another. Best of all is the joy of conversation – if you can find a suitable topic! Children certainly do not do small talk.
Christianity appeals in different ways and at different levels, too. For some it is its heartwarming message, for others the intellectual aspect of Christian theology appeals the most, for others its moral teachings, for still others its artistic or musical traditions. There is something for all, of all ages and walks of life. There is much for children, too. A child experiences faith in a different way from an adult, in a way which is neither better nor worse, but every bit as valuable. For example, in Bible stories the human interest, the drama of miraculous events and a sense of adventure all appeal to a child’s imagination, whereas an adult might be looking more for things they can relate to their everyday life here and now.
We should also remember just how important a child’s place is in the church by bearing in mind that for most of human history a much higher proportion of the population were indeed children. It is only in modern times that more and more people have managed to live longer, thanks to advances in matters of hygiene and medical knowledge, among other things.