As children, they are still quite self-centered, not yet fully oriented to the focus on others that marks people who are living in maturity in God's kingdom and family. They can be characterized by statements or questions such as:
- I don't know if this church is meeting my needs anymore. Maybe I should go to a different church that does better.
- Don't branch my small group into two. We won't get to be with our friends.
- Who are all these new people coming into our church? The church is getting too big. It's too hard to get a parking spot anymore.
- Why do we have to learn new songs? I like the old hymns better.
- I didn't like the music today. They should play more contemporary stuff.
- No one ever says hi to me at church. No one ever calls me to see how I'm doing. No one spends time with me. Today in the lobby, a pastor looked right at me and didn't even say hello.
- My small group is not taking care of my needs like they should.
- I wasn't fed at all by that sermon today.
- Why don't they have a ministry to singles at this church? This church must not care about singles.
- No Christian should ever listen to hip-hop or rock. That kind of music is just unchristian.
- Well, I'd join the worship team, but no one's ever asked me.
- I was helping in children's ministry, but they didn't appreciate what I was doing, so I quit.
If you find yourself in the child stage, get plugged in with a small group if you're not already. Consider taking the SHAPE test or going through our SHAPE course. Maybe consider volunteering in a ministry.