Spirituele ontwikkeling by kinders : 'n konseptuele studie

Van Biljon, Karla (2013-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research is to determine how we can better accompany and serve children through their spiritual development, especially within the congregational context. Many studies on children’s spiritual development have been done, but misperceptions and preconceived ideas about children’s spiritual abilities and development still exist. In this study, an attempt is made to address some of these misperceptions and preconceived ideas and so attain a richer conceptual understanding of children’s spiritual development. This is done on the basis of the question: How can we understand children’s development better and what are the implications for children’s ministry? This research firstly examines the conceptual and definitive understanding of children’s spiritual development. The research section indicates that spirituality is an inherent part of every person’s life. This inherent spirituality develops in the course of a person’s life. Definitions for childhood spirituality concurs with the general definitions for spirituality, but terms such as “develop” or “grow” are added. The study also addresses children’s spiritual development as a deepening or enhancement of the awareness of the transcendental and relational kinship with others, the self, and the world, and not as a linear or chronological development process. The research secondly examines the historical and contemporary perspectives on children’s spiritual development. In the light of historical perspectives, the research discusses the emphasis that is mistakenly put on cognitive development as spiritual development in children. The limitedness of the phases theory sent the research in the direction of finding and forming a richer picture of children’s spiritual development. The context, the universal nature of development and a collective approach are indicated as factors that play a role in the spiritual development of children. Thirdly, the research examines which theological thoughts on children’s spiritual development can be regarded as appropriate theological grounds for children’s ministry within a congregational context. Current children’s ministry models are critically evaluated and the necessity of change is indicated. Some ministry models are suggested as being more effective, as they represent a holistic and inclusive approach to children’s ministry. The consolidated thought from this study can be formulated as follows: Children’s ministry is a comprehensive ministry that is directed at the total being of children and their needs. Children’s ministry should pose opportunities for children to develop spiritually through thought, reflection, experience and action. When these four moments are present simultaneously, children develop a commitment to practicing a sustained and lifelong spirituality. It is of critical importance that children’s ministry is applied purposefully, and the purpose of children’s ministries should be formulated on a theological foundation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die navorsing is om vas te stel hoe ons kinders, veral binne die gemeentelike konteks, meer effektief kan begelei as deel van hul spirituele ontwikkeling. Vele studies oor kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling is reeds gedoen, maar nogtans bestaan daar steeds wanpersepsies en vooropgestelde idees oor kinders se spirituele vermoëns en ontwikkeling. In hierdie studie word daar gepoog om van hierdie wanpersepsies en vooropgestelde idees aan te spreek en so tot ’n ryker konseptuele verstaan van kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling te kom. Die studie probeer ’n ryker konseptuele verstaan van kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling vorm, aan die hand van die vraag: Hoe kan ons kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling beter verstaan en wat is die implikasies vir kinderbediening? Die navorsing ondersoek eerstens die konseptuele en omskrywende verstaan van kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling. Die navorsingsafdeling toon aan dat spiritualiteit inherent deel is van elke mens se bestaan. Hierdie inherente spiritualiteit ontwikkel in die loop van die mens se lewensjare. Die ondersoek toon dat ’n definisie vir algemene spiritualiteit aan die transendente en relasionele verwantskap erkenning gee. Definisies vir kinder-spiritualiteit stem ooreen met die algemene definisies vir spiritualiteit, maar terme soos “ontwikkel” of “groei” word bygevoeg. Die ondersoek bespreek ook kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling as ’n verdieping of verryking van die bewustheid van die transendente en die relasionele verwantskap tot ander, die self, en die wêreld, en nie as ’n liniêre of chronologiese ontwikkelingsproses nie. Die navorsing ondersoek tweedens die historiese en kontemporêre perspektiewe oor kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling. Vanuit die historiese perspektief word aangetoon dat daar eensydig op kognitiewe ontwikkeling as spirituele ontwikkeling van kinders klem geplaas is. Die beperktheid van die faseteorieë het die ondersoek in die rigting gestuur om ’n ryker beeld van kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling te vorm. Die konteks, die universele aard van ontwikkeling, en ’n kollektiewe benadering word as faktore wat ’n rol in die spirituele ontwikkeling van kinders speel, aangetoon. Derdens word ondersoek gedoen na watter teologiese nadenke oor kinders se spirituele ontwikkeling as gepaste teologiese begronding vir kinderbediening binne ’n gemeentelike konteks beskou kan word. Huidige kinderbedieningsmodelle word krities evalueer en die noodsaaklikheid van verandering word aangedui. Enkele bedieningsmodelle word as meer effektief voorgestel, omdat hulle ’n holistiese en inklusiewe benadering tot kinderbediening verteenwoordig. Die samevattende gedagte vanuit hierdie studie kan as volg geformuleer word: Kinderbediening is ’n omvattende bediening wat op die totale menswees van kinders en hulle behoeftes gerig is. Kinderbediening moet geleenthede vir kinders inhou om deur denke, refleksie, ervaring en aksie spiritueel te kan ontwikkel. Wanneer hierdie vier momente gelyktydig teenwoordig is, ontwikkel kinders ’n toewyding om ’n volgehoue en lewenslange spiritualiteit te beoefen. Dit is van kritiese belang dat kinderbediening doelgerig toegepas word en die doel van kinderbedienings moet met teologiese begronding geformuleer word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85870
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