How many times do we hear someone in the congregation tell us, “but this has been a tradition here for many years.” And when we investigate a bit further, it was perhaps done one time or not at all. I have often compared the memory of the congregation to a person who has dementia. Our short term memory fails us and our long term memory moves us back to a time and place remembered well but that no longer exists. I have found there are times when what is referred to as tradition by someone is a memory of something from their own background, not something built as a ritual over time with the goal to pass on faith from one generation to the next.
After 20+ years of being involved in children, youth, and family ministry as a volunteer, staff person, and consultant, I have found my three favorite words to be:
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