One of the troubling things in our area is the bad education. When you walk into a rural school, there is about a 50% chance you’ll find a teacher in the classroom. And when the teacher is there, the students get inspiring assignments like ‘copy page 37 of your book’. A consequence of the schooling system is that students are not taught to think. We noticed again when we went on church camp. We had a few new children go with us to the camp. During the children’s program several ten and eleven year olds were vacantly staring into the distance when confronted with challenging questions like ‘how many brothers and sisters do you have?’ They just could not handle questions.
The children who had already been involved in church activities for several years raced through the questions. Just by receiving some personal attention and being challenged to think by themselves, they are getting a headstart compared to their peers.
In this camp I realized that the church is playing the role it has played in so many countries and so many centuries: teaching people to ask questions and to investigate on their own. Yes, the church has answers. (Though not to every question, but that’s a different subject.) But I realised again there is something worse than not having answers: not having questions.
In the church, people learn to be inquisitive. They learn to ask questions. They learn how to think. It is a great place to be.