The children didn’t know the Carols. I was at a public primary school Wednesday singing Christmas songs. They knew songs about Rudolph and jingling bells. They wanted Santa songs. They didn’t know the Silent Night, Gloria in Excelsis Deo. They didn’t know the religious songs about Jesus.
Of course, a few did. These were the one who yelled out ‘Jesus’ to all the nativity questions. They were most likely from church families. But these numbers get smaller each year. It could be for several reasons. Possibly, more religious families attend private schools. Probably more likely, there are fewer religious families in society. They don’t sing or listen to carols at home. They don’t tell the Jesus story at Christmas. A 2018 nationally representative survey through ANU found 17% of Australian teenagers were religiously committed and 19% were nominally religious. 1 in 3 young people have some connection to religion. This includes all faiths but is majority Christian.
The trajectory is for declining influence and knowledge of the Christian faith. It is helped by Australian children not knowing anything about Christian faith. Churches can help through our children inviting their friends to events like our Kids Christmas concert, Street Party, Kids Quest, Kids church or Youth group. Private religious schools can help 35% of Australian children know the story of Jesus. Who helps the remaining 65% in public schools? The past 4 years there has been no Christian seminar on Easter, Christmas or anything Christian in our local schools. Pandemics, Principals, governing councils, lack of chaplains and lack of church initiative have all been reasons. I wonder if you think this is appropriate or helpful for our local children, young people and community? I wonder who you think could do something about it? Should it be us?
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash