Here is an interesting article about how "Tweens are becoming the new Teens". Not earth shattering and certainly something most people working with kids have noted, myself included.
But as I've been pondering what it means to have a childlike faith, this article struck me from a theological perspective....which is rare for me - I'm not a big theological type thinker.
The reasons stated in the article for changes both physical, emotional, and behavioral were related to diet, obesity, and exposure to more "adult" themes at earlier ages - mainly through media. Yeah, I can see that.
But then I think of the many times Jesus spoke of children and faith:
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." Mt 11:25-26
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Mt 18:3-5
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Mt 19:14
It makes we wonder if one of the reasons "tweens are becoming the new teens" is that they are being exposed to sin at an earlier age than ever before. And as their eyes, ears, brains, senses are "marinated" in culture - they are losing not just their childhood sooner but their childlike faith - and how this must break Jesus' heart in some ways.
It also makes we wonder what my response should be as a "youth guy" - hoping to create an environment to allow childlike faith to blossom, occur, recur, or ???? in our gatherings and in the relationships we strive to form with and among the kids we are entrusted with.
It brings up a lot of other questions in my mind as well. But those I'll ponder in my heart for a while longer before (if?) I share them.