kanon tiptonWhen a little kid exhibits an aptitude for something, it's natural to jump to decades-away conclusions. Look at her in that little tutu! She's going to be a prima ballerina for sure! (I feel like grandparents are especially prone to this type of behavior.)

So I understand why the "world's youngest preacher," Kanon Tipton, is getting hyped as the next big thing in the Pentecostal community. The 4-year-old from Mississippi has been "preaching" since he was 21 months old and he toddled onstage while his grandpa was giving a sermon. On that fateful day, Kanon grabbed the mic and started doing his best impression of grandpa on the pulpit (or maybe dad, since Kanon's father Damon is also a preacher). Kanon's mom, Kandi, happened to videotape the scene.

Can you say viral video hit?

Now, at the ripe old age of 4, Kanon's signature sermon-giving style is ... fiery, I guess you could say. He jumps up and down, mops at his brow with a handkerchief, paces back and forth. It's all very cute. Sort of adorable, even, except it's also a tiny bit creepy.

I've been trying to put my finger on why, exactly, this little boy's act is kinda disturbing. (And no, it's not because I'm anti-Christian as liberals are often assumed to be!!!) As enthusiastic as his parents are about Kanon's talent, I don't really feel like they're pushing him in an unhealthy, Toddlers & Tiaras way. But Damon did call his son a "third generation preacher," so clearly there's a little bit of that chip off the old block thing going here.

I guess that's what bothers me. Kanon is just copying his dad. He's not showing the early signs of a spiritual calling. Still, the expectation is out there -- he's an Internet sensation, he's been on the Today show, he's going to be featured in a special called Pint-Sized Preachers on the National Geographic Channel (airing tonight). Thousands of people are talking about his future as a preacher. That's a lot of pressure! What if he wants to be a math teacher? What if he wants to convert to Buddhism?

Expectations placed on kids can turn into limitations that last a lifetime.

Do you think all the attention Kanon is getting for "preaching" is too much pressure?


Image via MSNBC

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