We all want Sunday mornings to be enough for the kids in our church to connect with God. Unfortunately this is not true. Once we mention teaching kids about Jesus at home many parents give off a state of confusion and loss. With children attending church once (maybe twice) a week for a few hours at best the only way a child is going to truly become discipled is if they are also discipled at home.
If we fail to equip parents to help connect their children to God, then we fail to do what God has asked us to do.
Titus 2:1 paraphrased: “But what you teach must agree with true teaching.”
Thankfully there are ways to help parents connect their kids with God at home throughout the week. I wish I could say these were learned the easy way but they have been field tested and family approved:
1. Provide materials for parents to take home. It sounds obvious to send something home to the parents after the kids have heard the lesson, but have you ever thought to send something home the week prior to sharing the lesson with the children? Sending home the lesson theme for the upcoming week communicates to the parents that you value their voice as being the first one the child hears on the topic. Throughout the week the child can have spiritual conversations with their parents that prepares them for the message on Sunday. Whether you choose to send something home before or after the lesson, families benefit when a spiritual topic and discussion points are sent home. Life is busy for most families, so supplying a devotional each week that goes along with your lesson is a great way to continue the conversations from Sunday throughout the week and promote healthy spiritual dialogue between kids and their parents.
2. Stay connected with parents about what is going on during Kids’ Church. One of my favorite things to keep parents in the loop is when the main sanctuary lets out early and parents are lined up in the hall patiently (hopefully) waiting for Kids’ Church to end. This time use to irritate me with heads popping in peering through the door’s windows and talking through the walls, but I decided to make this work in favor for the kids. During altar call I would leave another leader in charge while I slipped out to the hall to share with parents what their children are praying about and sometimes even had parents come in and pray with their kids! Parents and kids walked out arm in arm crying together. The testimonies that came out of that first week transformed the way I minister to families as a whole.
3. Provide opportunity for parents to serve. Once parents understand there is much more happening on Sunday mornings in Kids’ Church than free childcare, it becomes so much easier to extend an offer to them to help influence and impact a child’s life. Even if they serve somewhere else, this works! With so many possible ways a parent can serve on Sundays it helps teach kids the importance of serving. Jesus served and exemplified this to His disciples … so why not parents to their kids? My parents always served in church and as a result when I became old enough to serve, I started serving too! Kids follow examples more than what is said and taught. I call this discipling through discipleship. While a parent becomes discipled their child does as well. How cool is that?
When parents see that discipling their kids doesn’t necessarily mean hard work, and see the fruit of this practice, a new sense of wholeness seems to take over within that family.
What are your favorite ways to help parents connect their kids with God at home?