3 Things We Can Learn from Public Education

Relevance Evaluate and Parent Involvement

by Lindsay Dryer / August 24, 2017

The start of school is just around the corner. As a former elementary teacher, I know teachers everywhere are gearing up with fresh ideas to make this the best year yet. As kids’ pastors and leaders, we can do the same! Here are three things kids’ ministry leaders can learn from public education as we begin a new school season:

1) Relevance is Key

Teachers are constantly looking for ways to stay relevant and keep their students’ attention. When away from school, kids have no shortage of things to keep their attention and fill their time. Not only do they have plenty of opportunity to engage in screen time with smartphones, video games, movies, and television; but they also have all the latest and greatest gadgets—like fidget spinners, hover boards, and more.

Great teachers look for ways to integrate their students’ interests into the classroom and keep their attention, and kids’ pastors can do the same. When students walk into your kids’ service, does it look like an exciting place to be? Are they sitting during the whole service, or do they get to move around and get a little crazy? Consider integrating videos, bright colors, and engaging activities. Keeping kids engaged and connected will ultimately help them grow in their faith.

2) Know Better, Do Better, or Evaluate

In the education world, nearly everything is evaluated. From student grades to the teachers’ effectiveness, and everything in between, evaluation is key to ensuring students get the best education possible. Education is constantly changing to fit the needs of the school, the classroom, and the students. Kids’ pastors should follow suit.

Evaluate your kids’ ministry. Reflect on your goals (or determine them), and evaluate how you are aiming to hit those goals. Are your kids learning and growing in their faith? Are they staying engaged during the services? Are you connecting with parents? Is your kids’ ministry growing? Don’t do things just because it’s the way they’ve always been done. Look around, take note of what is working and what isn’t, and make changes to take your kids’ ministry to the next level.

3) Get Mom & Dad Involved

Most parents expect that their kids will come home from school with homework, and they will most likely have to sit down at the table to help them through it. They expect to invest time in their kids’ education at home. It’s even more important that they are investing in their kids’ faith at home! Just as it is not just the teacher’s job to educate the student, it is not just the kids’ pastor’s job to disciple. In fact, parents should be the main disciplers in a child’s life.
The kids’ pastor can play a huge role in equipping the parents to intentionally disciple their kids when away from church. Just like parents might need some direction as they help their student with long division, parents may also need help in discipling. Send home a pamphlet each week with questions to guide faith-building discussion. Let parents in on what you’ll be teaching next week so they can begin talking with their kids about it before they get to church on Sunday. For an even more practical way to equip parents, host your own “open house” or “parent training night” to give parents tips on discipling their kids at home.

Equipping parents to live out their faith with their kids is monumental for growing in their relationship with God!