We all want Sunday mornings to be enough for the kids in our church to connect with God. Unfortunately this is not true. But once we mention teaching kids about Jesus at home, many parents appear confused and lost. 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.
“But what you teach must agree with true teaching” (Titus 2:1, paraphrased).
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. This sounds obvious to send something home, but when parents are aware that their child is coming home with devotions each week it can make a huge difference! If parents don’t know about it, they can’t utilize it. Life can be busy for many families, so supplying a devotional each week that goes along with your lesson is a great way to continue the conversations you had on Sunday throughout the week and promote healthy conversation 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 used to irritate me with heads popping in, peering through the door’s windows, and talking coming 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 let parents be examples to their kids? My parents always served in church, and as a result when I became old enough, I started serving too! Kids follow examples more than what is said and taught. I call this discipling through discipleship. While a parent is discipled, their child is discipled as well. How cool is that?
When parents see that discipling their kids doesn’t necessarily mean hard work, and they 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?