Parents are the primary teachers of their children. They practice the ABCs with their preschoolers, read with their kindergartners, and do math homework with their middle schoolers. However, many parents lack the confidence and the resources they need to be strong spiritual teachers in their homes.
As an experienced church worker with access to many resources, you can help. You can give parents opportunities to practice teaching and leading their children spiritually. You can provide them with the resources they need. You can help them build confidence as they recapture their roles as the spiritual leaders of their children.
Here are nine ways to inspire parents to become your partners in ministry:
Encourage parents to be involved. Invite parents to experience what you do in the classroom. Welcome them to stay and watch your activities for a few moments or for the entire day. If they are willing, let them help and participate in learning with their children. Ask specific parents to help in specific ways. A parent who practices teaching a group of children will be less nervous about leading at home in the future.
Don’t dissect the family. Families are together for a lot of things, but it seems that they are often divided at church. The parents go one way and the children go another. Consider doing Sunday school in a way that brings them back together.
Teach parents how to do it. Many parents want to have devotions at home, but just don’t know where to start. Give them opportunities to practice in a controlled setting. Give them examples of what to say and suggest basic teaching techniques.
Provide resources for family devotions. Stock your library with resources for parents to check out. Send home a list of books and links to websites they can use with their children. Provide a weekly devotion guide in your Sunday bulletin.
Expand the learning potential. Send home discussion questions based on the Sunday Bible reading, Sunday school lesson, or sermon. These questions can extend this Sunday’s lessons and help families prepare for next Sunday’s lessons.
Send home songs to practice. Families can find many of the songs that you sing in Sunday service and even in Sunday school on YouTube. Send home a list of songs for the coming weeks. Practicing at home will make everyone feel more comfortable on Sunday morning. Plus, it will create excitement and anticipation.
Invite families to serve together. Schedule one or two families to work together during the Sunday service each week. Based on their ages and abilities, family members could usher, acolyte, monitor the computer screens and sound booth, collect the offering, read the Scripture verses, or share special music.
Family memory work. Reinforce the importance of Scripture by sending home Bible verses to memorize as a family. Have a “Family Bible Bee” with rewards and prizes.
Family service projects. Plan several servant events throughout the year where families can participate as a group. Helping others is a great way to encourage everyone’s faith.
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