Helping parents give their kids the best spiritual formation is invaluable. Long after you’ve left their church or the children have grown out of the ministry, the parents are there.
To equip parents is to have a much more lasting effect on the children you serve. And let’s be honest. It isn’t that parents don’t want to be their children’s spiritual guides.It’s that they so often feel ill-prepared and are looking for help.
We all know not everyone needs a seminary degree to be a spiritual guide for children. Helping parents is truly about giving them resources. Consequently, they feel confident they’re giving the best spiritual formation to their kids that they can.
So, what are some ways you can assist them? We’ve put together a short list of just a few ways. We’d love to hear even more of your ideas in the comments below. So don’t forget to share with all of us!
Helping Parents Give Their Best in Spiritual Formation
Send home discussion questions. Prior to Sunday School, prepare a few questions children will take home with them. Families will be able to use these as topics for conversation that relate to the week’s lesson. Give a few guidelines to parents for how and when they may consider using them.
For example, perhaps families use them on their drive home from church. Alternatively, maybe families talk through them over their Sunday lunch or during a weeknight dinner. Also, bath time can be a great time to use them. Perhaps invite families to post them on the bathroom mirror.
Create a FB Group or Instagram account for parents. We all know that families can’t always be at church on Sundays. So, how do we support them in their journey when we aren’t seeing them?
In an online community, you can offer ideas for spiritual formation. Additionally, followers can share their own thoughts and encouragement with one another. For example, offer them ways of helping parents learn ways of praying with children, parenting advice, inspirational quotes, photos of the kids and their families, announcements for workshops and events, theological reflection on Bible stories, family and parenting.
Though this may not need to be said, it’s vital that you post consistently and keep it updated. In effect, you’re telling people it’s worth following.
Offer an adult Sunday school support group. Parents are in the midst of the biggest experiment of their lives while raising their children. Raising children is joyous and exciting. But it can also feel lonely and scary. As a result, parents need each other.
On Sundays, even if it’s only once a month, offer a space for parents to share coffee, pastries and stories. Invite them to pray for each other. This kind of community often grows into a close-knit group of families that relies and cares for each other.
Provide families with curriculum. Often, parents don’t know what to ask their children. Or, they simply don’t know where to start when it comes to teaching the Bible to their kids. There are ways of helping parents that makes it easy for them to know what to cover.
There are countless resources out there to pull from for families. First, do some research and find a curriculum that fits the context in which you work. Then, make it available for families to use.
This is a way for you to help parents give their children the best spiritual formation without much work for you at all. Give them ideas for when and how to use the curriculum. If you are in search of a curriculum, check out one of ours here! We offer family editions of both of our current curriculum, which allows parents to have a customized version of our curriculum to use with their families when they can’t make it to church. You can view them here.
We hope this has been helpful as you strive to equip families in your ministry. May you go on to help parents feel confident as guides for their children’s spiritual formation. And may they light the way for each other as they walk the journey together.