It has been called different things for many years: family devotions, family worship, faith conversations, reading the Bible and praying together. Whatever phrase is familiar to you, we all understand the concept. Parents are the ones God has entrusted with the job of spiritually training their children. As a children’s minister, you are in the unique position to help and strengthen parents for this task.
As a children’s minister, you understand the importance of spiritual training at home. You know that the parent’s role is so much more significant than your own. You dream big dreams about the children in your ministry sitting around a dinner table with their parents and reading God’s Word together. Some of you send home activity papers for children and parents to do together each week, only to find those same papers laying on the ground after church. You shake your head and wonder when parents are going to understand how important it is to train their children at home.
The reality is that many parents do understand that it is their job to provide spiritual training to their children at home. They have those same dreams of sitting around the dinner table with their children. Unfortunately, due to the pressures and demands of life, they simply don’t see a way to make those dreams come true. As a children’s minister, you have the opportunity to bridge the gap between those dreams and reality. With just a little bit of understanding, planning, and preparation, you can help parents find success as they talk with their kids about faith.
Ideas You Can Use
Share Your Vision
Share your vision for family worship with your pastor, and work together to find an opportunity to share that vision in your local church.
Too often we assume that we know what parents need. Instead, ask parents what the church can do to help them have faith conversations with their children.
Set Parents Up for Success
No one likes to feel like a failure. The primary emotion many parents feel when you begin to talk about family devotions is guilt. While guilt can be a temporary motivator, it will not help make permanent change in homes.
Provide Alternative Methods
Encourage parents to choose a time of day that works best for their family. Once parents identify a time that their family is already together, they can plan to use that time for faith discussions or devotions.
Family times of planned faith conversations will only be authentic if God is a part of the parent’s everyday life. Children must see their parents living and speaking like Christians during the day.
Have a Plan
For families who have never had devotions together, just the idea of starting may seem overwhelming. You can help ease the stress by providing a basic outline to parents.