When I was a kid one of the things that the church I attended did really well was to spark an interest in me about God. Every Sunday I would look forward to going to church to hear more about God and to listen to the cool things that He did back in “Bible Times.” (is it just me or does anyone else think that’s such a weird expression?) They did such a good job that I would get up early on Sunday morning and go to church by myself so that I could listen to what my Sunday School leaders had to say about Jesus. I did this for most of my elementary years.
At HDC Kids our vision is to Partner with parents in preparing their kids to change their world for Christ. So our thinking has shifted from:
“What we can do to teach kids the Bible?”
“What can we do for kids to invoke interest in the things of God and how can we help parents actually do something about it at home during the week?”
For us this shift has made all the difference. We’ve moved from trying to fulfill every spiritual desire that parents have for their kids during one hour a weekend into resourcing parents to be the primary faith trainers in their homes. Our time with kids is limited but important. We need to use it as a launching pad toward great conversations and teachable moments that families can engage in together throughout the week. Our greatest chance of success in discipling kids lies in helping parents take on the role that God always intended for them.
Half the battle is getting kids to WANT to know more about God (and isn’t knowing half the battle?). This can take on many forms. Here are a couple of practices to think about as you begin to form this two-pronged approach:
• If it’s fun and exciting to your 5th and 6th grade boys all the other kids will follow suit.
• Kids are 70% more likely to keep coming to church when they’re in a group of consistent peers and leaders.
• Figure out what movies and shows your kids are already watching and talk about it at church.
• Challenge kids toward specific actions that are doable and follow-up with them during the week.
The other half is to give parents some resources to help them help their kids at home. Here’s a couple of ways your ministry can do this:
• Encourage parents with short busts of encouragement through Facebook and Twitter 3 – 5 times a week.
• Create a blog that is updated weekly with important information about what’s going on in your ministry.
• Post your curriculum’s resources on your website (with their permission).
• Collaborate with your pastoral staff to provide regular classes on parenting.
What are some things that you are doing for kids to invoke interest in God and how are you helping parents to do something about it at home?