This is day 14 of 31 Days of Missionary Sunday School.
But that attitude has been prevalent among the general population for at least the last two or three generations. Parents feel good about sending their kids to Sunday School. They feel like their children will benefit from some religious instruction, yet they have no idea what to teach them or how. So sending them to Sunday School is a relief…they have done their religious “duty” with their children.
In contrast, God’s plan has always been for parents to be the spiritual leaders of their kids. (Read Deuteronomy 6:4-7.) Bible learning groups at church should supplement and enrich the parents’ instruction, not become a substitute for it. But what if they don’t know how…or why…or what?
A Sunday School with a missionary mentality will do its best to support the parents. Here are a few practical ways your Sunday School can support parents in becoming spiritual leaders in the home.
Kids Sunday School teachers, from preschool through youth, are key players:
- Treat parents as partners. Make an effort to meet all of the parents and make some kind of contact with them at least 2-3 times a year. Let them know what you do and teach.
- Take-home pages for preschoolers and grade-schoolers are helpful tools for parents. By reading the stories to their children and doing the suggested activities, parents can reinforce the Bible truth taught on Sunday.
- Suggest that families establish a tradition while driving home after church on Sunday: each family member – including the parent – tells one thing they studied or learned during Bible study. These statements can often lead to short conversations about spiritual matters.
- Periodically remind them of God’s plan for parents to be spiritual leaders in the home. Encourage them, pray for them, and pray together as a class about being the spiritual leader in the home.
- Emphasize the importance of a personal relationship with Christ as the essential foundation. Seek to reach out to uninvolved parents whose children currently attend Sunday School. Build relationships with them. Share the gospel. Invite them to accept Christ’s salvation.
- Provide time in the course of Bible study, as appropriate,
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for parents to share highlights and/or heartbreaks in trying to provide spiritual leadership. Hearing other’s stories is powerful encouragement and reinforcement.
- Strengthen the spiritual understanding of parents through the teaching sessions. Good preparation makes Bible study interesting and relevant.
- Finally, the most effective teaching comes through modeling and living the Christian life. That’s true for parents as teachers…and for you as an adult teacher!
I challenge you to choose at least one idea to put into practice starting this week.
Marie Clark has served as Bible Teaching & Discipling Team Leader for the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists since 1996. She is passionate about Sunday School and its impact on children and is a volunteer in her church’s Sunday School.