Today’s generation of parents is quite unique. Most of them are very, very busy and often find themselves in a culture of being over committed. They love their children very much and often show that love by trying to make sure that their kids are mega-involved in church, school, and community activities. The risk of being so “busy” is that sometimes families can get caught up in providing for their kids things that they never got to experience. As a result, spiritual growth and development can take a backseat to other demands and pressures.
As church leaders, we must zero in on partnering with these parents and gently love them and remind them about their God-given task of being their kids’ spiritual leaders. In doing this, we may want to review God’s desires for today’s families as well as strategize how we can best help them stay on track spiritually:
God’s desires for today’s parents:
- Enjoy and treasure the gift of children.
- Protect children’s well-being.
- Work as a supportive team in parenting.
- Remember that children are made in God’s image…not the image of their parents.
- Make a commitment to doing whatever honors God.
- Discipline your kids.
- Provide a positive, nurturing home environment.
- Show your kids what Christianity looks like by the way you live.
- Help shape your kids, don’t break them.
- Help them learn the importance of the Bible.
- Don’t forget that “love” is spelled T-I-M-E.
- Remember that each child requires a custom-tailored game plan.
Possible elements of a strategy for the church to partner with today’s parents:
- Choose a curriculum that provides multiple “touch points” with the parents (take home activities, emails about what the child is studying, devotional opportunities).
- Include parents in discipleship opportunities for their kids (new Christian classes, daily quiet-time activities at home).
- Provide a “respite” time for parents (Parents Night Out).
- Plan activities that are family focused (events that families can do together).
- Provide opportunities for parents to celebrate milestone events in their kids’ lives (birth, baptism, camps).
- Model for parents good teaching.
- Pray for parents and their kids by name.
- Utilize digital communications with parents.
Jerry Vogel serves as a Childhood Ministry Specialist in LifeWay Church Resources. He is married to Janie and has four children and thirteen grand kids. Jerry is a member of Brentwood Baptist Church and teaches preschoolers there. He is committed to enriching the lives of those who teach kids as well as making eternal investments in the lives of children.