Parenting is tough work. It is a demanding vocation when there are two committed, Christian parents in the home. It is ever harder when there are any of the all-too-common complications—single parents, joint custody, to name a few—and the reality of sin and the temptation of the devil and the world. In short, most parents need help.
We could well bemoan the lack of commitment families have to Sunday School attendance, the absence of family devotions (or even family meals), and the reluctance of parents to volunteer in Sunday School. Both laments and lectures are not likely to find receptive ears among the audience you most want to influence. So how can we best strengthen parents in their Christian education role?
Be Unfailingly Positive
Affirm parents every chance you get. Thank them for bringing their children to Sunday School, even if it’s the first time this month. Compliment children to their parents at every opportunity. Especially affirm the power of God’s Word to transform lives whenever it is read, preached, and taught. Make every contact a family has with your Sunday School a positive one. Make sure they want to return.
Create a Variety of Involvement Options for Parents
Provide for all levels of interest, ability, and commitment for parents to be involved in your Sunday School. Try one or more of these ideas:
- Schedule brief dramas, singing performances, or art shows for the end of a Sunday School session once a quarter.
- Invite all parents to an open house Sunday to meet their child’s teacher, observe a lesson being taught, and learn more about the congregation’s education ministries.
- Encourage parents to assist as a helper and observer once each quarter. Then invite those with talent and interest to consider bigger tasks.
Offer volunteer roles requiring just a few minutes a week as well as those that involve more time. Strive to have an opportunity for every level of commitment. Work to graduate your parent volunteers from small tasks to larger ones. Consistently emphasize the blessed impact of every contribution to sharing the Gospel with the congregation’s children.
Educate Parents at Every Opportunity
Use every means to teach and build:
- Send e-mail messages or send home summaries of the Bible account each week with suggestions on how parents can follow up with their children.
- Offer demonstrations of home devotions at parent events or even in a special worship service.
- Put teaching tips on the church website, social media pages, in weekly bulletin notes, or newsletters.
- Use a nursery roll program to provide regular contact with parents of young children.
Make each contact an opportunity to share the Gospel. Your efforts to encourage and support parents will not go unnoticed or unappreciated! God promises to bless those who teach His children His Word.
This post is based on an article originally written by Tom Nummela.