Archive - Encouragement RSS Feed

Parenting and Teaching from a Thankful Heart

Parenting and Teaching from a Thankful Heart

Pastor David Michael recently shared these words from C.H. Spurgeon during Children Desiring God staff devotion time. I wonder what impact it would have on our parenting and teaching ministries if we carefully reflected on Spurgeon’s remarks and questions regarding Psalm 103:2—“Forget not all his benefits.”

It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe

his goodness in delivering them,
his mercy in pardoning them,
and his faithfulness in keeping his covenant with them.

But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least

as full of God,
as full of his goodness and of his truth,
as much a proof of his faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before?

Parenting and Teaching from a Thankful HeartWe do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that he wrought all his mighty acts, and showed himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare his arm for the saints who are now upon the earth.

Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God.

Have you had no deliverances?
Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence?
Have you walked through no fires unharmed?
Have you had no manifestations?
Have you had no choice favours?
The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, hath he never listened to you and answered your requests?
That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things,” hath he never satiated you with fatness?
Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures?
Have you never been led by the still waters?

Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old.

Let us, then, weave his mercies into a song.
Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus.
Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David’s harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endureth for ever.

(The “Morning” devotion from Morning and Evening for  July 9, retrieved at www.spurgeon.org)

Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers

Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers

Have you prayed for your children today? Do you only pray for them when you are with them? How often do you pray for or with your students on Sunday morning?

“It is easy for us to set our days on cruise control and completely push the Lord out. Prayer is our only vehicle that will give us wisdom, strength and the correct words to reach the next generation.” —Kristin Gilbert

In this seminar, Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers, Kristin Gilbert discusses some of the obstacles we face that prevent us from having a fervent prayer life such as wandering minds, fear, laziness and busyness. She equips you with practical steps to fight these obstacles and encourages you to pray through specific areas of your children’s ministry as she shares testimonies of answered prayers in her church.

“When I step into my office, the first thing I do, before I open up my computer and see the list of emails, is to pray for 15 minutes. Schedule time into your day to pray.” —Kristin Gilbert

Not only is it important for you as a children’s ministry leader or parent to spend time praying for the next generation, you also have the opportunity to be a role model to your children as you teach them to pray. Kristin shares a simple way small group leaders or parents can walk children through prayer based on the ACTS prayer model—adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

  1. I love you, Lord. Why do we love the Lord?
  2. I am sorry. What have I done that I need to ask forgiveness for?
  3. Thank you. Thank the Lord for who He is, His forgiveness and answered prayers.
  4. Please. We have a God who wants us to come to him and ask him for things.

“If you teach children to pray, they will do it. We need to be role models of this.”—Kristin Gilbert

Listen Now

Download Handouts

Tab6_9_KristinGilbertKristin serves as the Director of Children’s Ministries at College Park Church in Indianapolis. Her prayer is that the next generation would passionately follow Jesus! She desires to come alongside the church body to continue to lay a foundation of truth for the next generation to build their faith upon. Kristin enjoys engaging with the children and volunteers she works with on Sunday mornings and encouraging them to fix their eyes on our One True God.

Walking Children Through Prayer

Passing the Baton in the Midst of a Hostile Crowd

Passing the Baton in the Midst of a Hostile Crowd

Parents and ministry leaders, here is something to ponder:

Passing on the [Christian] faith has been compared to handing off a baton in a relay race. And there are many things to commend that analogy to us. There is a real gospel—the baton—to pass on. It must be passed on individually. The one with the baton has to hold it out, and the one receiving the baton has to reach back for it and close his hand around it. There is a time to pass on the baton, the exchange zone, which does not last forever. All of these are excellent pictures to help us think through this subject.

There is a problem with this illustration, however. We are not handing off the baton at a friendly track meet—rather this exchange takes place on a battlefield! We are attempting to pass on this baton of the gospel while we and our children are being shot at! And what about those observing in the stands? A few are cheering us on, but many in the stands—the world—are laughing at our child’s attempt to run the race.

(Chap Bettis, “The Disciple-Making Parent—A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ  copyright©2016, page 8)

Rather than be discouraged by this, we as parents and ministry leaders should use this as motivation to prepare our children and students to face the challenge. We must arm them with God’s Truth and point them to complete dependence on His sovereign grace. Furthermore, we should provide them with a distinctive, unwavering biblical worldview by teaching them…

  • that the Bible is absolute Truth and is totally reliable and sufficient.
  • a deep and robust understanding of God’s nature and character.
  • that biblical truth is relevant to everything in life.
  • to evaluate all things through the truth of Scripture: biblical discernment.
  • the enlightening and transforming truth of the Gospel.
  • that a biblical worldview is meant to point them to true, lasting joy.
  • to boldly proclaim God’s truth in a spirit of humility.
  • to expect opposition and to be prepared to stand firm.

Basic Biblical Worldview Truths for Children

On this last point, it’s important that we do the following to encourage them and “cheer them on.”

  • Point out evidence of God’s grace in their lives. Use it to encourage them.
  • Remind them of Jesus and others who have experienced ridicule and have been hated by the world.
  • Pray with and for them on a regular basis.
  • Find your children and teens some older, mature Christians to be mentors.
  • Keep them in the Word and look for devotionals and other resources that will serve to increase their confidence in God.
  • Instruct them in Christian apologetics, providing a vigorous defense of the faith—reasons and arguments for why we believe what we believe.

For a further explanation of each point and practical tips for application at various ages, download this free handout from the seminar, “Helping Children Develop a Biblical Worldview.”

 

 

From Genesis to Revelation: Disability and His Sure Promises of Help

From Genesis to Revelation: Disability and His Sure Promises of Help

When a child or adult with disabilities comes to your church, are you filled with excited anticipation or dread? Are you glad they have come, but afraid of doing or saying something wrong—which prevents you from doing anything at all?

Through over 450 references, the Bible unashamedly address God’s sovereignty over disease and disability. God equips His people to serve and be served by those who live atypical lives.

God Equips His PeopleWe live in a culture which denigrates people with disabilities, prefers that we kill them before they are born, or that we kill them when they are toward the end of their life and their usefulness. God has a different perspective about this. Those He creates in His image, who live atypical lives, are intended to be agents of change in our churches.

Disability is a spectrum we cannot understand and God has made each person unique—with or without a disability. Because of this, there is no program or one size fits all approach to disability ministry. In this seminar, John Knight casts a vision for ministering to families dealing with disability and gives you practical steps to begin: gathering a prayer team, thinking counter-culturally, knowing the specific needs of your families, training your people, being willing to make mistakes in love as you figure things out and persevering in ministry.

Listen Now

Download Handouts

John Knight is the Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God in Minneapolis. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children. John’s son Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder. John writes on issues of disability, the Bible and the church at  TheWorksOfGod.com

As we welcome children with disabilities into our church and classrooms, we are training students to respect that God has made certain children differently than other children. It is good, and sometimes it is hard, but we are not afraid.

Teaching Means Active Engagement

Teaching Means Active Engagement

In college, I had to take a dreaded year of physics. I cringed at the thought of it! But much to my amazement, I ended up enjoying that year. It became one of my favorite classes. Why the change of heart? Because I had a great teacher who actively engaged us in the subject matter. He had us thinking, questioning, and seeing the relevance of physics to almost every aspect of life: Content + Teaching Style…both mattered.

I recently read a Bible lesson written for older elementary students. What was disheartening is not the content per se—it was biblically accurate and theologically sound—but the manner in which it was communicated to the students. The material was simply “presented.” The students were “talked at.” They were not encouraged in any meaningful way to engage with the text (or even open their Bibles), or with the teacher. Why is this a problem? Because, among other things…

  • It does not promote personal biblical literacy in the students—the ability to rightly read and understand the Bible. Teachers must help students in this process by asking questions of the text, interacting with student responses, and walking the students step-by-step through a proper interpretation of the text.
  • It hinders active learning—it fails to encourage students to discover, analyze, question, examine, draw conclusions, and make application of the text.
  • It “de-motivates” students to make personal application of biblical truth—heart transformation. If students are not encouraged to be actively engaged, they are more likely to feel “talked at” than to be personally interested and challenged by the content.

At Children Desiring God, our goal and desire is to develop biblically rich, doctrinally sound, God-centered, Christ-exalting materials that are designed to TEACH students. Our lessons are structured to encourage active engagement between teacher, student, and the Bible. Yes, at first it may seem a little overwhelming—especially for a new teacher. Students who are not accustomed to an interactive teaching style may be slow to respond at first. But over time both teacher and students will be pleasantly surprised by the rich benefits of this active engagement. We want to motivate our students to eagerly dive into God’s Word, with the hope and prayer that by doing so, they will come to see and delight in God Himself, through Christ.

Teaching Means Active Engagement

 

 

Preemptive Wisdom + Drawing for a Free Devotional!

Preemptive Wisdom

In a recent “Ask Pastor John” post, John Piper addressed a question from a young man—a teenager— regarding his desire to be well-liked and popular while, at the same time, being concerned about being godly. Here was part of John’s response:

Preemptive WisdomI think being driven by coolness is deadly. The problem with wanting to be cool in our culture is that cool is almost always defined by the fool. So, it is almost always: Cool = Fool.

If you want to know what a fool is, read the book of Proverbs in the Bible. In fact, I think every teenager, especially boys, should read Proverbs over and over and over again, because of how clearly the Proverbs expose the stupidity of much that is considered cool…

You are a human being created in the image of God almighty, destined to live forever and ever and ever in hell or in heaven. Nothing could be more stupid than to think that your significance, your worth, your greatness, your coolness is in what people think about your outward appearance instead of what they think about your inner reality that is going to live forever and ever and ever. So, be one of those teenagers who wakes up from the lunacy of the cattle drive mentality where the whole herd of cattle is going right over the cliff because some cool bull or some pretty heifer is out there leading the way right off a cliff.

(“Can I Be Faithful to God and Popular at School?,” John Piper, ©Desiring God Foundation, www.desiringGod.org)

Yes, by all means, have your youth read and study the book of Proverbs. But I want to suggest a preemptive strike. Don’t wait until your children are teens. Help them learn to be wise (the opposite of a fool) when they are young, with the hope and prayer that they will not depart from it. Encourage them embrace to God’s timeless wisdom now—seeing it as a priceless treasure and delight so that they avoid foolishness. Lead them to see that trusting in Jesus alone and following in His ways is the way of wisdom!

God's WisdomA resource I highly recommend for families is God’s Wisdom by Sally Michael, a great devotional for families. The book has 26 short, highly engaging chapters to read aloud as a family, followed by interactive discussion questions. Each chapter ends with an activity that will further help your children’s understanding, and provide a practical “next step” for applying wisdom in their lives.

Drawing for a Free Devotional! – CLOSED

Congratulations Dawn C. and Traci Mellick! Watch for an email about your prize.

We are giving away two copies of God’s Wisdom! Just leave us a comment below between now and Friday, February 10, and we will draw two names to each receive a free copy of this great devotional book. We will announce the winners on Monday, February 13. This drawing is open to readers with a U.S. mailing address.

 

 

“My child doesn’t want to go to church!”—Part 2

My Child Doesn't Want to Go to Church - Part 2

Read Part 1 for suggestions 1-5.

Somewhere along the way in our parenting, one or more of our children will likely express the above sentiment on any given Sunday. Yesterday’s post presented five suggestions for addressing the issue. Today I would like to present five more. Again, keep in mind that how you apply each may look very different depending on the age of the child—but the basic principles are the same.

6. Consider if any of your words and attitudes toward the church have contributed to your child’s perception.

Our words and attitudes make a great impression on our children. What we say aloud and the tone in which we say it often turns up in our children. If I, as a parent, establish a pattern of verbally criticizing the sermon, or the singing or other things related to the church, should I be surprised if my children don’t want to go to church? Ouch! I must ask, “Is my child’s negative attitude toward church in any way sparked and fueled by me?” If so, I need to confess this before the Lord, repent, ask His forgiveness, and commit to guard my heart and words in the future. I should also humbly confess to my children any sinful attitudes or words they have observed in me.

On a similar note, more times than I care to remember, by the time our family got in the car to go to church, I was barely on speaking terms with them! A real Sunday morning meltdown. Too little sleep the night before. Couldn’t find my Bible. Arguing with my husband during breakfast, etc. All things that started in me and came to be expressed through me. This can sour Sunday morning for the whole family. If that becomes the pattern, our children may come to associate going to church with mom or dad’s “bad attitude.” 

7. If the classroom experience is proving unworkable for your child, look for alternate ministry and learning opportunities during that time.

We had a child who really didn’t want to go to Sunday school at one time. After talking to him to get at the heart of the issue, we went and observed the class and noted some serious, legitimate concerns. We talked with teachers/leaders in order to communicate our concerns, and also to get their perspective. After careful consideration, we decided that this particular classroom situation could not be resolved in a manner that was beneficial to our child. So we decided to let him opt out of that class. However, we made clear that simply “hanging out” during the Sunday school hour was not an option. He must invest that time within another class or ministry of the church. We helped him find a suitable option and he thrived.

8. Understand that your child’s own heart condition may be at the root or a great contributor to the problem.

This is one that is hard for every parent to hear, but we must hear it: Our child may hate church because he or she is not a believer and is dull or even hostile toward spiritual things. No amount of denial, no amount of wishful thinking, no number of excuses can serve to cover-up this heart-breaking reality. As parents, our first instinct may be to demand change in the program: Make the classroom more fun. Make the youth group more entertaining and “relational.” Have less serious Bible teaching to allow more time to hang out. Before pondering any of these seemingly helpful solutions, we need to understand that changes such as these are not going to ultimately deal with our child’s heart issue. Furthermore, making Sunday school more fun or entertaining often serves in encouraging an unbeliever to happily continue along the path of unbelief as he or she feels comfortable within this more casual environment.

10 Tips to Help Your Child Love Church - Part 2

9. Pray, pray, pray!

Never underestimate or underutilize the power of prayer. Pray with your child and for your child.

  • On Saturday night, pray with your child about his or her Sunday morning experience. Dads: consider praying a “Saturday Night Special” blessing for your child using the booklet and blessing cards titled, A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children.
  • Before your child enters the Sunday school room, pray with him or her.
  • Commit yourself to praying for your child’s heart toward the Lord.
  • Commit yourself to praying for your child’s teachers and the other students in the class.
  • Pray that the church as a whole—with all its members and ministries—will grow in displaying a beautifully attractive picture of what it means to love, honor, and cherish Christ.

10. God is sovereign, so never, never, never give up!

When a parent first hears the words, “I hate church. I don’t want to go!” it can be shocking and heart-breaking. Also, for utterly selfish reasons, it can be really frustrating for the parent. One more hassle to deal with. Out of fear or inconvenience it is tempting to throw in the towel and give up, “Fine, we just won’t go then.” Please, don’t take this option. Consider…

  • You and your children need the church. Your children, whether believers or unbelievers, need this means of God’s grace in their lives if they are to flourish.
  • Often, and by God’s grace, this negative attitude toward the church lasts for a season of time (even if it feels like forever!). Weather the storm, keep praying for and encouraging your child to weather the storm, too.
  • Without realizing it, your child may be absorbing more spiritual benefits from the worship service and the classroom than he or she, or you are aware. Seeds of faith are being planted, unseen to the human eye.
  • God is ultimately sovereign over your child’s heart.

Here is a final, encouraging word from a recent article by Nancy Guthrie:

…anyone who’s been a parent for long knows parenting requires a lot more than simply following the right steps to success. To raise a child toward godliness, we need much more than the good advice parenting experts have to offer. We need what only the Scriptures have to offer.

We need the commands and expectations of Scripture to keep us from complacency, and the grace and mercy of Scripture to save us from guilt. We need Scripture to puncture the pride that rises up in us when our child is doing well and we’re tempted to take the credit. And we need Scripture to save us from the despair that threatens to sink us when our child is floundering and we’re tempted to take all the blame.

While we have influence and responsibility, we don’t have control over our child. We can teach our child the Scriptures, but we can’t be the Holy Spirit in our child’s life. We can confront sinful patterns that need to change, but we can’t generate spiritual life that leads to lasting change. Only the Spirit can do that.

What we can do is pray for and parent our child the best we know how. We can keep trusting God to do what we cannot

(“Divine Words for Desperate Parents,” www.thegospelcoalition.org)

“My child doesn’t want to go to church!”—Part 1

My Child Doesn't Want to Go to Church - Part 1

Sadly, I’ve heard this statement from more than a few parents over the years. Some even say, “My child hates to go to church.” It can turn Sunday mornings into a miserable experience for parents and children alike. I have had some desperate, frazzled parents arrive at the classroom with a young child who is literally kicking and screaming. What’s a parent to do? Here are five general suggestions that may be helpful. How you apply each may look very different depending on the age of the child—but the basic principles are the same.

  1. Set aside time alone with your child to discuss his or her negative attitude toward church.

Ask specific questions that aim for the heart of the matter. This may take some time. Gently ask probing questions: Did something specific happen in class? What about the service don’t you like? What would you want changed? Sometimes children and youth are embarrassed to express hidden fears and anxieties. “I hate going” may be, in reality, “I don’t want to have to read aloud in class.” Or, “None of the other kids talk to me.” On the other hand, it could be that the child is expressing a more serious spiritual rebellion. Listen to your child. Know and clarify the real issues before responding and taking action. Acknowledge true feelings, but help your child to reflect on his or her feelings in light of God’s Word. Our feelings and emotions need to come under the authority of Scripture. As parents, we need to be careful in helping our children see this. We must also help them recognize unrealistic expectations. 

  1. Communicate the “non-negotiables” lovingly, yet firmly.

From the time my children were very young they learned that the car wouldn’t go unless everyone had their seatbelts on. It was a non-negotiable rule whether they were 5 years old or 15 years old. Parents need to communicate a similar mindset when it comes to going to the corporate worship service—and, in most cases, Sunday school. (I’ll talk about exceptions to this last one in Part 2 tomorrow.) “You may not like going to church or sitting through the service, but we are your parents and we love you. God loves you, too, and has given us the authority, privilege, and responsibility to instruct you in His ways. One of the important ways we do this is by gathering together on the Lord’s Day to worship with other Christians and sit under the preaching of the Word. We are going to do this as a family—that means you, too.”

Please parents, take the lead in this and don’t relinquish your God-ordained authority! Sadly, I know of families who left wonderful, vibrant, God-exalting churches simply because their children expressed unhappiness with a particular aspect of Sunday school or youth ministry. Yes, there are times when parents may determine that a change in church is necessary, but a child’s dissatisfaction with secondary issues should not be a main consideration.

  1. Carefully examine your child’s expressed thoughts and feelings and measure these against other reliable perspectives when applicable.

I don’t know about your children, but there were times that my children overacted to a situation, exaggerated or embellished a story, or simply related to me a limited perspective—leaving out some important facts or nuances! All that to say: don’t assume your child has the best perspective in any given situation. “I hate Sunday school because the teacher is SO boring!” Why not sit in and observe a lesson. Maybe the teacher is great but your child is not interested in spiritual things. Maybe the teacher is a little boring…that is a teachable moment, too. What if your child told you that he or she was bored in math class? How might you respond? Just because something is presented in a boring manner, that doesn’t mean your child cannot benefit from what is being taught, or grow in the discipline required in being attentive even when it is hard to do. Your child can also learn to be thankful and supportive of a teacher who is graciously serving the class. 

10 Tips to Help Your Child Love Church - Part 1

  1. Address legitimate concerns with the appropriate teachers and leaders.

In my experience, many children and students needlessly experience Sunday morning anxiety due to a simple lack of communication. A classroom incident was not dealt with because a teacher didn’t realize what happened, or responded wrongly. Perhaps a student had a special need that was not communicated to his or her small group leader. Sometimes a face-to-face meeting between parents, student, and teacher can resolve these issues. In regard to the corporate worship service, this can be a little more difficult. However, it may still be appropriate for parents—or even a group of parents—to ask to meet with a pastor, elder, and/or worship leader and humbly suggest ways that children could be made to feel more welcomed in the worship service. Small things, such as the pastor intentionally addressing children and youth at one point in the sermon can be helpful. Allowing children and youth to serve as ushers or to hand out bulletins may help them feel included and valued.

  1. Look for ways to practically help and encourage your child.

A little creative thinking and planning can go a long way.

  • For example, if the issue is that a child is having a hard time sitting through a long worship service, consider a special “Sunday bag” with a Bible, colored pencils, crayons, and even a My Church Notebook to use.
  • Help minimize Sunday morning anxiety by having your children pick out clothing Saturday night. Make sure your child has gathered and laid out everything he or she will need. Sometimes it not so much that a child hates going to church as it is the stress of the frantic Sunday morning process of getting out the door.
  • If your church posts the “Order of Service” online, read it with your children so they will know what to expect.
  • If a child is having a particularly difficult time, offer some incentive, such as a small reward. This can be especially helpful for dealing with a teenager. However, I would suggest that the incentive be something that is “relational” in nature—going out for a special time away with dad or mom.
  • Offer to visit and sit in on the classroom if this would be helpful.

Read Part 2 for suggestions 6-10.

 

 

Helping Our Children When Church Life Gets Messy

Helping Children When Church Life Gets Messy

I love the church, and I am so blessed that my family has had the great privilege of living in community with hundreds of godly men and women over the years. In regards to my children, the local church loved, equipped, encouraged, and exhorted them in their walk with the Lord. They have received a wonderful spiritual legacy, as countless pastors, leaders, teachers, and members have exemplified a life of faith—displaying what it means to love, trust, and walk in obedience to Christ.

But we must also be prepared to help our children when church life gets “messy.” For example, suppose a professing Christian you have highly respected for years leaves the church and abandons the faith. Or maybe your church is in the midst of a conflict between members, evidenced by public gossip and slander. Or a much-loved couple teaching in your children’s in Sunday school announces they are separating. These kinds of situations can make an impression on our children’s hearts and minds…and sometimes that impression can seriously taint their understanding of the church, the Christian faith, and God. Therefore, parents and teachers need to be prepared to carefully guide our children in such a way that they will not be shaken by these events.

Helping Children When Church Life Gets MessyIn his book, The Disciple-Making Parent—A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ Pastor Chap Bettis writes a helpful section on helping children handle hypocrisy and sin within the church. Here is a quick summary of his main points:

  • We can start by reminding children that Jesus predicted hypocrisy and worldliness in his church.
  • We can agree with our children that these things are wrong.
  • We can teach about the power of indwelling sin and the final judgment to sort everything out.
  • We can teach them that this sin reminds us of the great Savior we have.
  • We can teach them to forgive.

Please get the book and carefully read Pastor Bettis’ explanation of each point—the above summary does not do justice to this important topic he has covered! He concludes with this important reminder:

Community, with all its problems, is God’s gift to us. The positive examples provide balancing input. The not-so-positive examples provide teaching opportunities. The church is Jesus’ bride and the pillar and foundation of truth. With all her flaws, the church is dear to Christ and should be dear to any parents who want their child to follow the Lord as an adult.

(copyright©2016, pages 60-61)

Enhancing Your Child’s Classroom Experience

Enhancing Your Child's Classroom Experience

Over the years of teaching Sunday school, I’ve been on the receiving end of numerous comments and even some complaints from parents about their child’s classroom experience. Some of the complaints were very legitimate concerns identified by the parents that resulted in positive changes in the classroom. Others issues needed to be addressed primarily by the parents as they worked with their child on specific areas of their behavior. In my experience, one of the best ways to enhance the classroom experience for the children is to proactively clarify and understand expectations for teachers and classroom leaders, parents, and children.

For example, here are a few basic expectations for teachers and classroom leaders:

  • Provide a safe, welcoming, structured, age-appropriate environment for the students.
  • Provide well-prepared, theologically sound, faith-nurturing Bible lessons that are presented in an age-appropriate, interesting, and God-honoring manner.
  • Design a class structure that is attentive to the needs of the children while emphasizing and maximizing spiritual instruction.
  • Provide parents with written communication outlining class procedures and expectations, behavioral guidelines, contact information, curriculum notes, and other relevant information.
  • Extend to parents an open invitation to sit in and observe the classroom when so desired.
  • Recognize and affirm that parents bear the primary responsibility for nurturing their child’s faith. Teachers and other leaders will not seek to usurp that role.
  • Be open to making changes when necessary for the benefit of the students.
  • Speak directly to the parents when an issues arises with their child. Seek solutions that properly weigh the needs of the larger class and the specific child.

And here are a few expectations for parents:

  • Carefully communicate to your child his or her responsibilities when in the classroom and proper behavioral guidelines.
  • Pray for your child’s class.
  • Have your child prepared for class. This includes being on time, having him or her fed, making sure your child has used the bathroom, having the proper Bible, etc.
  • Show appropriate gratitude for the men and women who volunteer to minister to your child. Understanding that Sunday school is not a “right” but a gracious “privilege” for your child to enjoy.
  • Help your child understand the meaning and importance what is being taught in the classroom. If you take a deep interest in what is being taught, your children are more likely to take a deep interest, too (Using the CDG GIFT pages for each of our curricula lessons is a great tool to do this.)
  • Encourage your child to complete any assignments, memory work, and other action steps.
  • When your child expresses a concern (“I’m bored.” “The kids pick on me.” etc.) first speak to the teacher or small group leader. Get their perspective. Also consider sitting in and observing the class.
  • Understand the needs of the larger class, as well as the needs of your child. Don’t insist on unrealistic demands.
  • Pick your child up on time.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, in my experience these all serve to proactively address areas that commonly may lead to a direct, negative impact on a student’s classroom experience. By working together—parents and classroom volunteers—can help every student better love and enjoy his or her time in Sunday school.

 

Expectations for Teachers

Tips for Parents

 

Page 1 of 2412345»1020...Last »