Sunday school is a primary means for building intergenerational unity in the body of Christ. Discipleship on any level tends to knit hearts together, but Sunday school has the unique ability to partner all generations to bring the gospel joy of knowing Christ to the youngest in our churches. A strong partnership of parents (and grandparents) and Sunday school teams can begin now in your church.
If you are a parent, here are eight practical ways for you to partner with your child’s teaching team.
- Before coming to Sunday school, ask your child to pray for their time in Sunday school. Taking time to pray together will help strengthen their faith in God as they see His answers to their prayers. It also builds a bond with the class members in your child’s heart.
- Pray for the class with other parents. Ask the teacher if there are specific ways you can pray for the class. When you meet in your church community or life groups during the week, pray together for the Sunday school classes represented in the group. Ask your pastor to remember the Sunday school classes in prayers from the pulpit. Pray for the teachers as they prepare during the week and for the teaching on Sunday morning. Pray asking God to give wisdom to the Sunday school team, as they impart His Word, and soft, receptive hearts for the children.
- Meet your child’s teachers and small group leader. Spend time getting to know who will be teaching your child. Share with them about your child, their spiritual condition, and those things that especially affect how they behave in class (i.e. shy, energetic, not comfortable in front of a group, struggles with reading, needs help focusing, disabilities, medication, allergies, struggles at school). It can also be helpful to impart family situation information such as death in the family, chronic illnesses, divorce, or an upcoming move to a new neighborhood. Share your prayer requests. Your child’s Sunday school team will be blessed to know how they can be praying for your family.
- When the Children’s Ministry Director sends you an invitation to visit your child’s classroom, take them up on it. Young children are usually ‘busting their buttons’ when mom and dad or grandparents visit their classroom. It gives you and the class a connection and builds a memory for your child. You will also have the benefit of firsthand knowledge of the class schedule and what is being taught for discussion at home.
- Bring your child to class on time. If needed, make sure to take them to the restroom, have a snack between services or get a drink of water. Attention to these simple needs will help your child be comfortable and the class to stay on schedule.
- At home, review GIFT Pages and Memory Verses with your child. The weekly Growing In Faith Together (GIFT) pages give parents the tools they need to reinforce the biblical truths their child is learning in Sunday school. Take time to discuss the lesson, do the action steps together and apply at home what is taught in class. Then, help your child memorize their weekly verses through repetition, discussion and application.
- Offer to help. Ask the teacher if there are practical ways you can help as a substitute, bring snacks, prepare a craft or decorate the classroom.
- Let your child’s Sunday school team know you are grateful to God for them and appreciate their ministry for the sake of the gospel in your child.