The people who have the greatest spiritual influence in the lives of children, and are the primary “pastors” to children, are parents.
That’s the way God intended it, and so that’s the way things should be.
But it usually is not the way churches structure children’s ministries within churches.
It’s not uncommon for churches and children’s ministry leaders to heartily agree that parents have the greatest spiritual influence, and that parents should be the primary “pastors” to their own children, but they don’t design the church’s ministry to children to reflect such beliefs. Instead, all the attention, energy, and resources of the church’s ministry to children are poured directly into the children, curriculums and materials for teaching children, and children’s teachers and ministry workers. The parents simply drop off and pick up their kids.
That’s not a church living out a position that parents are their own children’s pastors and supporting parents in ministering to their children.
But a “Parent-Teacher Fellowship” approach to children’s ministry is.
Years ago, when one of my “hats” as Associate Minister was responsible for all Christian education, from nursery to senior adults, we scrapped the traditional children’s ministry program and replaced it with a Parent-Teacher Fellowship. Here’s how we did it:
– From specially scheduled meetings with parents and all children’s ministry workers, to preaching and teaching from the pulpit, we announced our belief that parents are supposed to be the primary pastors and spiritual influencers of their own children and that the church was changing its emphasis to support parents in their role.
– In our pre-planning and research work, we heard from many parents about how they felt undiscipled and unequipped to be “pastors” and spiritual leaders to their own children. So, partnering with the adult education ministry, we worked at helping adults find opportunities to be discipled, as well as offered teaching and training to help these parents in their own spiritual maturing so they would feel more confident to teach their children.
– The church would still have a children’s ministry comprised of Sunday School, Children’s Church, Christian Service Brigade for boys, Pioneer Girls, a large and successful Vacation Bible School ministry, and strong involvement in church summer camps, BUT … but all that would be turned on it’s head to put parents in the lead and refocus these various children’s ministry components on supporting parents leading in all of these avenues.
Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders