One of the goals of any ministry to children or teens should be to encourage parents to teach their children about God at home. Unfortunately, many parents have no idea where to begin and so opportunities are missed to strengthen the faith foundations of the next generation.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If ministries took the time to provide parents with a few simple aids, their confidence would be higher, increasing the chances additional Bible instruction would happen in the home. The easiest way to do this? A communication with parents after each Bible class, devotional or activity that was designed to instruct their children about God in some way.
The format should be determined by the parents themselves. Personally, I am a fan of sending home paper letters as a letter from a teacher sent home with a child usually gets at least some attention. If the parents of your Bible students would prefer a link sent in a text or an email, then use whatever they will read. Communication is useless if it isn’t “heard”.
So what should go in the regular post learning opportunity communication with parents? At a bare minimum, it should contain:
- Scriptures studied.
- Learning objectives/key points of the lesson.
- Suggested questions to further conversation on the topic.
- Suggested activity the parents could use in a family devotional to enhance understanding of the lesson, practice Christian life skills associated with the lesson or encourage placing key scriptures or principles in long term memory.
Want to go the extra mile or have parents who are already comfortable teaching their children about God at home? Try adding these elements to further enhance learning:
- Related scriptures or Bible stories that give a deeper understanding of key principles in your original Bible lesson.
- Application challenges – ways to encourage family members to apply key principles to their every day lives.
- Faith sharing challenges – suggestions of ways family members can take simple steps to share their faith with friends and neighbors.
- Dig deeper challenges – encourage parents to teach their kids how to use Bible study tools by giving them simple research questions they must answer by finding a specific scripture or passage.
- Scripture memory challenges – encourage families to memorize longer passages of scripture (at least two verses), as they require more practice – making it more likely those scriptures will move into their long term memory.
Have fun with it. Make it personal – from the teacher or ministry leader – not a packaged curriculum communication. Check in with parents and students periodically to see what information they want in their communications and which information encourages them to actually spend time teaching their children about God at home. Not every parent will take advantage of the parent communication, but for those who do, it can make all of the difference in the world.