Many Christian parents view ministry Bible classes as a nice bonus from their church. Some want a break from their children. Others want to worship or attend their own Bible class without having to attend to their kids. It’s often the rare parent who actually seems to care what, if anything, their children are learning in Bible class.
The key is engaging parents in the process more frequently. Forcing parents to be children’s or youth ministry volunteers can backfire. Thankfully, there are some more fun ways of involving parents in the spiritual education of their children. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Back to Sunday School Day: Your congregation probably doesn’t call it Sunday School any more, but other things have probably changed a lot as well since the parents of your students attended Bible classes as children. Plan an engaging lesson and activity that will work for both parents and students. Tell parents about your goals and the lessons you will be covering. Tell them the Bible story and have parents and children work together on the activity. Don’t forget to encourage questions from parents. Your answers can help ease their minds.
- Parent/Teacher Conferences With a Twist: instead of focusing on misbehavior and non-existent grades, take a few minutes regularly with each parent to discuss the gifts and talents you see emerging in their children. Encourage parents to find ways to teach their children about God at home. Provide resources to help them on their Christian parenting journey. (Try our printable parenting sheets.) Address any questions or concerns they have about your class or their child.
- Bible Game Competition: Many adults have forgotten any Bible facts they learned as children. Create games that place children and adults on a level playing field or have parent/child teams play against each other.
- Project showcase. Have your students completed some sort of project in class? Put them on display and invite parents to the “opening day” of the exhibit.
- Field Trips: Encourage parents to help chaperone the event. Go the extra mile though and have a training session for chaperones. Give them the goals for the trip and any special exhibits, activities or conversations you want them to have with their group. Done well, you will be teaching and modeling for them how to take their children places that will encourage spiritual growth.
- Service Projects. Make sure to spend time prepping students and parents for the project and have them both participate in reflection activities after the fact. Involving parents in the planning and execution of the project teaches them how to plan and execute family service projects as well.
- Musicals. This one is definitely a big ask, but is so much fun for everyone involved. Plan a children’s musical. It’s a great way to teach kids music – especially the sight reading and harmonies needed in a capella music. It’s fun for everyone and cements in many kids a love of music.
Engaging parents in the spiritual education of their children is not always easy, but it’s crucial if we want young people to have an unshakeable faith and grow to their full God-given potential.