When Christians begin faith based tutoring ministries, helping children who are struggling with their academic skills is only one goal. A deeper goal is to introduce these children and their families to God. Most ministries do a decent job helping children improve their academic skills, but fail miserably with their spiritual goals for the ministry. Why? Can anything be done to help faith based tutoring ministries be more effective on a spiritual level?
Part of the problem is how faith based tutoring sessions are generally structured. Some provide one on one tutoring sessions for students. While this has the benefit of giving the student individualized academic instruction and provides opportunities for mentoring, tutors may feel uncomfortable introducing spiritual content into their lessons, having spiritual mentoring conversations or inviting students and their families to worship services, Bible studies and other activities of the church sponsoring the program.
Other programs take a small group approach. They often begin with all students being exposed to a Bible story in some fashion. Then students are split into small groups for academic skills practice. Often little effort is made to connect the Bible story or its principles to the academic tutoring that is provided later in the session. Tutors may also feel reluctant to have spiritual discussions in what feels like a secular class on reading or math. They may not know how to develop mentoring relationships with students or parents and may feel awkward inviting students and parents to church for any reason.
At Teach One Reach One Ministries, we know the importance of those original spiritual goals you had. We have developed multiple, educator created resources to help you reach those goals. And thanks to our generous donors, all of these resources are free!
Here are some of the resources you can find on our website.
- Best practices in faith based tutoring. This how to guide is helpful for those establishing a new ministry or for those needing to do a bit of restructuring.
- Teacher training tools. Using volunteers who aren’t professional educators? We’ve got you covered with basic training tools on necessary skill sets like asking better questions.
- Faith based tutoring activities with meaningful ties to Bible stories. Want meaningful, engaging, hands-on activities with meaningful ties to specific Bible stories? We’ve got you covered with hundreds of activity ideas in literacy, math, science, health and hygiene, sustenance and survival, ELL (can be used with any language)…. and of course Bible and application lessons and service projects.
- Activity ideas organized by skill set. Sometimes you need an activity for a specific skill set, so we have also organized our activity ideas by subjects and skill sets (in addition to Bible story).
- Guides to ministering to marginalized children. Often children struggling in school are from marginalized populations. We have ebooks to help know the best ways to minister to these children and their families. Ministering to. Marginalized Children covers children with special needs, generational poverty, disrupted family models, orphans, foster children and more. Helping Children of War was written with refugees in mind, but the information is also useful for those working in urban ministry or in countries where children have been exposed to all types of violence.
- Printable parenting sheets. These one page guides were created to help parents with common parenting challenges while also pointing them to God and scripture in the process. Some of these are offered in multiple languages. (We also have a parenting blog at www.parentinglikehannah.com)
- Baptism study with leader guide. Some of your volunteers may be uncomfortable sharing their faith. This book with leader guide organizes information in ways that make it easy for your volunteers to use.
Is there a resource you need, but don’t see listed above? Contact us and tell us about it. We are constantly developing new resources and may add your idea to our list of future projects.