09/30/14
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What About Parents? by Robert Edmiston


GCPWe pick up so much at home – everything from little mannerisms to a way of life. This stays with us, often passed on from generation to generation for both good and evil.

Yet schools and the church have often acted as though the home is irrelevant – not so much in theory as practice. Because there is so little instruction with the home, it takes time for a teacher to talk with a parent about a child, each attempting to learn from the other how to more effectively minister.  Even a small thing like asking a caregiver to help a child memorize a verse for a class can seem like an imposition. Yet it can create a bond that will benefit the child – perhaps into eternity.

In recent years, the home school movement has experienced enormous growth within our circles. Sometimes there is a reluctance to have children involved in age appropriate activities at the church because teaching is viewed as the prerogative of the parent.

Whether a parent home schools or not there is a lot of teaching that goes on in every home. Parents are not called to do it alone, however. Old Testament passages underscore the responsibility of the parent, but they have the extended family in view. The Great Commission gives the church an important role in teaching. Living is to be learned in the context of the redeemed family and the redemptive community.

The point: We need both parents and teachers working together to raise a child in the faith.

So what can we do?

Suppose you have a class with take home papers, often scattered about when the session is over. Is it possible to make a personal contact with a parent and give a brief summary of the paper and ask that they go over it with their child?

Great Commission Publications’ handouts are designed to link home and church together. Parents who use them to review Sunday school lessons accomplish several things. They have a natural starting point each week to engage their children in spiritual lessons and conversation. They are encouraging their children to pay attention and take seriously what they learn Sunday morning.

This can help with classroom discipline and attentiveness of students as the children realize they will be accountable at home for their lesson. Primarily, parents are setting a foundational relationship model, which connects them to their children, the Word, and the body of Christ for life. If you begin talking with your child about Jesus at two, when he is twenty-two it will seem natural that Jesus is the center of all your conversations.

Invite parents to class on a rotating basis and ask them to help. Ask caregivers to be prayer partners. Recruit a parent to come to class to give a testimony. You could promote a “parent of the month.” Request teachers to call a student encouraging attendance – and talk to the caregiver.

These kinds of things will give them a sense of what you’re trying to do; you will begin to get acquainted and you will learn more about the child. Once you commit yourself to the idea of parents and teachers actually working together – the ideas will begin to flow and some will be workable in your ministry.

You can also encourage parents at your church to get involved with the Facebook page for their child’s age group. GCP posts weekly, class related information for the teacher and student to use.

Choose the Facebook fan page for the age level you need:

Being a fan means you’ll have weekly access to:

  • Nourishing Scripture verses
  • Bible background for lessons
  • Teacher tips for classes
  • Reminders for lesson prep
  • Ideas from other teachers

Learn more about the Show Me Jesus curriculum today!

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