« August 2017 « Feature
Bridging The Gap
7 Tips for Ministering and Loving the Parents in Your Church
You have probably heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” but consider the idea that it takes a whole church to raise up a child in the footsteps of Jesus. Together with parents, church members, and children’s ministries leaders, we can collaborate to raise a good citizen of this world, and more importantly, a citizen of Heaven.
Many parents know that God has given them the primary role in the spiritual development of their children, but with the constant business of our daily routine and major life changes, they often need additional help and assistance.
Killeen Adventist Junior Academy Assistant Principal and Science Teacher, Karen-Mae Mitchell, shares some ideas on how we as church members and leaders can work together with the parents in our churches to provide an environment and support network to encourage our precious children to know God’s love, sacrifice, and purpose for their lives.
- Pray: We must arm our parents with the power of prayer and ask God to give them wisdom as they plan family worship experiences that will lead their children into a deeper relationship with Him. Share a list of the families in your church with your church prayer warriors. Both families and prayer warriors will be blessed!
- Learn From Each Other: Provide opportunities for families to come together in small groups. Rotate leaders with experienced leaders mentoring the younger leaders. This is a great environment for parents and children to get together and learn about the Christian family and fun ideas to grow spiritually.
- Coordinate Proactively: Correlate family worships with current programs. Children’s Ministries leaders can provide worksheets with follow-up scriptures or discussion questions for parents to use with their children in worship that week, as well as CDs or playlists with songs from Vacation Bible School or Sabbath school to use at home.
- Build Resource Team: Identify a family worship resources team or coordinator and ask them to share regular tips, resources, and support to the families in your church. Information could be shared on a monthly eNewsletter, blog, or even Facebook group.
- Provide Ongoing Training: Conduct regular interactive workshops for parents and families. Have skilled pastors, teachers, and counselors present seminars on relevant topics. Older parents and Children’s Ministries leaders can also share great perspectives based on their experiences.
- Support Parental Spiritual Growth: Help parents maintain a strong connection with their Heavenly Father. Parent’s spiritual growth is key to sowing spiritual seeds in children. Children's Ministries leaders can work with other church programs and leaders to provide spiritual enrichment for parents, as well as children.
- Be Patient and Love: Be patient with the families in your church. Let them know that you love them and understand how challenging it is to be a parent. Our ultimate resource is God’s love and grace as we work together to guide these precious children and their families to Jesus.
Sonia Cano is the Southwestern Union Sabbath School and Children’s Ministries Director. Karen-Mae Mitchell is the Assistant Principal and Science Teacher at Killeen Adventist Junior Academy. Content from this article originally appeared in Kids Ministry Ideas Magazine (October 2010).