We all know that any effective preschool and kids’ ministry isn’t just about the kids. We must build a culture in which we are actively equipping parents and caregivers to have spiritual conversations with their kids.
How do we do this? How can we effectively reach parents and build relationships with them? We need a strategic plan to support and encourage parents and caregivers in a way that meets them wherever they are and sets them up for success.
I think many parents want to disciple their kids, but they really do not know how. The task seems overwhelming and often they decide to outsource that responsibility to the church. Instead of accepting total responsibility, the church’s role is to come alongside parents and equip them as we invest in their kids together. It is a partnership that we must continue to work on together in order to be transformative in the lives of their kids.
First, parents need to know that we are on their team. We have all probably heard the saying, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Relationships are the key to ministry, and it is so important to invest in these relationships with the kids and parents. I encourage you to make yourself available. Send parents a personal text, meet them for coffee, and take time to ask them how they are doing. Ask them for prayer requests and follow up with them. Take time to pray for them and send them a note saying you are thinking about them. Empower and encourage your core leaders to help build relationships with kids and parents.
In Bible Studies for Life, we provide several resources to help equip parents. Bible Studies for Life for Kids At Home is a resource designed to fuel discipleship in the home in partnership with what kids are learning at church. Each week parents will be provided with new content that relates to what is being taught in the church’s kids’ ministry. This wonderful resource comes free with any purchase of Bible Studies for Life curriculum. The At Home content is available through Ministry Grid which makes it easy to distribute the At Home sessions to your parents or leaders. All you need to do is select the At Home session you’d like to share, and either share the easy link or invite them via email.
Whether parents have been discipling for years or are just getting started, Bible Studies for Life At Home is designed to give them a realistic and meaningful starting point that they can build from with additional content. It guides parents through a family worship experience where they read the Scripture, talk about the Scripture, watch the Bible Story Video, learn Scripture, and sing together. We also provide family prayer time which include two prompts—one for mornings and one for evenings—that they can use during the week to help implement prayer into their daily routine and start casual family conversations about God. To encourage the family to further live out their faith, two activities are provided each week that relate to that week’s main idea. One activity is for the family to enjoy and the other is for the family to serve in some way as they share the gospel in their community.
We also provide other resources to help parents disciple their kids at home. The Bible Studies for Life Kids Activity Pages engage kids in class and help parents apply biblical concepts throughout the week. The back of each page contains the One Conversation overview to help parents talk to their kids about the session.
Bible Studies for Life: Take-Home Cards help kids soak in the Scripture learned in Bible Study through Bible facts, games, and family activities. The cards are designed for use at home to encourage Bible conversations, but they are also great for use in class.
We offer monthly devotionals for kids to help them cultivate the disciplines of daily Bible reading and spending time with God. These devotionals give connections to the same life lessons learned in the Bible Studies For Life: Kids curriculum and helps parents reinforce learning at home. The More Devotions is designed for kids ages 4-7, the Adventure Devotions is for kids ages 7-10, and Bible Express is for ages 10 and up. Bible Express is a flip-book style with separate sections for boy and girls during the preteen years.
We provide all of these resources to guide parents to have spiritual conversations with their children. We want to encourage parents to use them during the regular rhythms of life such as when they drive in the car, when they eat, and before bed. We pray these resources will guide parents to talk with their kids about God and His Word, and to apply what it says to their lives in practical, applicable ways—ultimately: connecting the whole family in a deeper relationship with Jesus!