connecting with parents

When the eight year old girl helps the teacher clean up after class without being asked, it is cause for notice. It is the kind of thing I love to bring to her parents’ attention. When the seven year old boy chooses to participate actively in class rather than check out, it brings a smile to my face because I know his parents will be proud. And then I think of the varied acts of obedience, kindness, compassion and goodness that intersperse themselves through the organized chaos that is children’s ministry. Too often we might focus only on a specific setback, losing sight of the many victories growing up all around us.

Each time a child applies a biblical principle to her life, or shows the love of Jesus in tangible ways to another, it is an indicator of something going on within. It is a cause for joy.

We should bring those moments to the attention of parents. Not flippantly. Rather, with genuine joy over what the Lord is doing.

Is the child ready to make a deeper level of commitment to Jesus? If his parents are believers, why not give them the opportunity to lead the child in that step of faith? Do they need coaching in the process? Offer to provide it, but let them be the spiritual leaders of their children. Is the child ready for water baptism? Coach them to help with that as well if they are so inclined.

Most parents are very interested in the spiritual lives of their children. When we take the time to include them in what their children are doing at church through direct participation, discussion, prayer and listening to their concerns, it helps to create an environment of mutual trust and communication. As a corollary, when we make the effort to hear their stories in their words, it validates for them that we believe they are important to us, and especially to God.

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