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5 More Ways to Help Parents Pass on Faith


Parent2Who is the most influential person in your children's faith journey? Who is the one kids turn to with questions about God, faith, the Bible, and Jesus? Many times parents would like to be the ones who lead their kids to living for God, but they don't really know how. They feel like they're not equipped, they don't have all the answers, or they simply don't have enough time in the day.

Part of our jobs as children's ministers is to equip parents to be spiritual leaders for their kids. Last year I covered this topic, and since then I have discovered more great ways to team up with parents. Here are five additional ways to help parents pass on faith.

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1. Remind parents that they matter.So who really influences your children's faith the most? It's not you, their children's minister (although you do have a major influence). It's not the friends they hang out with. In a Hope for Women article by Kristen Hamilton, she points to research by the Search Institute that shows moms are the most influential person in their children's faith journey, followed by dads and grandparents. Parents need to know that what they do and say matters. Remind them that their kids look up to them in many ways, including as their spiritual guides. Help them find ways to nurture their children's faith at home. Kristen's article shares many different ways to help parents connect with their kids in this way.

2. Partner with parents.Connie Neal, author of "Walking Tall in Babylon: Raising Children to Be Godly and Wise in a Perilous World" (WaterBrook Press), quotes the Barna Research Group as saying 85 percent of parents who have kids under age 13 believe they have the primary responsibility for teaching their children about religious beliefs and spiritual matters. But the majority of parents"do not spend any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children." Connie surveyed many churches to find out what they do to collaborate with parents. Their answers may surprise you.

3. Host a parent meeting. Still don't know what to say to your parents? We've got you covered. Try this Parent Meeting Plan by Christine Yount Jones. This mini-message is interactive enough to hold parents' attention and short enough to keep it. Plan for child care, order some pizza, and invite parents over for some faith and fun.

4. Make it easy.Over at the Family Matters Blog, they offer 10 ways for parents to teach their children about faith. These simple ideas are great to share with parents, as they don't take much time or energy. It takes the huge task of growing their children's faith and breaks it down into simple, bite-sized steps they can take daily. I love the quote they share by Dr. Tim Kimmel: "A child will not accept a life plan to which his parents only give mental assent. If a child is going to accept your faith as his own, he must see it lived out. Alive and breathing and functioning. In YOU!"

5. Start a new deal.Only one out of five parents has ever been personally contacted or spoken to by a church leader to discuss the parent's involvement in the spiritual life and development of their children. Karl Bastian wrote in article called "The New Deal" in which he takes a look at negotiation with parents. It's an interesting article and worth a look.

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How do you partner with parents? Do your handouts make it home? What tips would you share with children's ministers who are looking to connect with parents? Share your thoughts using the comment section below.

Posted at 15:53

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