On Sunday mornings, I come to church wearing two hats: parent and Sunday school teacher. Drawing on my experiences from both roles, I thought I’d put together a few thoughts about how parents can encourage our children’s secondary ‘disciplers’ (in this case, their Sunday school teachers) to keep doing the job with perseverance, diligence and joy. It’s a somewhat random list based mainly on my own frustrations and joys over the years. I’d love to hear your additions to the list.
- Turn up. Turn up each week. Resist the temptation to think about Sunday school as a child-minding service that someone provides for the weeks when we happen to find it convenient to drop into church. Think of it instead as a regular weekly commitment for the teaching and discipling of our kids. If we Christian parents were as committed to church and Sunday school as we are to swimming lessons, sporting teams and so on, I suspect there would be a fair bit less fluctuation in the numbers at Sunday school week by week!
- Reinforce the lessons at home. Ask your children what they’ve learned, help them learn the memory verse, sing the songs, display the craft, etc.
- Teach your kids the Bible yourself, and teach them how to make connections between the message of the Bible and their daily lives as kids. The tiny opportunities that their Sunday school teacher has to teach the application of God’s word week by week are greatly amplified if the kids come along already knowing that the Bible is a book to be learned and believed, remembered and lived out.
- Get to know the Sunday school teachers and treat them as an important part of your kids’ lives. Give them opportunities to meet your kids’ non-Christian friends and their families too, so that they can experience a sense of partnership in mission with your family, and so that your kids’ friends and their families will have one more familiar face when you invite them along to church and Sunday school.
- Pick up your kids on time at the end of the lesson.
- Get your kids to bed on time on Saturday nights.
- Take your kids to the toilet before you drop them off.
What would you add?