Fortify Families; Help all Ages Serve Together
Yes, family head, you may begin at once to shepherd your spouse and children. We will give you tools to make it easy and edifying.
Yes, Lord, as you require, we will equip parents to train their children to follow Jesus. We do not shirk this responsibility by leaving it entirely to classroom teachers [or church leaders].
Let children do things together with adults at least once a week, even though briefly. Movements for Christ require strong family involvement.
No one should take the place of a parent in building sound foundations of a child’s faith. An easy way to start is to have fathers read Bible stories or recount them by memory. Let older children tell Bible stories and make disciples of younger siblings and of friends.
Start small; add responsibility as folk become able and willing to take on more.
Assign simple things to do, to as many folk as possible, before worship starts.
Program-oriented churches segregate by age too often, especially in Sunday Schools. They should rather build edifying relationships between children, youth and adults. Small children yearn to be befriended by Junior High age children, who crave the attention of older teenagers, who respond readily to the companionship of young adults, who in turn desire approval of mature adults.
Wise leaders tap into this dynamic by letting each age group makes disciples of younger believers. Segregating too much by age causes youth to become suspicious of parents, and it engenders an individualistic faith that weakens families.
Let a narrator tell a story, pausing now and then to ask both adults and children to do an action that illustrate the narrative. For example, when relating how Adam named the animals, let children act like animals, and have adults give them a new name. Try to let everyone take part; you do not need an audience, as you are not performing or entertaining, but simply reliving God’s Word.
Let musicians occasionally set children’s poems to music.
Let them show their pictures during worship, telling how the pictures illustrate a truth.
Resources For While You …
Reconcile feuding families:
Bless the tie that binds. Strengthen marriages. A skit:
Fortify families. A skit:
Mend miserable marriages:
Let children out of restrictive cages:
Learn how the nation of Israel arose. Relive a beautiful story of family love, showing how God saved a clan from evil, disaster and disgrace, preserving the nation of Israel in embryo. Scripted to reenact:
Select relevant Bible readings. Study timely passages and crucial Christian duties regularly as family or cell group:
Common Traps To Avoid
Fail to prepare meaningful activities for children during corporate worship.
Neglect little ones while doing serious Bible teaching.
Joshua took time to read God’s commands to the people, including little ones, during the rush of his military campaign to occupy the Promised Land (Joshua 8:35). Even on our busiest days, let us read the God’s Word to our children and discuss it. Christian leaders are often lured to neglect children and wives; families suffer serious misery as a result.
Believers marry unbelievers — a sure road to marital calamity.
Grade Christian education too closely be age.
Let children disciple younger children and develop relationships with adults and children of all ages.
Leaders fearing loss of control fail to delegate responsibilities to laymen [can we find a better word?] and to young people.
Stress individual, private faith.
Westerners often embrace individualism to the detriment of family, by glorifying a private relationship with God; this “personal” emphasis is absent in Scripture.