by Josh Dryer/ January 27, 2017
As a kids’ pastor, I felt we [our local church ministry] were missing the mark in partnering with and empowering parents to disciple kids. Parents as the main spiritual leader in the kids’ lives is certainly not a new concept in Kidmin. However, I realized the only thing we were doing to resource parents was sending a take-home sheet with their kids. I felt in my spirit that we needed to do much more than this.
Launching Tru Fire curriculum has allowed our church to go beyond—to unite with parents in the same philosophy of spiritually nurturing kids. Together the mission is to put children in environments to hear God’s voice and want to obey Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We guide and direct and create opportunities for the Holy Spirit to teach them. As the kids’ pastor, I am no longer the main speaker into the lives of kids, and neither are the parents.
On Sunday mornings, we show kids that they are a part of the Big God Story, which began at creation and continues today. We are also showing the kids that God wants them to be a part of it. We get to show the kids who God is by teaching them the narrative of the entire Bible beginning with Genesis and ending at Revelation. Kids are spiritually formed and transformed through a greater understanding of who God is.
Tru Fire has a wonderful parent resource called Homefront Weekly to send home for the parents each week. This is not the typical review take-home sheet; this sheet is to facilitate families’ time in God’s Word before they attend church. With the Homefront Weekly resource, parents will introduce the coming week’s Kidmin lesson as opposed to reviewing the lesson after the kids have learned it at church.
I knew that simply sending the Homefront Weekly home with the parents every week wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted to go beyond that. We strategically decided that as a church, our goal would be to encourage the parents in our church to go through the 6-week Spiritual Parenting class by Michelle Anthony. In this class, parents are taught 10 environments to create in their homes that allow God to work in their children’s lives.
The spiritual parenting class will (1) result in parents understanding their critical role in the home; (2) emphasize how the church is a partner with parents; and (3) provide practical application steps for parents to lead spiritual development in the home.
From the first set of parents that complete the spiritual parenting class, four to five life groups will launch that is available to the larger church body at the end of January. We have also identified seasoned couples in our church that can be parent mentors. These mentors will be available to meet with, come alongside, and encourage parents in our church who would like extra help.
We firmly believe that as we equip the parents of our church through spiritual parenting, parent mentors, and other endeavors, we will see generational spiritual formation.