In our culture we're used to outsourcing much of our children's education (schooling, tutoring, clubs, music lessons etc.) to other people. It's really easy to slip into the trap of treating our children's Christian discipleship in the same way - outsourcing it to Sunday school leaders and church youth clubs - particularly when life is busy or we feel we're not sure how to teach them.
But the Bible is really clear that the primary place for the discipleship of children is the home. That's something we find is stressed again and again in the book of Deuteronomy. Check out this passage, for example:
‘These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ (Deuteronomy 6 v 6-7)
To help sort through the different options, we've surveyed a number of parents and church children's workers and asked them which resources they've found most helpful. As a result, we've put together this little booklet of our top recommendations:
Within the booklet you'll find a variety of resources (Bible reading notes, books, CDs & DVDs) for a wide variety of ages (0-18) - and information on where you can get hold of them cheapest! Why not check it out and share it with friends from other churches?
Some helpful practical advice
Here are some super-helpful tips from Alison Mitchell, Children’s Editor at The Good Book Company:
Have a go at reading the Bible together, maybe at breakfast or after an evening meal. This needn’t be long or difficult. Read a few verses, ask two or three simple questions, then pray together about what you’ve learnt.
Do you walk to school, or the shops? Try to talk about Christian things—not in a forced way, but as a natural part of helping your child see the world through Biblical eyes.
Use car journeys to play a tape of Christian songs or Bible stories, and then chat about what you’ve heard.
Bed time is a natural chance to look back. What a great opportunity to pray with your child about their day and the fact that God has been with them.
If God has given you the gift of children, He has also given you the responsibility to teach them about Him. So make a start—and ask God to help you. He will!