A few weeks ago I wrote about “The Essence of Orange” DVD from the reThink group. In this DVD, Reggie Joiner mentioned this very things I’ve been writing about. Since it was Orange, it was in the family ministry context. However, it made more sense to me than anything else I have ever done or heard.
*** Preface **** Now I could have heard this wrong or I could be off, but I think this is the gist of what he was saying.
All of us agree that we want parents to be more involved in the spiritual development of our kids. If asked though, most of us would probably admit that we were doing little to equip parents to spiritually lead their kids. There are many, many good reasons to invite kids to Christ in a kids church or event. However, why can’t we create more opportunities for parents to be involved in actually leading their child to Christ?
Reggie explained that in many of their services they wouldn’t necessarily call kids to make decisions but more call kids toward wanting to make a decision. Once they got to that point, the invited kids and their parents to a class. In this class, both the parents and the kids learned what it meant to make this decision and were giving the tools to do it. Then, the class dismissed and sent everyone home. Parents could then use the resources, materials and training to actually lead their kids to Christ (possibly even themselves in the process). Sure, it’s probably a little messier and perhaps you have fewer kids go though this process than letting them make decisions without their parents, but it does show a commitment toward equipping the parents. If a mom or dad can do what it takes to lead their child to Christ, perhaps with the right materials they can begin leading their family in Bible study?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what this might look like in my ministry. Still processing it, but I like the way it looks.
Sorry, I lied. I have one more thing to say on this matter.
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Kenny, I experimented with this concept in my ministry as it related to helping Dads be the spiritual leaders of their boys. We conducted a weekend Father/Son camp setting where we had some times with the Dads alone (while the boys were busy) to prep them on how to minister to their sons. Then when we ministered to them together, the father handled the response with their sons…like discussion, Bible study, devotion and prayer times. It was a wonderful experience and many sons were lead to the Lord by their fathers. It was the beginning of something new in our church. It proved that we could do it. And the Fathers felt so empowered by the experience. Resources have to be rewritten for this purpose, or maybe adapted, but it could be done. Maybe you could work on this more.