Promiseland, Faithweavers, and Circle Drive Students are ministries to the family. Sometimes they are perceived as a "glorified babysitting service," where it is a time to drop children off so that parents can have a break. Some may volunteer in these ministries with the same mindset.
That mindset is not what we desire out of our children's ministry, nor is it what God wants! We long to see our next Generation come to know Jesus as their Savior, to grow in their walk with God, and to see them become contagious in their faith!
We are here as a resource to share the Gospel and to provide God's Word into their lives during these programs. However, these ministries are in place to equip the parents in training their children to grow in their walk with God.
Parents I want to remind you of the big job that we have to raise our children so that they love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind, Matthew 22:37, and to encourage you to do this by spending time with your children and talking to them about God.
Here are some ideas to help you. In Promiseland we provide activity pages that show you what we have talked about, the key verses for the story, discussion questions, family activities, and a memory verse. Seek time each day with them to ask them the discussion questions, read the story to them again from the Bible, help them memorize the verses, and explain to them the meaning of it. Ask the teachers and leaders what your children have learned in Faithweavers. They would be happy to share that with you so that you can continue the conversation with your child. Seek engagement with your child, ask them genuine questions, have them paint, draw a picture, or act out the story, whatever makes them tick and helps them retain what they have learned.
For your teenagers, ask them questions based on what we talked about in youth group, if they had any small group questions, or how they plan to apply what we talked about to their life. Email, text, or Facebook message me if you would like to know what we talked about or a copy of the small group questions. Pray with them over meals and talk to them about God over the dinner table.
I want you to know that I write this to you as a parent and not perfect when it comes to this by any stretch of the imagination. I try but sometimes get "too busy," "tired," or "home too late" to do this with my children. Teaching them every day is something I fail at occasionally but will always continue striving to achieve because I know it is critical for me to take the time to engage my children and to raise them up for the Lord.
God has given us that job as parents! Let me encourage you not to give up if you miss a day, but instead seek the Lord for His help in this area and talk to your children about God the next day.