Partnering with Parents
Partnering with Parents
We believe that God has called both the church and home to raise up the next generations to know, honor, and treasure God through Jesus Christ. We believe this is best accomplished through a strategic, loving partnership between the church and home. This partnership affirms the role and responsibility of church leadership to provide encouragement and training for parents, and also to provide formal instruction for children and youth. This partnership affirms that parents by proximity, opportunity, and God’s design, bear a unique responsibility for nurturing their children’s faith. Our resources and ministry philosophy are designed to foster this partnership.
Five Ways Your Church can Foster a Partnership with Parents
1. Clarify Roles and Expectations
It is helpful if there are clear, distinct roles for both church and home, and that both work together to pursue one main goal for our children. However, for that partnership to happen, these roles need to be clarified and expectations need to be articulated. For example, a few basic things that the church could tell parents to expect:
The church will…
- provide a safe, welcoming, structured, age-appropriate environment for the students.
- instruct children with well-prepared, theologically sound, faith-nurturing Bible lessons that are presented in an age-appropriate, interesting, and God-honoring manner.
- design a class structure that is attentive to the needs of the children, while emphasizing and maximizing spiritual instruction.
- provide parents with written communication outlining class procedures and expectations, behavioral guidelines, contact information, curriculum notes, and other relevant information.
- extend to parents an open invitation to sit in and observe the classroom when so desired.
- recognize and affirm that parents bear the primary responsibility for nurturing their child’s faith. Teachers and other leaders will not seek to usurp that role.
- speak directly to the parents when an issue arises with their child and seek solutions that properly weigh the needs of the larger class and the specific child.
2. Provide Parents with Truth78 Curricula GIFT Pages
One very strategic way our resources foster a partnership between church and home is through the inclusion of Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource Pages (GIFT pages) for every lesson in our curricula. After children have received formal weekly instruction in the classroom, GIFT pages provide parents with a tool that will assist them in taking the biblical truths learned and guiding their children to personal application. Parents have the greatest opportunity for “teachable moments,” situations that arise in everyday life that can be opportunities to apply the truth of God. Real heart application of biblical truth, which changes lives, usually takes place in the context of relationship and everyday life.
GIFT pages provide parents with the following:
- Lesson title, main ideas, selected memory verse, and a list of Scripture presented in the lesson.
- A brief summary of the lesson.
- As You Walk By the Way: questions to further spiritual discussion and heart application.
- Action Step: suggestions for acting on biblical truth.
Download GIFT Pages Sample (PDF)
We strongly encourage children’s ministry leaders and Sunday school volunteers to make these pages easily available to parents. Furthermore, it is important to educate parents regarding the importance of these pages and seek ways to motivate and assist them if necessary.
3. Connect Parents to the Classroom Experience
A very tangible and practical way for the church to partner with parents is to encourage parents to become more acquainted and involved in their child’s classroom experience. Here are a few ideas for doing this:
- Encourage parents to volunteer with the children’s ministry team.
- Host a Parent Orientation and Open House at the beginning of each Sunday school year where students and their parents hear an overview of the curriculum and class structure, as well as meet the teachers and volunteers.
- Send out a monthly class newsletter to every home that highlights what the students have been learning, special announcements, prayer requests, and one or more memorable moments from the class.
- Encourage parents to sign up to bring and help serve a treat.
- Host a Sunday lunch for the families of your class.
- Give a personal invitation for parents to visit the classroom.
- Invite parents to pray together before the class begins.
4. Introduce Parents to Vision Casting Resources
Another important way for the church to partner with parents is to share with them the church’s vision for family, youth, and children’s discipleship. Too often—albeit unintentionally—parents are not informed of the bigger picture regarding children’s and youth ministry. Truth78 has a variety of video and print resources that communicate the vision, mission, and values that undergird our ministry, curricula, and other resources. Here are some suggestions to share with parents:
5. Recommended Discipleship Resources for the Home
The church can serve parents by recommending and making available excellent resources to help parents disciple their children.
Truth78 Parenting Resources
- Glorious God, Glorious Gospel: An Interactive Family Devotional
- Making HIM Known Series
- More Than a Story
- Learning Christ Counseling/Teaching Series
- Parenting Booklets
- Growing in the Word Series
Truth78 Recommended Parenting Books
- The Disciple-Making Parent: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ by Chap Bettis
- Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William P. Farley
- Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training by Louis Paul Priolo
- The Faith of a Child: A Step-by-Step Guide to Salvation for Your Child by Art Murphy
- Your Child’s Profession of Faith by Dennis Gundersen
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp
- Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp
- Future Men by Douglas Wilson