EQUIPPING PARENTS TO SHEPHERD THEIR CHILDREN
God has given parents the primary responsibility to raise their children in the Lord but He did not intend for parents to train and instruct their children in isolation. God has blessed families with a larger family, the church, the family of God to help support, encourage, and equip parents to raise and minister the gospel to their children. This page is dedicated to providing information and resources to help equip parents in their ministry to their children.
PARENTS AT KALEO
At Kaleo, we believe that God has given parents the authority and responsibility to train and instruct children up in the Lord. We believe that Christian dads are called to lead their families in partnership with their wives. In addition, we believe that God has ordained the church to have authority over the teaching and preaching of the word, administering of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fulfilling the great commission, and church discipline. God has given parents the authority and responsibility of teaching and guiding children in the way that they should go. God has called the church to equip and support parents in the raising of their children. We all need each other in the body of Christ, every parent in the church whether a single mom, a single dad, or a married couple needs the gifts of the whole body (including the gifts of those who don’t have children) to be equipped as faithful parents.
The objective of Kaleo’s Parent ministry consists of but is not limited to:
- Providing resources to increase knowledge and practices of biblical parenting.
- Providing weekly household worship guides to encourage daily worship within the home.
- Providing parents times to collaborate and share with one another about success and difficulties.
- Providing accountability to the call that God has given parents.
- Providing DNA groups for Junior High/High school age students following the English gathering. Learn more about DNA groups here.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING CHILDREN IN THE GATHERING?
Teach children how to worship – Worshiping God does not come naturally to us. We must be taught how to worship God. Children are very observant and learn much from watching and listening to things around them. As children listen and watch during the service they begin to develop an understanding on how to worship God through prayer, song, teaching, and the communion. Children first learn from observing. Having children worship with their parents builds the foundation that they can build upon as they cognitively develop. As the weeks, months, and years progress so does our children’s ability to comprehend and participate in the corporate worship of God.
Provides an opportunity for parents to assess the spiritual state of their child – worshiping with your child allows parents to observe how they respond to the various phases of a service – song, prayers, teaching of the Word, etc. These observations can provide great opportunities for parents to affirm what they have witnessed and inquire further to help foster spiritual growth.
WHAT METHODS CAN I USE TO TEACH MY CHILD TO BEHAVE APPROPRIATELY DURING THE WORSHIP GATHERING?
Strategic seating – Sitting in a section away from your child’s friends could help eliminate unnecessary distractions. Depending on the age, sitting near the front allows the child to see easier making them feel more involved in the service and puts fewer distractions in front of them.
Divide and Conquer – Separating children with an adult or older mature sibling in between can help manage and keep children engaged in the service.
Solicit Help from Others – While God has placed the responsibility of raising a child upon the parents, He has also given us the church to help and support one another. Soliciting the help of others in the church family to sit with you and your children can be of great help to those with many children or single parents.
Reduce/limit media exposure – No, we don’t think technology is evil and we definitely don’t take a dogmatic or legalistic stance on how much time parents should let their kids watch TV, play on their phones, etc. However, we do encourage parents to prayerfully consider how media might be affecting their children’s attention span and learning-capacity. There are numerous studies from Christians and non-Christians alike that demonstrate the damaging effects of our technology-saturated life-styles on learning and behavior. While we seek to make learning enjoyable and engaging we believe that our hunger for entertainment is unhealthy and often damaging. Our goal is not to entertain but to present everyone perfect in Christ, who is Himself the source of greatest joy.
HOW CAN PARENTS PREPARE THEIR CHILDREN FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP?
One of the greatest ways to prepare a child for Sunday worship is to have consistent family worship within the home throughout the week. Family worship consists of a combination of prayer, reading of God’s word, and song. This prepares children for Sunday worship in that is requires them to sit still, listen, and participate in the same type of things the church does corporately. You are likely to discover that children will display the same type of behaviors during family worship as they will during Sunday worship. It is within the home that parents can specifically address these behaviors, training and instructing the child how they shall behave and worship the Lord both within the home and corporately.
Each week, a household worship guide is provided. Within the guide, the upcoming sermon scriptural text and worship songs are provided. Reviewing the scriptural text with your child throughout the week can provide opportunities to become familiar with the text, specific vocabulary, and various queues keep them focused. Incorporating the upcoming worship songs into family worship throughout the week helps children memorize the songs and prepares them to participate in corporate worship on Sunday. This is especially beneficial for those younger children who cannot yet read.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP THEIR CHILDREN UNDERSTAND AND APPLY THE TEACHING OF GOD’S WORD?
One way to help your child understand and apply the teaching of God’s word is by reviewing the scriptural text throughout the week leading up to Sunday. For more see the question, “how can parents prepare their children for Sunday worship?”
HOW DOES THE BIBLE TEACHER AND ESTABLISHED ORDER OF SERVICE INTENTIONALLY ENGAGE CHILDREN?
Bible Story – Before each sermon, there is a story time in which the kids are encouraged to sit up front and hear a Bible narrative read specifically to them. This helps to incorporate children in the order of the corporate worship of God.
Addressing children specifically – When applicable, the preacher will seek to directly address the children in the church family providing teaching or application specifically for them. Refer to Ephesians chapter 5 and 6 for a scriptural example of this type of approach to teaching.
Worship through Song – The song set for each Sunday is typically posted each week in the Kaleo Worship Guide. This allows parents to help their children become familiar and/or memorize them throughout the week. As parents use these songs throughout the week it helps to equip and prepare their children to worship the Lord in song on Sundays. This also helps to connect the faith being taught within the home with the faith practiced publicly.
ARE MY CHILDREN EXPECTED TO BE SILENT?
The short answer is no. It is unrealistic to expect that our younger children will be silent throughout the whole service. Both the preacher and the Kaleo family expect that there will be some noise throughout the service and can stay focused during those times. The truth of the matter is that most parents feel like the noise from their child is a bigger distraction than it really is. With that being said, we do believe that parents need to be addressing the “noisiness” of their child and if it continues for a period of time they should remove them from the service, address the issue, and then return with them.
We are blessed to have children of all ages present during the gathering. However, during the sermon, there is a supervised toddler room available for ages 1 through 4.
- Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes by Voddie Baucham Jr.
- Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full By Gloria Furman