This post was written by Leann Woelk, a member of the INCM Blog team.
As a mom and Children’s Ministry Leader, I would often practice what I would preach with my own sons.
I desired to teach my boys biblical truths and foundations of the faith in practical ways that they could apply the Word of God and its principles to their lives even in their elementary years.
I realized that I could teach the kids on Sunday mornings if good fruit was growing in my kids from what I was applying in my home. But I also knew I could partner with parents in helping them disciple their kids at home, which would be more impactful in the long run.
Speaking declarations and using several scriptures, became an effective way to teach my kids about God’s living Word.
Every day when I would drop my two sons off at school, we would pause to take time to declare these themes from God’s Word over them.
The greater one is in me.
The Lord goes before me.
The blood of Jesus is over me.
The everlasting arms of God are under me.
The angel of the Lord is around me.
Goodness and mercy are behind me.
Following me all the days of my life.
God’s Word came alive in our hearts for whatever the day would hold for each of us. Depending on what circumstances in life we were facing at the time, sometimes we would speak it with boldness and confidence in a loud voice, and other days we would gently whisper these words of life.
It has been over 15 years since I began to speak declarations over my kids, and now as adults, they can still recite it, not only because they have memorized the words but because God’s Word is hidden in their hearts. (Psalm 119:11)
Since my kids were young, I have shared this idea of using declarations with the parents I have led.
As the primary influencers in the lives of their children, it is vital that we teach parents how they can engage their kids in following God’s Word throughout the week.
We can teach parents to help their kids do what Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It just takes some time and encouragement.
Here are 3 easy ways to teach parents how to disciple their kids at home.
1. Declaring God’s Word
Use many forms of communication to help parents declare scriptures over their kids.
- Email a copy of the declaration with scripture references and actions.
- Post a colorful GIF on your church’s website.
- Record yourself leading the declaration and post it in your kids’ ministry group online.
- Invite families to record themselves saying the declaration and have them post it in the group!
Use the same declaration often, possibly making it something you use every week in your ministry.
(You can download a free copy of the declarations from above, in English and in Spanish, to use with your kids in the Handle with Care Community.)
2. Teachable Moments
Deuteronomy 6:7 reminds us to talk about God when we are relaxing or out for a walk; when we are going to sleep and when we get up.
To me, this reinforces our need to be listening to the Holy Spirit for any moment where we can teach a child a spiritual principle.
We can teach this to parents in our ministries. Remind them that teachable moments are found in the space between a structured time together such as a morning blessing during breakfast and an evening family devotional.
For example, encourage them to try making a glass of warm milk for their child and stir in some honey (Deuteronomy 31:20) or ask their child to help cut up fruit for a snack and use 9 pieces to remind them of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
When you share these opportunities, give clear tips on what they could say when they’re teaching the principle.
3. Everyday Items
Jesus used everyday items to teach his disciples. He used bread (John 6), seeds (Matthew 13), and even a piece of wood (Matthew 7:3) to apply the truth to things that they would use or see every day.
Parents can do the same. Encourage them to use everyday items in their lives to share biblical principles with their kids on a day-to-day basis.
One idea that has worked well for me with families is doing a scavenger hunt for everyday items in their home that could represent the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18).
Once they’ve had fun using items, they will get used often in everyday life and parents can remind their kids what piece of armor they are putting on and how they can apply it to their lives today!
(You can download the scavenger hunt for my Kids Encounter called Armored Car and Racing Gear.)
When we partner with parents by providing these easy ways of discipleship everyone benefits. Parents feel empowered, and kids learn the truth of the Bible daily.
With some encouragement, you will see kids and parents growing in their faith as they try new strategies to disciple their kids at home.
As a wife, mother, and leader in the ministry of children, Leann has been serving churches, camps, and conferences with enthusiasm for over 30 years with whimsical creativity and thrifty practicality. Her desire is to care for the hearts of those who are on the front lines of ministry. She partners with Children’s Ministry Specialists and their churches to provide training, support, and care for them and their ministry.