Note: Many resources are available online for families. See list beneath this story for a few options.
By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
The Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s childhood specialists, Vicki Hulsey and Donna Blaydes, are encouraging parents to take advantage of the unique opportunities they have to invest in the spiritual health of their children.
“Many parents recognize their responsibility, but feel inadequate to teach their children about God. As a result, parents often send their children to Sunday School, a church day care, or a Christian school to ensure they receive quality biblical instruction,” observed Hulsey.
“While the church does share some responsibility for the spiritual growth of children, God is very specific about the responsibility of parents to teach biblical truths to their children,” she continued, citing a very clear mandate found in Deuteronomy 6:6-7: ““These commandments I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
During these days when churches are not meeting corporately, “some families are for the first time experiencing extended times of ‘sitting at home’ ” Hulsey said.
Blaydes also is a strong proponent of Deuteronomy 6 which “instructs the family to teach their kids to love God with all their heart, all their souls and all their strength.”
“This teaching is done as part of daily life as you sit at home, walk outside, lie down and get up,” she continued. “What a great opportunity we have to teach this next generation what worship truly is and that it is a priority to us. I think it is important for families to still gather for worship even during this pandemic.”
Though churches can’t meet in person, technology allows churches to stream events such as worship services, Blaydes said. “What an excellent opportunity for parents and kids to gather in their homes and worship together.”
Hulsey agreed. “Parents can use that opportunity to help their children find and follow the Scripture passage in their Bibles. They can also encourage children to sing hymns and worship songs.
“While the worship time is a very important time for families to continue during this time, kids also need time where they can dig into God’s Word and see it how it applies to their lives,” Hulsey said.
This is an area that parents may struggle with as to how to make that happen, but she noted that LifeWay Christian Resources has designed a free resource “for times like this when churches need to temporarily postpone their weekly times of worship and Bible study (see information on this page).
Hulsey said she saw Facebook posts from parents who used the resource on March 22 and posted pictures and videos of their family using the resource. “As I looked at those pictures, I saw families growing closer to God and closer to each other as they learned, played and even served together.” B&R
LifeWay Kids at Home
Equip your families to study the Bible at home with the free LifeWay Kids at Home Digital Pass experience. It includes a video session along with a downloadable activity page and conversation starters. To access LifeWay Kids at Home, parents can follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to digitalpass.lifeway.com.
Step 2: Log in or create an account. (This is completely free.)
Step 3: Click the LifeWay Kids or Preschool at Home icon on the main page of Digital Pass.
Step 4. Download your Activity Page and One Conversation Sheet (button at top right) to use as you watch the video session.
Content will be updated weekly as needed. Free to all churches and the families they minister to.
Gospel Project for Kids Users
Print and digital purchasers of The Gospel Project for Kids have new temporary permission to post non-music videos and Activity Pages for their church’s use only on a secure and/or closed site. We do ask that churches limit posting each session’s content to one week and remove the content prior to posting the next week’s content. This permission expires May 31, 2020, unless specified otherwise.