My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Monday, June 27, 2005

Teaching the children

I think we all agree that it is so important that children be raised in a godly way. That they learn about God and Jesus and what he did for us and how to live a godly life right from the start.

God instructs parents to teach their children his ways all the time. Through some blog friends I found out that some families even do not send their children to children's sunday school or children's church, because they consider it their prime and sole responsibility to teach their children concerning God and his ways.
This was new to me and I've been thinking a lot about it (maybe cause I'm a children's church teacher? :)). I'm more used to parents sending their children to children's church cause they think they will benefit from it more than from a grown-up service or because they don't want them to be a bother upstairs or because they have never thought about it if they really want somebody else to teach their children such important things.

I understand that it is primarily the parents' responsibility to train their children, also in matters of faith. And I totally agree. Children's church can never replace parental instruction. It can only reinforce and supplement it.
I can also understand concerns cause parents might not know the teacher of their children and especially not his/her maturity of faith and beliefs. If there is no careful screening of the teachers, somebody who holds a different belief on certain questions than the parents could be teaching their children. Which in turn could lead to doubts, conflicts, etc.

If that however is not the case, I think children's church can be a good place for the children to learn about God and his word. I think it is especially benefial for children who do not receive the training by their parents that God planned them to get. And there are more of those children than we might expect, I think. Coming to church on Sundays does not necessarily mean teaching your child in the Lord's ways at home.

Sometimes it's hard for the children's church teacher too, if the loving home teaching is missing or not very strong. If you cannot get children to hold hands for prayer cause the neighbor is of the opposite gender or if they currently giggle through prayer, the teacher is facing a whole new task. A basic one that should be taken care of at home.

But anyway, I love my little children's church class :)