The Gospels are filled with parents coming to Jesus with high expectations. If fact, parents wanting their children to receive spiritual blessings and benefits is natural. Parents love their kids and want the best for them. (Read 9 out of 10 Parents Prefer) Research shows that 96% of all parents believe it is their responsibility to instill character into their kids. Sunday School is still high on the list of place to accomplish these parental goals. Unfortunately, in many cases our programs, teachers and curricula fail to get the job done. Why is it that parents are often disappointed with Sunday Schools? Here are few things to think about in regards to this question.
- In Mark chapter 9 we find a hopeful dad bringing an unhealthy son to what he thought were experts. They turned out to be novices. Jesus goes on to explain why. Question: Are our teacher really good at what they do? In many cases, as I have traveled from church to church, I have found the teachers/workers were willing to help with the kids but not fully equipped to do the job. Lack of written expectations, lack of technical training and not knowing the overall goals are common. Are parents running into novices in my Sunday School department, if the answer is yes, what can I start doing to correct the problem?
- In the Matthew 17 version of the same story, we the father explaining to Jesus that the disciples “could not cure” the problem. Evidently they had tried and failed. While there is much good that can come from those who attempt great things for God, experimenting on a parent’s child is probably not something we ought to be doing. Sunday School teachers need to know the scope of their mission as well as what is over their heads. Disappointed parents can be avoided if our teacher know when and how to turn over “the case” to a higher and better trained authority. Here are a few areas where caution should be taken: Severe discipline issues, mentally handicapped, children coming to church heavily medicated, child abuse situations, legal and custody issues. Many of these are areas for administrative decisions and professional help. Our teachers need to be trained to know when they are over their heads.
Jesus raises the bar. After reading both of these accounts, it is easy to see that Jesus had to bring his communicators up a notch. Though well meaning and accessible to the parents, the disciples were missing something. Our teachers need to see its not about programs, classrooms and curriculum. It is about deep spiritual commitment to the advancement of the students. Here is a simple test for evaluation. What are the discussions centered on with your teaching staff? Classroom issues? curriculum questions? procedural questions about attendance and reporting? If so, it is time to raise the bar as Jesus proclaimed. For every church, this will be different, but as leaders we must make it so.
Parents are coming to church with high expectations. (Read Part One: Teachers Fail) We must not present them a mediocre effort. Block off some calendar time to dive into these critical issues. You will be glad you did.
NEXT IN SERIES:Questions or comments? Email- email@example.com Twitter- @reachkeep
Join the ReachKeep Resource Feed
I like what I see! Sign me up! Just enter your email address to receive regular bursts of innovative ideas and training solutions from ReachKeep. Plus you will receive a FREE copy of Facebook for Pastors (now over 5000 downloads).