Realigning the Children’s Ministry

What comes to your mind when you think about a children's ministry? Probably “Sunday School”. However, as a Sunday School teacher, I have at most 52 hours per year with a child. My influence is limited. Compare my 52 hours with the 2,496 hours of a working parent, and it is clear that the parent has a greater influence ... 48x more. The 2,496 hours a year is calculated based on 48 hours a week x 52 weeks (counting only Saturdays and Sundays and excluding weekdays).

Is there a need to realign our children's ministry to think beyond Sunday School to a parenting ministry?

The instruction given in Deut. 6: 4-9 speaks of spiritual formation in everyday life. The teaching of God's word to our children “when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” is best carried out by parents because they spend the most time with the children. They have many opportunities that they can seize upon to teach. We Sunday School teachers do not have that advantage.

Shouldn't we equip parents to carry out their responsibility of teaching their children?

We all know the story of baby Moses – how he was found and given back to his mother Jochebed to nurse. When Moses was older, he was brought back to Pharaoh’s daughter. We do not know how long Jochebed nursed Moses but she imparted to him a love for his people, so much so that when he saw an Egyptian beating one of his own people, he killed the Egyptian.

We know about Moses’ excuses, but do we know why he finally answered God's call? I believe it was Moses’ love for his people because God told Moses, “I have seen the misery of my people ... I have heard them crying ... and I am concerned about their suffering.”

Then there was the golden calf incident that angered God. He wanted to destroy the Israelites and start over again with Moses, but Moses interceded and appealed to God to forgive them. He was even willing to have his name blotted out of God’s book. What is my point? The wisdom of Egypt was no match for the teaching of Jochebed!

Parents are potentially the best teachers of their children! There is a need to realign a children’s ministry from Sunday School to a parenting ministry.

Sermon preached at Mt Carmel Bible-Presbyterian Church on 25 and 26 August 2012
Click to stream OR right-click to download: You Choose Your Impact (format mp3, size 16 MB)
Scripture text: Heb. 11:24-26; Exo. 32:30-32
Target audience: Parents, Sunday School teachers and teachers-to-be

Sermon preached at St Andrew's Cathedral on 17 August 2014
Let the Children Come (format mp3, size 9 MB)

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Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © June 2012 by Alan S.L. Wong