Our Evangelism and discipleship of children Happens without parents
“How do we create a process that invites the parents to participate in their child’s decision, and discipleship?”
Some parents may want the CM to “fix” their children, but they don’t care to be involved. Some parents want the CM to support them as they lead their own children to the Lord. We must create a process that has “open doors” for parents to become involved at whatever level they desire. We cannot appear to prevent parent involvement in any way.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
You will encounter parents whose perspectives on evangelizing their own children span a wide range. Some parents may want the CM to “fix” their children, but they don’t care to be involved. Some parents want the CM to support them as they lead their own children to the Lord. Some parents want to be in full control of leading their children to the Lord, and they don’t want the CM to “meddle” in their children’s lives. The challenge is to create a plan or process that has “open doors” for the parents along the way.
In designing the CM plan for evangelizing and discipling children, you need to realize that it is not scriptural to keep the parents out of the process. Nor is it scriptural to never inspire children to follow the Lord while they are with us during a service. A great way to add parental “doorways” to the evangelizing and discipling process is to slow the process down a bit. Instead of praying with a child to receive Jesus during the service, affirm the child’s interest and tell him/her that you will let the parents know of his/her desire at check-out. Then, make sure you are able to step aside with the parents and the child to talk about the child’s desire and to let the parents pray with the child right then and there. (If you need to ask a CM team member to come to your room to free you up to do so, do it.)
This same approach can be used when a child asks a question about a lifestyle choice or challenge (discipleship) during the service. Give the child an answer but let him/her know that you will help his/her parents respond to the question as well. Then, let the parents know about the child’s comment or question at check-out and step aside with them as they talk with the child right then and there. (If you need to ask a CM team member to come to your room to free you up to do so, do it.)
This “respond / engage” process is something that is a healthy process to install for other areas in the CM as well. The CM team should be trained and ready to “respond” to a child’s interest, and yet be strongly encouraged to “engage” the parents with the child at check-out. This “respond / engage” process can be incorporated when you offer communion for the children, or when you discuss baptism with the children. For more help with this, click on the APPENDIX link below.