Ellard, the Assemblies of God’s Sunday
School promotions coordinator, recently spoke with
Associate Editor Kirk Noonan about the spiritual education
every parent should provide his or her child.
What are some ways parents can reinforce their children’s
God wants children to know Him in a way that brings
change. Parents can help their children understand
by learning God’s Word themselves and then applying
it to their own lives. As parents live to please God,
they provide a “living education” for
their children. Parents can also watch for opportunities
to connect everyday choices with spiritual living.
After a child helped a friend learn to turn cartwheels,
for example, a parent might say, “I liked the
way you encouraged Jason today. Did you know that
the Bible tells us to encourage one another?”
Finish this sentence. Spiritual education, at home
and in Sunday School, is crucial because …
A spiritual education should change how children live
every day. Romans 12 calls this being “transformed.”
How can children be transformed if they don’t
learn how God wants them to live? The challenge is
to get information out of the child’s head and
into his or her life. Parents can ask Sunday School
teachers what their children are learning each quarter.
Then parents and children can connect the lessons
from church with the everyday life of the family.
How can parents teach their children to evangelize
their peers whether they homeschool or attend a private
or public school?
They might start by teaching their children what it
means to be a good friend. If a child learns to be
a good friend he or she will influence his or her
peers. Parents can also help children learn from Jesus.
When Jesus was talking with fishermen, He invited
them to become fishers of men. Parents can teach children
how to build conversational bridges from activities
children enjoy to talking about their friend Jesus.
Parents can also encourage children to invite friends
to Sunday School parties. If the Sunday School has
no parties, parents can throw a party for the Sunday
School class and encourage everyone to bring friends.
Many parents invest time and effort helping their
children learn at school and in sports. Parents can
also invest in helping children become confident and
excited about telling friends about Jesus.
If you had it your way, children would demonstrate
their faith in tangible ways outside the church —
tell me about that.
This generation of children is called millennials.
They see problems in the world and want to help solve
them. Since children understand they can’t do
much alone, they like to join others who are feeding
the hungry or even passing out cold water at a sporting
event. One of the best places to offer such opportunities
is in a Sunday School class that participates in community
So you’re saying kids would rather be helping
others than playing video games?
Many kids sit around playing video games because they
haven’t been given any other viable options.
There is extensive research that shows millennials
are compassionate. If given the opportunity and adult
support, millennials will work hard to help others.
Why is Sunday School as important today as it was
20 years ago?
In recent years, many diverse religions and beliefs
have come to America. Christian families need to learn
how to tell others why Jesus is important in their
lives. They need to be ready to explain why Jesus
is the one way to God. Some of the best ways to be
ready are through studying God’s Word, praying
and worshipping together, and making friends in the
small-group strategy called Sunday School.
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