As parents, it’s important to pause and question why we do the things we do. One of the things i’ve been questioning some lately is the way I ask my children about their church experience. Like most families, somewhere between leaving church on Sunday and the afternoon nap, we ask our kids the question “So, what did you learn at church today?”
The question in itself isn’t bad, but I think there might be a better question…or maybe a series of better questions. I think we simply default to, “What did you learn?” Maybe because that’s a great question to ask 5 days a week after school. But church and school are different, right? I, for one, think church and school should be dramatically different for children. Honestly, I don’t want church and school to be in the same ball park!
The truth is, learning focuses on information. Which is great if our faith was solely about information. The reality is, all the information of Christianity and the Bible is directed toward action and transformation. I think we do our kids a disservice by allowing our only interest to be in what they learn at church. Our questions often communicate what we think is most important. Our kids pick up on that. The result (at least in my life growing up) is the ability to regurgitate the right answers without any of the corresponding life change.
So, I think it’s time for a different conversation. Here are 5 better questions to ask your kids after church. The truth is, these are 5 questions to ask yourself after church…but let’s just focus on our kids!
- What will you do differently because you went to church? Emphasis is on taking action. The only way to measure Christian maturity and responsiveness is through willing obedience. As you see your child attempt obedience to God’s word, encourage them regardless if they succeed or fail.
- What was the most fun part of church today? Emphasis is on experience. Often when kids are having fun, they are giving greater attention and engagement to the environment. Experiences that are fun, tend to be memorable. I strongly believe fun should be a built in part of every kid’s ministry out there. May we never be guilty (by commission or omission) of making God seem boring!
- What is the name of one person in your class/group? Emphasis is on friendship and community. Your kids will need good friends at church to feel like they belong and to encourage their growth in Christ over the years. As your child learns those names and develops those friendships, you can strike up friendships with those parents.
- What is one thing that made sense to you about God or the Bible? Emphasis is on God’s revelation of His truth. Look for evidence of unique insights that only the Holy Spirit would reveal and explain to your child’s heart. Help them make that connection and guide them to learn to listen to God’s still small voice everyday.
- What can Mom or Dad remind you about or talk more about at dinner time or bed time this week? Emphasis is on your leadership and their growth. You are making it clear that your are primary in their faith journey and eager to help them live out their faith. If you ask this question, you have to follow through or you forfeit your credibility. At Highpoint Church we send talking points home with kids to aid in this process. If your church provides these resources, use them. If not, ask the question and make some notes of your own.
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