Whose Job Is It?
“Take my children and you have them for the next two hours” says the hurrying parents to the bewilderment of the new Sunday school teacher. Then mom and dad literally run away into the ‘big’ church beaming at each other and heaving a sigh of relief that their 4 year old toddler is off for their hook for another hour or so.
A glance back at the Sunday school teacher is almost with a smirk on their faces saying “Deal with it! I have that little thug to deal with all week. THIS IS MY ME/ADULT time in God’s presence!”
Does this seem extreme to you? I have experienced different parents with their own thoughts about how church should be run through my years of working with children and those who volunteer to teach them. To be honest, I am also not innocent. I have been tempted to make posters reading “Rent my children for the weekend.
By the way, it’s free” (LOL).
I remember planning a family vacation back to my home country a couple of years ago and trying to formulate in my head how to convince my older siblings to rent out my children to them for two nights so I could sleep. I had two children under the age of four and I was tired! Bone–tired, period! I have seen parents running in and dropping off their children at church for ‘spiritual nourishment” while they quickly rush to the mall to do weekly grocery shopping.
“Drop–off kids” as they become labelled are meant to grow their faith somehow. After all, aren’t the Sunday school teachers there to make this happen? A new ‘drop-off’ child may be introduced to church and Christianity with such uncertainty and fear. The parents on the other hand may be thinking “At least, I have done my bit. Let the church now step up and do the rest? After all, what’s the Sunday School or children’s pastor doing anyway?”
RIGHT? Wrong? Who knows?
Church can be a faith-forming or frightening place for children. I have personally always wondered how awkward it must be for these young ones to be left in a world they are not sure how to navigate. Before you get smug on me and tell yourself you are the ideal, dad, mom, son and daughter family who have worshipped at the same church as three generations before you. Let’s check out your scenario. After church is over, so does God Talk! After all, you have handed them over to the dynamic children’s ministry of your church! Right? Wrong? Maybe?
Parenting is such a great, demanding job. This is so because there are innate things expected of us; some of which you have no natural inclination towards as a parent. Bear this in mind: A parent’s job never ends! Always remember that the church is there to support the ongoing ministry work in your home of raising Godly seeds. Sunday school teachers and parents work together with the Holy Spirit to make Christ-followers of our children.
The answer to our question: “Whose job is it anyway”? IT IS OUR JOB (Home and Church).
Watch out for more in these series.
Bolanle Enang | Managing Director, iVangeli Curriculum | Trainer for Children Workers
NOTE: The Bible uses many terms and images to express the concept of salvation. Children often do not understand or may develop misconceptions about these terms, especially daily terms that are highly symbolic. (Remember the trouble Nicodemus, a respected teacher had in trying to understand the meaning of being “born again”?) Many people talk with children about “asking Jesus into your heart.” The literal-minded child is likely to develop strange ideas from the imagery of those words. The idea of being a child of God is perhaps the simplest portrayal the New Testament provides.