In the follow-up session of parenting matters, Ministry Intern Alex Gore gave practical ways for parents to disciple their children. In this session, he encouraged parents to model the SHEMA, found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. He explained to parents that the most important thing for a person is to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, and might. As a byproduct of parents modeling their love for God, the hope is that children would see it and do exactly what they see. Living this out helps to disciple children the way God desires.
Practical Ways to Disciple Children
Alex also discussed some practical ways to disciple children. He gave many examples such as:
- praying at dinner
- family devotional
- listening to what their child has to say
- loving their children
- disciplining their children
- admitting when you (the parent) are wrong, and
- asking them what they are learning in Gospel Groups, either in the Student Ministry, or Children’s ministry.
As he discussed discipleship further, he stated that discipleship means doing “life” with your kid. This will involve having conversations with your child or student. Therefore, he encouraged parents to ask life questions like:
- what do you want to be whenever you grow up?
- what is your favorite social media app?
- how are your friends doing?
- how does social media make you feel?
- if they could change the world, what would it be and why?
- what is your favorite type of music?
After discussing how to disciple children and students, Alex gave some ways to hold children accountable on their devices. He also encouraged parents to communicate with their child why he or she needed to be held accountable. Accountability is very important in the parenting process.
One practical way he gave in accountability was setting and limiting screen time. This works well for those who have Apple devices. Setting screen time limits would allow apps to work for a specific amount of time and would allow parents to control the amount of time their kid spends on social media, games, or texting. The way you do this is to go to “settings” on your apple device then click “screen time.”(You must have the latest iOS update in order to use this feature)
Another accountability app is “Bark.” Bark is a system them monitors, alerts, and detects. You could get more information on this by visiting their website: bark.us.
To conclude this parenting session, Alex game some effects discipleship will have on a child. He stated they would grow from an infant to spiritual adult in Christ, make wiser decisions, develop a love for Christ and the church, and start sharing their faith.
Next Steps for the parent:
- Start praying before dinner.
- Start praying with them before bed.
- Start doing a family devotional as a family.
- Start asking life questions to figure out their child’s dream
- Start making the church a priority.
- Start going to gospel groups and getting involved as a family.
- Start admitting you are wrong whenever you are wrong.
- Start listening to your kid.
- Start asking your kid about their struggles.
What is your next step as a parent?