Parents: we know they are the biggest influence in their children’s lives. They have the most time with their child. They are called to be the primary spiritual leader of their child. They have the strongest relationship with their child.
If you want to influence children for Christ, then you must start by influencing their parents. Your goal should be to influence the greatest influencers in a child’s life…their parents.
Let’s look at 10 key times when you can impact the lives of parents who will in return influence their children.
Key Time #1 – A Child Enters the World
In the race to a child’s heart, the first one there wins. (George Barna)
Be there for young couples during the nine months they are preparing to be parents. Get them connected to a small group for new parents. Encourage them. Pray for them. Offer preparation for parenting resources that will help equip them for this most important task.
Key #2 – Dedication of Parents and Children
Notice that it is called PARENT and child dedication. I would encourage you to include parents in the preparation for their child being dedicated. Parents should play a major role in this event.
Include a parent and child dedication class that couples must attend before they can dedicate their child. In this class, emphasize what the dedication means, why children should be dedicated and the crucial role that parents play in raising kids that follow Jesus for a lifetime. Here are a couple of resources you can use for this.
Give each parent a copy of the book “Fertile Soil…See Kids’ Faith Grow and Flourish for a Lifetime.”
Have each parent go through the Parent and Child Dedication Class. At this link, there are great resources for the class and dedication.
Key #3 – Bible Presentation
When a child is entering their kindergarten and lower elementary years, you can influence parents to make the Bible a key part of their life and their child’s life.
Host a class / workshop about the Bible. They will learn how we got the Bible and how to make it an important part of their life. They will also be able to see and understand God’s Big Story found in the Bible and how they are part of it.
This class / workshop will make a big impact in the lives of children and their parents. I have a curriculum for this class at this link. It can be a life-changing class. You can get the Bible presentation at this link.
Key #4 – Salvation Class
When their child begins to ask questions about following Jesus, parents will normally come looking for help. You can impact parents during this time as they prepare to lead their child to Jesus. If you really want to impact parents during this time, you will offer a salvation class. In this class, you can clearly share what it means to follow Jesus.
Often you will impact parents during this time and see them make a decision to follow Jesus as well. You can get more information about this class at this link. It is one of the most important times you can impact parents.
Key #5 – Baptism
Parents will also come to you when their child starts talking about being baptized. This is another time when you can impact their life and the life of their child. Once again, you can provide a class for parents and their children about what baptism means, who should be baptized, when you should be baptized, etc. The class is available at this link.
If you really want to impact parents during this time, offer parents the opportunity to help with their child’s baptism. When you do this, you will also have the opportunity to see parents come to Christ and get baptized with their child. I have seen this happen time and time again.