My phone vibrated, and I picked it up to find a text from my daughter. It was a simple question, one I did not need to think about before answering. But, wait – why is she texting me? She is sitting in the living room with me. I held my phone up facing it toward her chuckling and asked, “why?” Her reply made sense as she said, “well, we were all watching TV.” Glancing up, I noticed we all had our phones in our palms looking back and forth from one screen to another. I realized right then that we really are the most disconnected, connected generation ever and why aligned Sunday school curriculum fills such a crucial need.
With all the media distraction, how does a parent truly connect with the hearts of his or her kids, regardless of age? People once argued over a parent’s quantity versus quality of time spent with kids. That is a limiting set of options. Can there exist a deeper set of levels on both quality and quantity? Yes, sitting in one’s living room watching TV can be classified as quantity and some quality. A conversation, reminiscing over shared memories, or swapping ideas can be a deeper level of quality.
Defaulting to entertainment over engagement is simply easier.
If a child can be taught by others or occupied by a screen, a parent’s chance of being put on the spot is greatly reduced. Parents choose options that provide the least path of resistance by allowing other adults to handle the teaching and training. For example, dropping kids off for practice, but never practicing with them on other days. Taking kids to school but rarely sitting down to help with homework. Mostly because the negative electrons, dangling participles, and the elusive date of the French and Indian War leaves us feeling just a bit… well, stupid. Avoidance is better than the appearance of ineptness, right?
How ministry leaders can help parents connect
As ministry leaders, we should help parents connect with their kids rather than remain in isolation or default to delegation. Conversations around Scripture for our church parents are no different. Ministry leaders forget how it feels to not know Bible content like many newer, and even older, Christians. Without an aligned Sunday school curriculum, when parents study I Corinthians 5, their teens may be studying the Beatitudes, which makes having conversations around the details of these Bible passages sound like algebra.
Often the conversations go like this, “Hey Dad, we studied Abraham and Isaac in class today. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar, and at the last minute, God spared Isaac’s life. Then God provided an animal stuck in the bushes for the sacrifice. Hey, Dad, I can’t remember what the animal was, it was an uh, uh, Dad do you know?” At that point, Dad may take the path of least resistance – “Hey let’s watch some TV, or I think I hear your mom calling.” That son will pick up on the fact that dad does not know and will assume that knowing such items are not so important. Dad may have felt it was important but did not handle it well in the moment.
Parents, especially dads, do not want to look stupid or weak in front of their kids. As ministry leaders, set parents up for real wins by providing a generationally aligned Sunday school curriculum. Then next Sunday when Ethan asks dad about the piece of armor that fits around your waist from Ephesians 6, dad will have studied that same passage in his own class. The answer will change this young child’s perspective as Dad sits down beside him and explains, “that around our waists God wants truth kind of like when you wear your belt to hold your pants up and how it keeps everything together. Without truth, then we gave lies, distrust, and unbelief and God wants the opposite from us.” The little boy walks away from that simple exchange with reinforcement from dad regarding what his teacher taught in LifeGroup knowing his dad holds Scripture in high regard.
Such exchanges among family members do not require deep theological answers; simply engaging the conversation is enough. The drive home from church is much more enjoyable when parents ask, “What did you learn in class today?” The subsequent answers and conversation ensure training continues at home. After all, is that not what discipleship is all about – a way of life rather than an event at church? Discipleship connects with others about the gospel. The very word discipleship comes from the root word – discipline (not the punishment kind of discipline) and suggests that we study. Isn’t it better to study together so everyday life can be filled with conversations that connect at a deeper level? Aligned Sunday school curriculum can help these conversations happen.
What does aligned Sunday school curriculum do?
Since 2004, the D6 Curriculum has been connecting families through natural conversations centered on life and Scripture. D6 refers to Deuteronomy 6 where God instructed Moses to tell the parents and grandparents that their love for God and His Word would be proportionate to how their kids love God and His Word. Re-read this beautiful passage that encourages parent and grandparent interaction from waking moments until bedtime. Just as we have become disconnected in deeper emotional ways through our digital devices, our isolationist ideas of discipleship occurring only at church is unbiblical. Discipleship is not an event; it is a way of life.
D6 Curriculum provides tools to help parents not only begin but sustain this connectedness. In the D6 Model, everyone attends age-segregated classes at church to learn from Scripture at an appropriate level. Each teacher’s book covers 13 weeks and includes one study from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and one special topic. Download a poster of this year’s scope and sequence for a visual.
D6 Curriculum doesn’t stop at church. Each member of the family has their own printed devotional study guide that looks and reads like a magazine or activity book (for the younger ones). Each day, these devotional study guides reinforce what the teacher taught in class plus offer interactive questions to parents. Parents love tossing the questions out at the dinner table, in the car, or while getting ready. With an aligned Sunday school curriculum, every family member is studying the same lesson, so it’s easy for mom or dad to weigh in (from a biblical perspective) and provide healthy guidance on a problem the child is having at school. Check out the D6 Podcast for more ideas and resources to help families connect.
Most parents want to connect on this level, they just do not know how. D6 Curriculum allows the natural flow of life to keep our families connected with tools that make it easy.
D6 Curriculum is available as part of a Disciplr subscription. Learn more now.