Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
The Bible clearly defines the importance of passing on the legacy of faith down to our children, and in Deuteronomy we see that it is a task that we should endeavor to fulfill regularly – as God gives us plenty of time to spend with our young children while they are in our homes.
I think one of the most important days of the week for this is Sunday. Your family all treks off to church and perhaps goes to classes and a large-group gathering to be taught God’s Word. What next? It’s the what next that really matters in my book. I am new to this and still learning, but I envisage my teaching to grease the skids. Give kids things to think about and ponder over, for their parents to keep the conversation going at home. And so, how do you do that? Here are five questions you could ask, as appropriate by age, on the car journey home?
1. What did you learn about today?
This is more of an information recall question, but it is one that is more of use to yourself as the asker as you try and shape the subsequent conversations with your family. I send out a recap email weekly, and press send as soon as my Pastor says “You are sent.” to our congregation – I do this so that every family has questions in their inbox before they even start their journey home. Highlight things that perhaps your child didn’t know before, or had forgotten about – it provides a great opportunity to share the importance of belonging to a local body of Christ and studying God’s Word to know Him better.
2. What does that teach you about God/His plans for us?
We use the Gospel Project Curriculum and my weekly recap email details the “main points” of the lesson kids should have gotten, differentiated by age – use this question to drive those application points home.
3. What did you find interesting/what amazed you?
We should encourage our kids to wonder at who God is – because we should be doing the same too. Talk about those things and marvel at who God is together!
4. What confused you/what didn’t you understand?
This may seem scary, but look for misunderstandings and discuss them further – recruiting your church’s leaders if needed! There are things this side of eternity that even the most highly decorated scholar won’t understand, and so this also provides an opportunity to encourage your child that God has all the answers, not us!
5. Did you have fun?
It’s easy to catch ourselves fall into a pattern of asking this question first, because it matters, but we don’t want our kids to believe that having fun at church is the most important thing. Ask them about what they enjoyed, the friends they are making and how their teachers care for them – these are all good things to celebrate.
So, four questions to ask to get those crucial conversations started. Don’t let Sunday stop once the Pastor finishes preaching.
I’ve designed a sermon notes template that I also believe will facilitate further conversation if your child completes it and you later review it together. Check that out here.