A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Necessary Change that sometimes needs to take place as a result of the evolving culture. One of the greatest shifts the church faces today is the transition from the “slow” pace of life of the “good old days” to the new fast pace life of the current generation. After leading several family ministries and talking to church leaders across the country, churches are having to compete with baseball, basketball, football practices, and growing mountains of homework. The culture has moved past going to the public library and finding a good book to sit down with on a Sunday afternoon. It has been replaced with the expedient Google, Amazon, or iTunes search for the hottest new best seller that can be downloaded to their mobile device and listened to on the go.
As a result of these changes, we have made considerable adjustments to the way we reach children and families. Using the traditional church model ( Sunday School, Children’s Church, Sunday Evening Worship, and Wednesday Night Activities), children were taught a different Bible story every time they came to church. That’s two-hundred and eight different lessons a year. Children were overloaded with information and parents were overwhelmed with what they were “supposed to be doing”. If we are going to continue the traditional model of church, we have to change our approach to better teach children and equip parents. So here’s what we did at FBC Millington:
- Picked a curriculum that is strong doctrinally.
- Found a curriculum that has an abundance of material from which to pull from. 252 Basics which was founded by Reggie Joiner (who also was one of the founding pastors of North Point Community Church).
- Cut the number of Bible lessons to 52, one lesson per week.
- Each month we emphasize a different virtue (patience, honor, determination, hope, responsibility, etc.)
- Sunday School focuses on instruction of the Bible for 70% of the time and application of the Bible for 30% of the time.
- Children’s Church focuses on application of the Bible for 70% of the time and Biblical instruction for 30% of the time.
- Sunday Night allows an opportunity for review and encouragement to engage in personal time with God through the week.
- Wednesday Nights is a review of what was learned the previous Sunday, an evaluation of their booklet of GodTime Cards, and an opportunity for the kids to recite from memory what they have learned from the previous weeks.
Through this method of teaching we have given parents an answer to the question, “What are we supposed to be teaching our kids through the course of the week?” As a pastor, it is my responsibility to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry and, for parents, their first ministry is the home. This is just one of several steps that were necessary to better teach children and equip parents. Next time, I will write how we transitioned the organization to embrace such a substantial change.