Together, We Got This: Ways to Help Your Kids Seek God
According to a recent study, the average American watches about four hours of television a day. That’s 1,460 hours in a year. And this study only looked at live television viewing habits, so imagine if we added in the total Netflix, YouTube and Facebook videos that many of us feel powerless to pull our eyes away from!
Adding to the struggle, Netflix just recently shortened the length of time it takes for the next show in a series to begin automatically playing, sucking us right back in for another hour or so. You barely have time to scramble to find the remote before you realize you’re partway into another episode!
If you’re a parent out there, you’re not immune to the endless stream of new entertainment that’s constantly vying for our time. This really makes it hard to do as Paul recommended in Ephesians 5, to make “the best use of our time, because the days are evil.” God has given parents an incredibly important job—one with an impact that will last for eternity.
This reminds me of what Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
That’s right, we as PARENTS are to spend time teaching our children about ALL that God has commanded us. That’s a huge responsibility and your church wants to partner with you to give some support!
In children’s ministry, there is a principle called the 40/3000 Principle. It states that the average child attends a children’s ministry program for about 40 hours in a given year (when you subtract vacations, sickness, mom is out of town and dad doesn’t know how to fix the girls hair, etc.). The other half of the principle tells us that the average parent has around 3,000 hours a year to influence their child (after you remove school and sleep hours). The obvious takeaway is that parents shoulder the primary responsibility and ability to lead their children into an authentic relationship with Christ.
What does the 40/3000 Principle teach us practically speaking? If we want to see the future generation of the church full of strong, passionate and grace-filled followers of Jesus Christ, the church needs to partner with parents to give them tools and resources for shepherding their own families well. Borrowing from an old Home Depot slogan, the church’s message to parents should be, “You can do it. We can help.”
Here are just a few ideas to get you started on making wise use of your time with your kids:
- Sign up for RightNow Media. Did you know SBC offers a free membership for RightNow Media? It’s been called the Netflix of Christian content and includes more than 2,000 Bible-based videos for children. Sign up for a free account here and use some of that TV time with your kids to inspire great family discussions about what you learn!
- Read quality books to your kids at bedtime. Looking for a great, kid-friendly Bible? Check out the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
- Use your child’s Discovery Kids Handouts. Do you attend SBC or a church that uses The Gospel Project curriculum? Great! Don’t throw away the Activity Sheet your child brings home. You’ll find great family discussion starters and activities to reinforce the lesson they learned that day. Not only will you learn something new, but your kids will see how studying God’s Word is NOT just a Sunday extracurricular activity, but meant to weave into our lives the rest of the week as well! The LifeWay Kids App (available on the Apple App Store or Google Play) also has all of The Gospel Project curriculum for families to enjoy together.
- Use your commute. When you’re in the car with your kids, have them put the gadgets down, turn off the radio, and ask each other how you can be praying for one another. Then pray in the car!
Remember, it is never too late to start. Don’t beat yourself up with guilt over time that has already passed, but get started using your time wisely today!
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16