At the turn of Labor Day weekend we will launch the Fall semester of our student ministry here at Rock Point. Bible lessons, crazy games, weekend retreats, and laughter will soon fill our church on Sunday afternoons at 2:30pm.
Whether in elementary, middle, or high school, I want to encourage you to take steps now to prepare your kids for youth group. From my experience as a student, and now in my time serving in youth ministry, I have found that the transition from children’s Sunday school to middle and high school youth group can be a hard one. One of the biggest difficulties I have noticed our middle schoolers facing is that they often have a hard time paying attention to the weekly Bible teacher. Lessons are longer in middle and high school than they were in Kids Rock, which can cause some of our younger students to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of sitting through a lesson for an extra ten or fifteen minutes.
As a parent, you have an incredible capacity to prepare your student(s) for this transition. From my experience, there is one tactic which I believe helps students as they prepare for this change:
Parents reading the Bible with their kids.
This is not a breakthrough strategy, but I want to reiterate this timeless truth.
The reason this is effective in preparing your children for youth group is that you actively strengthen their focus on the Bible when you read it with them. This is something my dad did for me growing up. All throughout elementary school my dad would read a portion of Scripture aloud as my sister and I listened, and when he would finish he would ask us a simple question or two such as, “What do you remember from the story?” Or, “what was the main point of that passage?”
You don’t have to be a scholar to read the Bible with your kids. My dad had only recently come to faith in Jesus before he began reading the Bible with me and my sister. But because of this practice, I became more comfortable listening to the Bible. I learned to remain engaged with the Word for longer spans of time as he lengthened the size of the passages he read. The longer he read, the longer my sister and I had to focus on the reading.
As you continue to train your kids to love God and His Word, consider reading the Bible with them. This is a great way to prepare them for a lifetime of listening to God’s Word, whether in youth group or in the years ahead!
Danny Kolota, Pastoral Intern