Why Kids in Church need Adult Faith Formation

Okay, so the kids don’t need to be in adult classes, but the key to any successful education program for children and youth is ADULT FORMATION.  A church program for children and youth where faith is real and authentic, where they can learn about the church, learn the bible, and be encouraged in lifelong faith practices begins with adults who care about passing on faith.

Make sure that adult teachers get some spiritual feeding themselves.  Often adults don't want to teach because it is at the same time as the service and they don't want to miss the sermon.  Perhaps they can attend another service.  If that isn't possible, then email or give them a copy of the sermon.  Have a sermon discussion at coffee hour so that they get the chance to discuss the scripture of the day.  Offer other events or small groups for teachers to discuss the Sunday school, discuss scripture, and experience some spiritual practices for themselves. Do everything possible to help your teachers get any training that is offered such as Equipping the Beloved Community, PNEUMA conference, Godly Play training, or the youth leader retreat. Make sure that the church pays for a membership in FORMA (the Episcopal faith formation organization) where they will get online resources and immediate access to Christian Education folks across the country. It is WELL worth it.

Lift up the ministry of teaching in your church.  Pray every week for those who are teaching and for the children and youth as they learn about the faith.  Add the teachers to the prayers of the people each week to raise awareness and undergird the ministry of teaching with prayer.  Add in prayers not just for children and youth but for all adults that they may seek out deepening their own faith.

In September have a commissioning service for those who teach. There is a short prayer in the Book of Occasional Services just for this purpose. Add in the Blessing of the Backpacks and it starts the program year off right.