Your Church’s Most Important Family Ministry
My husband, Roger, picks up our grandsons, Jax and Jake, from their church's parent's day out program every Tuesday afternoon. Roger loves to see the boys running toward him yelling "Grandpa!" when the teacher brings them to him. They're always excited to show him their art projects or tell him about the Bible verses they've learned.
More than 100 of our Dallas Baptist Association churches have parent's day out programs, preschools, or child development centers. These ministries provide Christian education and quality care to not only the children of church families, but also the children of families in the community. Church weekday education programs are one of the most effective evangelism tools of the church. Yet quite often they are unrecognized or underappreciated by the congregation as a whole. Why? Unfortunately, we tend not to give attention to something we think doesn't directly concern us. So, the people in a congregation who don't have children, or whose children are older, tend not to think too much about the church's preschool programs.
But consider this: the teachers in your church's preschool ministries spend so many hours with the children in their care that they influence tremendously their spiritual, emotional, social and physical development. This is not babysitting. Weekday education programs help children learn how to communicate, share, establish friendships, learn healthy habits, regulate emotions, read, and, most importantly, form their initial concepts about God. What children experience in your church's weekday education program affects families for generations. What affects families influences neighborhoods, communities, and entire cities.
If you are a pastor or church staff member, consider what your church does to validate and support your church's parent's day out, childcare, or other preschool ministry. Do the teachers and directors of these programs know how valuable they are to the ministry of the church? Do you take the time to visit these programs during the week and meet the children and parents? Does the church allocate the resources necessary for a clean and spacious environment designed to help children learn? Does your church have a good child protection policy? Do the teachers attend training on a regular basis to keep their skills current?
DBA believes church weekday education ministries are a valuable component of a church's Kingdom work. We have a weekday education team that is available to assist churches with beginning new ministries or making existing ministries better. We provide training events that are enjoyable and packed with good information.
Jesus blessed the children. Will you?