The following is the text from my bulletin insert. I am designing a series of weekly inserts to help me better explain the Wesleyan Way of Discipleship. You can download a pdf of this insert at the end of blog.
This week, you are encouraged to ask a church member the following:
Do you have any children in your sphere of influence? What do you do to share the message of Christ with them.
I continue with prayer and focus on teaching children to pray. This week I use the article: “How Adults Can Nurture Children in the Christian Faith” by Mary Alice Gran former Director of Children's Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville.
Adults can nurture children in the Christian faith. Below are listed some of the ways:
• Read Bible stories together.
• Talk about pieces of their faith journey and your own faith journey.
• Make a regular habit of doing good for others and talk about "why."
• Pray together.
• Read the Bible and pray at times when children can see you.
• Include God and the use of religious ritual at special family celebrations.
• Stop and pray together when having a family disagreement.
• Sing songs of faith.
• Practice spontaneous prayers together — when hearing a siren, seeing the first bird in the spring, after a joy-filled moment, or when feelings are hurt.
• Work at keeping religious holidays religious (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost).
Write letters to children who are away, telling them about God, your faith, your prayers for them, their importance to God. Include something of your faith in each letter (or e-mail). • Include age-appropriate Christian symbols, Bibles, Bible storybooks, or Christian music when giving gifts.
In the Church Family:
• Learn children's names and use their names when having conversations with them.
• Seek out children to include in conversations.
• Sit with families at church dinners. Visit with the children as well as the parents.
• Smile at children during worship. Encourage their attendance and inclusion in worship.
• Plan for the inclusion of children for every event.
• Offer to share your interests and talents with children and youth in the church. (Take a small group fishing, help them make wooden crosses, teach them needlework, share your backyard for a Sunday school class outing, tell Bible stories, and so on.)
• Become a mentor for a child or youth who is not related to you. Develop an ongoing, supportive relationship.
With Neighborhood Children:
• Be a loving, caring neighbor.
• Invite children (and their parents) to join you in attending a church event.
• Bring children with you to Sunday school and church every Sunday. (Make certain you have a parent's permission.)
• Share Bible stories with children, as appropriate.
• Share Christian gifts with children, as appropriate. Write prayers for children, and give the prayers to them (particularly important for a life event — birth, death, marriage, first day of school, getting driver's license, losing first tooth)
I am just a simple United Methodist pastor. I am an elder in the Holston Annual Conference. This blog is my attempt to share the insights that I have gathered from John Wesley's writings and from others more knowledgable than myself in regards to Wesley. I am not a scholar. Perhaps you could best think of me as a practical theologian.