Every Monday I send two emails (let’s be real, I send many, many emails on Mondays, but these two are the first ones I send when I get into the office). I email all of the toddler and preschool parents, and I email all of the elementary school parents. If you have two children and one is two and the other is five, you get the joy of two emails from me. I keep the emails short - just a brief recap of the story or the craft we did on Sunday. I attach a longer review sheet, which includes suggestions for parents to engage with their kids about what we learned on Sunday.
For the preschoolers, I provide suggestions for activities and words to say at meal time, drive (commute) time, bed time, and play time. Why these times? Because despite the fact that every family’s life and rhythms are different, these times are consistent. Moses instructed the Israelites to teach their children at these times, because these rhythms existed even then.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)
Moses, and later Jesus, said the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind - this is what parents were to integrate into the daily rhythms of their lives and teach to their children.
I did not come up with this. The curriculum we use when teaching the children and when giving the parents resources to talk to their children is called Orange. In Reggie Joiner’s book Think Orange, he describes these common rhythms of family life. In reading this, a lightbulb went on for me. I am not a parent, but part of my job is to equip parents. I had been emailing out these review sheets with suggestions for words to say to kids at “meal time” and not having any idea why other than the curriculum told me to. There is a purpose. We do what we do - send the emails, direct the programming - based on communicating to kids that the greatest commandment is participating in this love relationship with Jesus Christ.
I want to open as many avenues of communication with parents and to provide them with the resources they need, so in addition to weekly emails, the review sheets will also be posted on the Family Ministry page on the Forefront website, the Kidstuf Facebook and Twitter are updated daily, and they are available in hard copy on Sundays.