PUTTING PARENTS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF DISCIPLING KIDS

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Beth Green, who serves as children’s pastor at The Church of Living Water (Olympia Foursquare Church) in Olympia, Wash., wants parents to take the spiritual lead at home and disciple their children during the week. One hour on Sunday morning just won’t do the job.

“Sometimes discipleship is as simple as asking kids what happened at school today,” Beth says. “Simply ask them, ‘What was awesome?’ or ‘What did you see Jesus do today?’”

To facilitate discipleship in the home, Beth and the church staff developed the Church of Living Water app, which includes blogs, podcasts and downloads that show parents how to disciple their kids. The content shows parents how to have discipleship conversations around the dinner table, in the car or while waiting for a sibling after a soccer game—wherever they do life with their kids.

Living fully for Christ is important to Beth. She became a Christian as a senior in high school, led to the Lord by her boyfriend, now husband, Peter. She struggled with post-partum depression after the birth of the couple’s third child, and during the personal struggle she discovered how much the Bible and her relationship with Christ truly meant to her.

“I immersed myself in the Operation Solid Lives discipleship process at our church and soon discovered that our kids should also become disciples of Jesus,” she states.

Putting parents in the driver’s seat is a hallmark of the children’s ministry Beth leads in Olympia. She identified the spiritual milestones of a child’s life—things such as baby dedication, praying for salvation, and water baptism—then, she set out to equip parents to disciple their families through the various stages of spiritual growth.

Beth says it’s OK if parents don’t know all the answers. “It’s good for kids to see how their parents process questions of faith—it helps the kids learn how to do it for themselves,” she affirms.

In addition to the app, the church still sends conventional take-home papers with kids after Sunday morning services. They also provide printed kits, such as a popular resource about the meaning and significance of water baptism, to help parents prepare their kids for important events in their walk with Christ.

Beth shared the water baptism kit with a single foster mom and two third graders who had lived with her for a couple years and wanted to be baptized in water. The mom walked through the process with her kids as they devoted their lives to Christ. After their water baptism, their mom used a five-day personal devotion kit that Beth developed to show the kids how to do daily devotions on their own.

God has called us as believers to change the culture, and Beth Green believes He is calling parents to take the spiritual lead of their families. “I firmly believe that parents are the primary spiritual influence for their kids,” she asserts. “Our team is committed to equipping parents to disciple their families and to support them in what they are doing at home to raise their kids for the Lord.”

PJ Moon