I read an alarming report about Christian youth: according to a survey of college students by a Christian research group, 70% – 88% of college students who regularly attended church at home stop going to church during the 4 years they are in college.
To help our children continue as strong Christians in college, we must train them properly before they go. This training must start early and the entire children’s department – including toddlers, preschoolers, elementary students, and teen-agers – must have a unified goal and consistent programs. Their education must be such that even when the leaders change, the goal of the education does not.
In order to achieve this goal, we formed a special committee to analyze our strengths and weaknesses and make a master plan for our children’s education in 2006 and 2007.
During the study, we learned that several large English-speaking congregations in the Houston area did research on their children’s programs as well. The conclusions reached by their studies and our own are similar.
All of the studies agree on two points. First, children’s education must start early; the earlier, the better. Second, the primary spiritual educator for children must be their parents, not Sunday school teachers, and the primary training ground for children’s education must be at home, not church.
So one part of the master plan was to emphasize parents’ involvement in their children’s education.
To help achieve these goals, we decided to change the procedure for the baby dedication ceremony. Until now, when parents wanted to have a dedication ceremony for their child, the only thing they needed to do was to call our church office and inform the secretary.
From this point forward, parents must take a 2-hour training class before their baby is dedicated. The class will teach parents the meaning of the baby dedication service, how to give religious training to the very young, and how to become godly parents who train their children properly. The class will also recommend several useful books on child rearing.
The class will be held on a Saturday morning once every two months. Parents only need to take it once. To attend, parents must be full members of our church, unless one parent is not a believer, in which case they will be allowed to participate in the baby dedication ceremony if both complete the class.
The first class will be held on June 21, and will be led by our Children’s Pastor Mrs. Paik. Registration for this class closes on June 18.
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