I once watched a video describing an experiment with small children where a single cookie was placed on a paper plate in front of each child. The moderator announced that he would leave the room for a bit, and when he came back, whoever had not yet eaten their cookie would receive another one. Then he left the room and filmed how the children behaved. Most children eventually ate their cookie before he returned; only a few resisted the temptation and did not touch it until he came back.
The conclusion of the experiment was that children who resist immediate urges for a greater future reward become better students and leaders.
Sadly, our children do not seem to know how to control their urges at church. While this isn’t true of all of them, many run and shout in the buildings, draw on walls, climb to dangerous places where they’re not allowed to go, and damage church property. Some children follow their parents to the pulpit during worship services when their parents give presentations.
I want our children to become strong leaders. To do that, they must learn self-control. The goal of our children’s ministry is to instill “right values and right behavior”. From this point forward, we will be placing more emphasis on right behavior.
To instill right behavior in our children, parents’ cooperation is absolutely necessary. I urge parents to check that their children do their Sunday school assignments, some of which will concern children’s behavior. When parents see children do things against church rules, correct them, even when they are not their own children. When Sunday school teachers punish your own children, support the teachers. By doing this, parents can teach their children to respect authority.
I was told that some of the children who misbehave are children of our church leaders, deacons and shepherds. They spend more time at church because of their ministries, so their children get into trouble more often. Children may also act wild because they know their parents are in influential positions and they think that they can do it with impunity.
I have been told that Sunday school teachers are reluctant to punish these children out of respect for their parents. Let me ask church leaders to go to their children’s teachers and tell them to feel free to appropriately punish their children when they break rules.
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