How to Engage Your Child in Discipleship Conversations
By Steven Knight, Family Life Pastor
One of the most effective ways that a parent can disciple their kids is to take advantage of time that they already have together in their everyday lives – at home, in the car, etc. These environments can be a great place for engaging your child in discipleship conversations.
At home, you may have time for deeper discussions, while a car trip provides a short amount of time to talk about a specific topic. Through the course of a child’s life, a number of topics for discussion and discipleship will naturally come up as they ask questions about life and God. However, these environments are also a great place for parents to initiate conversations with their kids.
For example, if you are driving home from church, you can ask your child about what they learned today in children’s church. A common response I’ve heard from parents is that they don’t get much of an answer to this question.
What should parents do to get more engagement from their kids? I would recommend two strategies:
- Model it for them. Take the time to share with your kids what you learned from a sermon, small group, etc. Why is it important to know that? How are you going to apply it to your life this week? These are examples of questions that you can ask yourself as you model for your kids how to share what they’ve learned.
- Ask open-ended questions. This requires your kids to think about better answers. Avoid asking “yes” or “no” questions and focus on engaging them in deeper conversations with quality questions. Over time, they’ll learn how to engage better in these conversations with you.
Consider taking small steps toward starting these discipleship conversations during the week. Think about how you can lead your family and follow the discipleship model in Deut. 6:4-9 as you seek to disciple your children throughout the week in your everyday lives.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of discipleship conversations. Instead, start small – could you initiate one of these conversations this coming week? Then, continue to look for more opportunities to start these important conversations as you disciple your kids.