Back to School? Already?

Back to school season is here and I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe it. The summer seems to have rocketed by. It seems like just the other day my kids were headed to their last day of first grade and this Wednesday they start their first day of second grade! As we all head into the Fall and reestablish school year rhythms, family discipleship must remain a priority. Even if the method might shift.

The school year brings relief for many of us as parents. Our kids are occupied during the day and learning. The stress of finding childcare while we are at work is removed by daily school attendance. But heading back to school also brings with it a hectic schedule that can draw us away from the priority of discipleship. We quickly find ourselves wrapped up in all manner of activities. School plays, fall sports, academics, and all manner of other positive activities for our kids to engage in. However, as positive as each of these are, they are not eternal and they all have the potential to become idols that supersede our call to disciple our kids. I can not emphasize enough how important this task is as parents. Scripture calls us to be the ones who teach our children about Jesus and show them how to follow the way of Jesus. Our churches and church families play an important support role in that process, but ultimately, as parents, it is up to us.
With that in mind the family ministries team put our heads together to think through how to best support parents in discipling their kids as the school year begins. There are a host of ways to provide our kids with discipleship. Our Family Resources Page is full of books, Bibles, and devotionals for that exact purpose. But as the school year begins, let us offer a couple easy back to school themed ideas. First up, each day for the first week of school, drop an encouraging note in your kid's lunchbox. Include a Bible verse or two and a note of love and encouragement as they reenter the rhythm of the school year. This provides our kids with Biblical encouragement as they begin their new year. It also lets them know that you are thinking of them throughout the day and is a nice lunch time surprise. Second, pray. Pray with your kids before they leave for school each day. Pray for your kids as they go. Enroll your friends and family in praying for your kids as well. There can never be too much prayer! Finally, spend time with your spouse or parenting partner to identify key moments in the school year that can be used for discipleship, celebration, or remembrance. These are scattered throughout the year. They can be events that we all expect such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or they could be events such as school plays, shows, or receiving report cards. Any point in the school year that can be used for remembrance or celebration can be used for discipleship.

Family discipleship is a vitally important part of our lives and our kids' lives. It can also feel overwhelming for us as parents to find ways to include it in our day to day routines. If you are looking for suggestions or an easy on-ramp for back to school discipleship ideas, we will have pre-printed lunchbox notes available for you to use on Sunday, August 27. Just swing by the Beacon Kids area and grab a pack! We will also have prayer cards with ideas about how to pray for the school year and your family as we move into the Fall. Additional discipleship resources can be found on our Family Resources Page. We are here to support you as you teach your kids about Jesus. We want them to know our Savior and we want to help you be the ones who teach them about him.

Josh Cervone