As school is about to wrap up another year, kids are in the middle of all kinds of testing to see if they have mastered enough content to move on to the next phase of their education. Over the years our culture has developed expectations for each grade level or course as children go through school. That makes me wonder, “What would I put on a report card for spiritual growth in kids?” In reality, a report card for a kid’s spiritual growth would not be any different than an adult’s.
So, if churches offered some kind of report card for kids going through your Sunday School (notice the word “school”) or Discipleship Classes what would you look for and evaluate? How would you know they were growing, or deserving of a passing grade?
Here is what I am thinking, I’d love to know what you think. If you have a response, just Leave a Reply below.
- I would like to see a child change through the time that he/she comes to my class. I would like to see him get more engaged in our studies as the year goes by. I want her to remember what we talked about last week, and to come in looking forward to the next segment of our study.
- I would like to hear them ask deeper questions as the year continues. Since we do not provide a “standardized test” for kids at church we must make assessments by observing and listening. This is another strong reason for having the same teachers with the same kids week after week. These regular teachers can observe spiritual growth.
- I would like to see them going deeper in their prayers. Not just prayers that say, “Thank you, God, for Mommy and Daddy and bless the missionaries.” This can be true at home as well as at church. When we hear someone pray, even a child, it is a window into the relationship that person has with God. If every prayer is a carbon copy of the last one, or if it is just the same as the words that Mom and Dad use, then there is little chance that there is the deep abiding relationship that God desires with each of His children.
- I would like them to become more “other-centered.” The way the letter of 1 John puts this concept is – they will know we are followers of Christ by our love. It is hard for a child to grow out of self-centeredness. I know some adults who haven’t made the cut yet. 🙂 But this is one more assessment that indicates spiritual growth.
So, can you see growth in your class(es) of children? If not you have to ask, “Why?” For some kids it is a simple matter of maturity – – physical, social, emotional, intellectual as well as spiritual. But if you are a teacher of children in grade school you should be seeing some spiritual development.
What is at fault if there are no signs of spiritual growth? Here are 3 places I would examine.
- MY TEACHING PLAN – Is my curriculum guiding children in a growing understanding of spiritual truth from the Word of God? Does it follow a well thought out sequence of studies that build on previous content and expose kids to a balanced diet of Bible studies?
- MY PARENT CONNECTION – Do I have a parent resource that provides a follow up connection with the Bible study through the week and builds relationship with parents, children and God all at one time?
- MY TEACHING ENGAGEMENT – Are the activities suggested engaging the children so that they are interested in participating while gaining knowledge of content from the Bible at the same time?
So, if I were giving report cards at church, I might actually begin with the curriculum and teacher before the children!
What do you think?
Long Hollow Baptist Church