TTGNAJ Post #3: “Teaching Children the Faith”

I meant to get this up earlier, but I’ve been a bit busy since Saturday.

Dr. Jan LohmeyerOne of the presentations on Saturday afternoon was by Dr. Jan Lohmeyer entitled, “Train a Child in the Way He Should Go….” This comes from Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Below are some nuggets gleamed from his presentation.

  • Children’s ministry begins with adult instruction.
  • “The best education is where church, parents, and schools are teaching the same thing.”

His presentation dealt with educating your children from birth to adulthood and how to do that at all ages in between.

When he spoke about confirmation, he made some excellent points which people had neglected over the years: confirmation is NOT a graduation from the faith! We see all too often 8th graders, after the first or second Sunday after their confirmation, who never return to the Church. Confirmation meant nothing other than a rite of passage which you begin in the 7th grade and complete in 8th grade. The only time we may see that person again is when they want to get married (and then you’ll never see them again) or at their death when the family wants to have them buried in the Church. What happened to all those years in between 8th grade and their marriage or their death? Did they not sin during those years? Did they not need to hear the Word of God or receive His Sacraments?

The final point he left us with was this: The Church can never replace. We can only (and are meant to) supplement. Let’s ask the good Lutheran question: What does this mean?

It means that we cannot be expected to teach every bit of doctrine, every bit of Scripture, every bit of Christian teaching. We supplement what is taught in the home by the parents, namely the father, as it is his responsibility as the spiritual head of the family.