The question that I wrestle with in my ministry is how do we as a church help and train parents to be the primary faith trainers of their children? At Redeemer we have created a once a month gathering we call Family Night. The purpose of which is to create an enviroment where families learn together. Parents, especially fathers, need to see that they can lead their families spiritually. For Dads, this is a huge part of being the spiritual head of the household. Husbands and fathers are called to be the pastors of their homes.
Children need to see their parents as spiritually active and a good source of information regarding spiritual ideas and concepts. They need to see their parents as the first line of defense as it relates to their spiritual development.
What has brought me to this conclusion? The amount of available time that parents have with their kids. No one has more available time with their kids than parents do. Not school teachers, not pastors and their ministry teams, no one.
Back to the topic at hand, Family Night. We run it much like we do Sojourn (our youth ministry). We start out with some type of competition. Something that makes teams of parents and kids work towards a common goal. Most of the time it combines fun and goofiness.
Next we move into a meal time. We share a meal, all together. This is where laughter continues and fellowship takes over, along with a good meal. We usually pass a sign up sheet around and do the whole "theme" meal thing (soups, sandwiches, chili, pizza).
From there we enter into our worship and teaching time. We sing a few songs to focus our minds on God and the topic of the evening. The teaching time has been done differently as the topics have changed. We have done straight teaching (monologue) sharing the importance of having a biblical world view, interactive learning where we learned hand motions for the first 5 books of the Old Testament, and this coming Sunday will be more of a dialogue discussing the concept of worship - personal, corporate, and family.
Who's invited? Families of all shapes, sizes, and ages. Right now mostly the youth and their parents are involved. I bring my family (wife and twin 5 year olds) and they love hanging out with "the big kids" (their words). It's open to anyone.
Again the reason we do it is because we value providing families the chance to learn together.