Different ways to run the course
Churches use the Parenting for Faith course materials in all sorts of different ways.
Below are some examples to inspire you, as you work out how best to encourage parents as they parent for faith, as well as extended family and friends, children’s workers and church leaders as they support those parents.
Click the buttons below each description to get top tips and things to watch out for from someone who has run the course that way.
If you’d like to run a course online, we’ve got a handy guide to talk you through that too.
Bite-sized video intros
If time is short or people are wary of committing to eight sessions, you can introduce the idea of the Key Tools over five or six videos instead.
Watch in advance
Particularly, if you will have the children with you in the sessions, it can be easier to watch the videos in advance and come together to discuss. Reach Rachel’s story to see what this looked like in their parents’ life group.
This is a great way of getting parents to take ownership of the course and to create a community to share and learn together. Elise shares from the perspective of church staff, and Matt and Anna share as parents who set a short-term group up.
Multiple 0ptions course
This is a good option if you want a large number of people to access the course at the same time or if you have several people willing to be leaders. Read Anna’s story for an example of a church in a busy commuter town which repeated sessions three times to allow for babysitting and different working patterns. Read Beth’s story to discover how running the session twice on the same day allowed different people to attend.
Two Saturday mornings
If your church has a very full calendar with lots of events and courses you may find it easier to devote two mornings to the course, instead of finding eight evenings. This church also provided childcare to allow couples to attend together and help single parents.
Eight-week evening course
Probably the most popular way to run the course, this encourages people to commit time weekly to exploring Parenting for Faith with others. Naomi’s church chose to run it over eight consecutive weeks whereas Sharon’s church decided fortnightly would work best for their parents and carers.
Monthly family cafe
This church has made the course bite-size by having a monthly cafe where whole families learn a Parenting for Faith tool and then have opportunities to explore it together. This is a great option if you have lots of parents who have already done the course and just need something to jog their memories. It is also an excellent way to help families get to know each other better.
With thanks to St Paul’s Church, St Albans; St Mark’s, Battersea Rise; Network Vineyard, Reading; Cirencester Baptist Church and The Lantern Church for images of their buildings and Rachel Ridler for image from her group. Image for Nourish Family Cafe via canva.com