The United Church of God is moving into a new educational initiative for youth instruction called “UCG Youth Instruction Program—A Deuteronomy 6 Model. ” While God clearly lays the primary responsibility for teaching children on the parents, He also indicates that the Church community at large must be involved in passing on His ways.
“He gave laws to the people of Israel and commandments to the descendants of Jacob. He instructed our ancestors to teach his laws to their children, so that the next generation might learn them and in turn should tell their children. In this way they also will put their trust in God and not forget what he has done, but always obey his commandments” (Psalms 78:5-7 Psalms 78:5-7 5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
American King James Version×, Today’s English Version).
As a church, we are assessing how to be more effective with youth instruction by emphasizing a Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-7 6 And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart:
7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
American King James Version×“parents first” model, where the Church supports and supplements parents’ teaching, but does not supplant their responsibility.
So how can you as a Church member be involved and help pass on God’s way of life to the children in your congregation?
Here are some tips:
• Get to know every child’s name and have conversations with him or her.
• Make a point to acknowledge, smile, talk to each child every Sabbath or at other times when you see them. It is important for them to know you care about them as an individual.
• Get to know one thing about him/her that they enjoy doing.
• Ask how school is and what do they want to do when they grow up.
• Find out who their favorite Bible hero is.
• Find out what their favorite Bible scriptures or stories are. Why do they relate or like those the best?
• Where are they going for the Feast and what are they looking forward to learning and doing?
The monthly topic for youth instruction and family study is available for you to see on the family education website at http://members.ucg.org/content/family-study-guides . Familiarize yourself with the topic each month.
During the monthly youth instruction times, find out what they learned and what they have discussed as a family. Listen to them.
Tell some interesting stories or things you have learned that relate to the topic of study. This will help reinforce and help them internalize what they are learning.