On the heels of her incredible book Spiritual Parenting, author Michelle Anthony has a new DVD resource series now available through David C. Cook Publishing.
Dr. Michelle Anthony is Pastor of Family Ministries at ROCKHARBOR Church in Costa Mesa, California. A former professor at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology, Dr. Anthony has written over a dozen resources for Christian Education and Family / Youth Ministries. She is also the Family Ministry Architect for David C. Cook.
Spiritual Parenting unravels the “good behavior” style of parenting and unveils in its place, parenting that allows the Holy spirit to work in both the children and the parent. As God does His work, we see children grow into a transformational spiritual life. Who wouldn’t want that for their child?
This is a 6 session series that takes us step by step through the book. Each session is led by Michelle as she presents in front of a small audience of parents and kid min leaders as she very casually leads us through the book, Spiritual Parenting. Occasionally, there are is an activity that the tape pauses for, obviously, that we should stop and start it as our group does the activity. Other times, there are activities that are done alongside the DVD.
As I only received the video to review, I was left with a few concerns, that might simply be answered by the curriculum itself. First, I felt the video segments were very long, to the point where I lost focus on the topic being discussed. I would have liked an occasional bullet-point or outline on the screen to draw my focus and keep me on task. I assume that there are supplemental workbooks or worksheets included as they are talked about by Michelle. This alone may have kept me engaged. Secondly, after having read the book, I felt that the video was repetitive. Possibly, changing up some of the stories from the book would keep it crisp.
Those things aside, the content of this series is remarkable. Michelle takes us to a new dimension in parenting through an old approach – Montessori education. By preparing the environment (both physical and spiritual), and giving the presentations (setting the example, using life situations as learning moments) , the exploration and resulting discoveries are organic and raw and completely embedded in the soul of the child. Although, this world renowned education philosophy has successfully educated the likes of Ann Frank and Yo Yo Ma, as well as Prince William and Prince Harry, and the founders of Google and Amazon, it has not been famously integrated into faith education. Yet, the Montessori method of education is so successful for setting children on the right track to a deeply rooted love of learning, it deserves more attention in the methods we use in Sunday School. Attention, that it receives, in Spiritual Parenting. Michelle teaches us that “good behavior” on the outside, may look good to the “outside”, but God is looking deeper. We as parents and teachers need to follow God’s lead and look deep inside the child, for it is there, that God is doing His work and where we can truly help a child find a transformational life long faith. See our review of Godly Play for a similar approach to Sunday School.
The DVD could be used by individual parents, as a parent workshop, or as a small group curriculum. But don’t let the title mislead. It needs to be used as a training tool for kid min leaders to revisit how we “parent” the kids we see each week. If we want children to truly know transformational faith, life long commitment to Christ and a deep rooted desire to follow Him, this is an eye opening approach that is easy to implement and may even rekindle the passion in the most tired of Sunday School teachers. I encourage you to give it a look.
Spiritual Parenting can be purchased through David C. Cook and Amazon.com