4 Tips for Teaching Parents Church Isn’t Just Childcare

nursery_workers_needed_std_t_ntChildcares can do a lot of great things for your kids. When you work with kids you want them to be safe, you want them to have fun, and you want them to make friends. The church is no different in these areas. However, the kids programming at church is not just childcare. What does that mean for how we do church? What are ways we can encourage our parents to treat church differently? Here are a few suggestions of what to tell them:

 
1.Fill the Gap– What you do to disciple and teach your kids at home does not have to be separate from the church. The volunteers serve because they care for your kids, but ultimately they want to teach your kids about God. Move beyond the “hello” or the “thank you” with your kids. Talk to them, or talk with me, about how we can better partner with you in raising your child. Show your kids that church doesn’t just watch them, but that the volunteers have something more they want your child to know.

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Worldview & Your Kids

note: This is a post I wrote for a parent newsletter for my church that I was encouraged to post. Hope you enjoy!

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Worldview & Your Kids

We live in an age of discussion. People use their free time and spare moments to get online and engage with whatever is trending at the moment. As adults we have learned about topics, taken stances, and are ready, most of the time, to engage in these discussions. As parents you know that your kids probably aren’t ready for all of that yet. So what are you to do? How do you begin preparing your kids to handle what they see and read online and also teach them to think biblically about it? Here are 5 steps to start preparing your kids to process what they see online in a healthy, biblical way:

1. Start the conversation– We want to wait to have this conversation with kids, and in some cases it’s necessary to wait, but it is up to us to make sure that we have the conversation before it’s too late (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
2. Introduce respect for God’s Authority & Truth– You don’t have to be politically correct with your child. You can and should bring up God and His Word often in conversation with your kids. Model and show them how to go to Scripture for answers. Also, make sure to combat media’s negative portrayal of religion by encouraging a respect for God’s authority (Isaiah 46:9-10).
3. Refuse to compartmentalize your faith– Thinking about God doesn’t happen just at church, only during devotions, or when you pray before meals. Model and promote to your kids a life that is deeply impacted by the fact that you are on the Jesus mission. Use teachable moments to engage in the truth found in God’s Word and demonstrate that God’s Word is living and active today. (Hebrews 4:12 & 2nd Timothy 2:15)
4. Teach them how to disagree with others- As believers we need to teach kids the importance of standing up for what they believe. I’ll be the first to admit that this one is the hardest for me. I know how to stand firm in what I believe, but telling someone they are wrong or even just that you disagree can be hard… if you do it well, that is. Prioritize disagreements that your kids have, show them how to handle it biblically, and then help them prepare for the disagreements they will face in the world (Ephesians 6:10-18 & 1st Peter 3:15).
5. Immerse your family in community- Community and kids can be tricky because we want to protect and care for the kids in our lives, which is why I say to immerse your family in community. This to me is threefold. First is surrounding your family with the Church and prioritizing to your kids the importance of strong friendships with other believers. Second is teaching your kids to look and ask about what they see in the community (parents, it’s on you to include them in what’s happening in the world). Third is teaching them how the Bible calls us to respond and how your family can begin to serve together (Matthew 28:18-20 & Romans 12:1-2).

At the end of the day we need to prepare the kids in our lives to be on the Jesus mission. Again, as adults we have learned, but our kids need to be taught, and now is the time. That’s what I pray for, that’s one of the reasons I do what I do, and I hope that’s what you strive for.

Parents- It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Activities!

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Spring is here…well mostly here. Spring is a time of preparation. You might be preparing to clean out your garage, attempting to get in shape for the summer, or maybe you are finally getting around to trashing those college t-shirts that have been sitting in your closet for years. Whatever your form of cleaning may be, I want to add one more thing this Spring: I want you to spend time cleaning out your activities.

I get it. You are involved in your things, your kids are involved in their things, and then you have responsibilities like work, school, and church. Continue reading