3 items tagged "Impress"

  • Helping Faith Stick


    While grace represents the core of our theology, our research identified a number of other factors that are common among parents who raise kids with a lasting faith. Although there are no guarantees, the following principles can take some of the guesswork out of instilling faith in children:

    “Sticky faith” parents . . .

    . . . discuss their own faith journeys. They frequently share organically about their own faith journey; how it continues to impact and influence their life.  Tell your ongoingstory.  Share how you became a Christian, and include what God is currenlty doing in your life. 

    . . . give their kids space to wrestle with tough faith questions — and help them find resources that can provide answers. Doubt, by itself, isn’t toxic. Doubt becomes toxic when it goes unexpressed. Giving permission for independent thought leads to a stronger faith.

    . . . connect their children to caring adults. Kids need to develop a strong personal identity for faith to stick, and community helps accomplish this. When kids know adults who are “on their team,” they have a web of support to catch them when they fall. What’s more, these adults are often able to speak to them in ways parents can’t.

    . . . involve their kids in service. Kids must see that faith inspires action. Our research found that family service was a key builder of lasting faith. Sometimes the local church was the catalyst for this service. Other times, parents took the lead in making family service a priority.

    . . . prepare teens for a future that includes faith. As part of practical discussions on issues such as managing money and time, wise parents help young people plan their schedules and lives to include church.

    Like any parenting priority, our children’s long-term spiritual growth stands a better chance of success if we think in advance about what is important — and how we can make time for those priorities. But while families that adopt certain practices tend to raise kids who have a lasting faith, there is no magic formula. Every child has a free will. Still, spiritual roots don’t grow deep by accident. God is the ultimate gardener, and He often works through parents to prepare the soil, remove creeping weeds and make sure kids have the spiritual nutrients they need to flourish.

    It's never too late to begin impressing spiritual truth on your children.  Don't allow the enemy to determine your level of influence as a parent.  No matter what season of life you are in, your children and grandchildren will need you. 

    (Excerpt from Kara Powell"A Faith that Sticks")

  • Table Talk


    “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -- Deuteronomy 6:6-7


    Spiritual conversations with our kids don’t have to be overthought and meticulously planned out. As mentioned in the previous post, life is busy! Sometimes, even the thought of adding an extra task to our busy schedules brings more anxiety than excitement. We become paralyzed by all the things we’re “supposed” to do. The good news is, having these important moments with our families doesn’t have to be difficult. We simply need to seize the moments in our normal, daily rhythms.

    One of the easiest moments you can take advantage of is where your family probably spends a lot of time already...mealtimes. Your interactions in the kitchen, at the dinner table, and even during cleanup, provide the perfect opportunities to talk with your family; to share with them about God’s truth, and what He is doing in your life.

    Here are a few discussion starters and activities you can try at your table…

    1. Start with fun conversation starters. Here are a few suggestions the whole family can join in on: What was the best part of your day? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? If you could have a superpower, what would you have? Where have you seen God at work today? These conversations are always fun and can lead into moments in which you can easily impress God’s truth upon your kid’s hearts.
    1. As mentioned before, don’t make this too complicated… just start! Let your kids in on what God has been speaking to you in your own devotional time. Was there something in scripture you read this morning you can share? What did it mean to you, and what can it mean for your family? It doesn’t matter how long the discussion is. The key here is you started. You seized a moment.
    1. Make it interactive! Kids love to get involved in what they’re learning. After you’re done eating, read one of their favorite Bible stories, and then have them draw a picture of the story. Takes no longer than 5 minutes and can open some doors for sharing and discussion.
    1. Make prayer cards to keep at your table. Grab some index cards and write down prayer requests you and your family may have. You can then review these requests each time you gather, and celebrate what God is doing when they’re answered! To keep it interactive, each child can be assigned a job. One can write the request, another can write “prayer answered”, etc.
    1. Set the pace! Make sure you’re being positive and genuinely look forward to these moments with your family. With little ones, I know dinner time can test everyone’s patience, but don’t give up! All good habits take work to develop. Stay committed to making these table times purposeful and enjoyable. So, whatever it is you do or discuss, know that it has eternal value!


    This is certainly not an exhaustive list, and what may work for some may not work for others. That’s OK. Keep at it until you find what works best for your family. The key here is to seize the moments that you can!

  • What is family ministry?

    Family ministry has become a hot topic lately.  Google it and you will find plenty of statistics and research explaining the importance of regaining a biblical perspective on God's vision for the role of parents.  I find this a pretty exciting trend, especially as a parent looking for resources (sometimes I feel clueless) and encouragement (parenting is messy).  However, there are some aspects of "family ministry" that can be concerning if not clarified and kept in perspective.  Here is a couple that come to mind:

    -"The family ministry "model" will save our kids and transform parents."  No model/program will keep your kids in church or activate a parent's heart.  Only Jesus can do this.  Family ministry is not the Gospel.  When forgetting this, the "model" will quickly become your church's idol.  As you may be aware, God isn't very keen on idol worship.  Can a family ministry approach help equip our families, engage our children, and produce intergenerational connects?  Absolutely! If that is our purpose for this type of culture, let's embrace it!   

    -I've heard this said a handful of times, "My family is great, were doing well, that's why we don't always make it to church as much."  This is a pretty common one as well, "Our family is so busy right now, we just don't have time to get involved in any more activities."   We are a society of busy people, that is for sure, but can we really do Christianity without the church community

    This is a huge topic, that will require more space and time, for now let's look at a couple points on the importance of church community regardless of how busy or great family life may be.

    1. Deut. 6:4-7 These are go to verses for family ministry, instructing us on how to pass faith to the next generation.  I like how Moses kicks it off though by saying "Hear, O Israel".  Moses was calling allof Israel together for instruction, not just mom and dad.  All means uncle, aunt, grandparents, brother, sister, cousins, close friends, and of course mom and dad. Moses was telling the community(church) of people that to pass this faith to the next generation all must be active participants in impressingthese truths on the children. 

    2. Research shows that teens who had at least one adult from church make a significant time investment in their lives were more likely to keep attending church.  More of those who stayed in church --by a margin of 46% to 28%--said five or more adults at church had invested time with them personally and spiritually. 

    One of the greatest values of the church is providing a community for you and your kids.  A place where they can feel safe, have meaningful discussion with a caring adult, and to ask the tough questions.  We all needthis type of community.

    I realize we didn't define "family ministry", that was intentional.  Still working on it myself!  But I believe we're heading in the right direction when viewing family ministry as a way of coming along side families to train up the children to love God with all of their heart, soul, and strength.


    Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connecting your family to a wider community




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