19 items tagged "Family"

  • 14 Gospel Principles

    In the interest of keeping sight of our ultimate purpose as parents, as well as understanding the big-picture view of God’s plan for us, here are some helpful principles from the book, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul Tripp:

    Principle #1 Calling: Nothing is more important in your life than being one of God’s tools to form a human soul.

    Principle #2 Grace: God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you. Quit beating yourself up because you feel inadequate. God never intended you to parent separate of Himself.

    Principle #3 Law: Your children need God’s law, but you cannot ask the law to do what only grace can accomplish. If rules and regulations had the power to change the heart and life of your child, rescuing your child from himself and giving him a heart of submission and faith, Jesus would have never needed to come!

    Principle #4 Inability: Recognizing what you are unable to do is essential to good parenting. Our job is not heart change, but to be humble and willing instruments of change in the hands of God.

    Principle #5 Identity: If you are not resting as a parent in your identity in Christ, you will look for identify in your children (and other things). Jesus is your life, and this frees you and your children from the burden of asking them to give you what Jesus has already given you.

    Principle #6 Process: You must be committed as a parent to long-view parenting because change is a process and not an event.

    Principle #7 Lost: As a parent, you’re not dealing just with bad behavior, but a condition that causes bad behavior.

    Principle #8 Authority: One of the foundational heart issues in the life of every child is authority. Teaching and modeling the protective beauty of authority is one of the foundations of good parenting.

    Principle #9 Foolishness: The foolishness inside your children is more dangerous to them than the temptation outside of them. Only God’s grace has the power to rescue fools.

    Principle #10 Character: Not all of the wrong your children do is a direct rebellion to authority; much of the wrong is the result of a lack of character.

    Principle #11 False gods: You are parenting a worshiper, so it’s important to remember that what rules your child’s heart will control his behavior.

    Principle #12 Control: The goal of parenting is not control of behavior, but rather heart and life change.

    Principle #13 Rest: It is only rest in God’s presence and grace that will make you a joyful and patient parent.

    Principle #14 Mercy: No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that he desperately needs it himself. Your primary calling as a parent is not first to represent God’s judgement, but rather to constantly deliver his mercy.

    Click here for more resources from Paul Tripp

  • Be Anxious for Nothing

    Read Together:

    “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  - Philippians 4:4-7


    Main idea:

    Worry can steal the joy and peace right out of our lives!  Rather than ruminating on our troubles, begin the habit of praising God and calling on Him in prayer.


    Preschool & Early Elementary Takeaway:

    He doesn’t say rejoice and celebrate on your birthday, or just on holidays, or just when something happy or fun happens… He tells us to rejoice and celebrate always! 

    --What is something you want to thank God for?


    Student & Teen Takeaway:

    Many of our thoughts come from worry. We stress out about life, but we don’t have to. God is going to take care of us, and He is with us. He wants us to tell Him about our anxiety and fear. When you are worried, tell God about it. When we talk to God about our problems, we can experience His peace for us.

    --What things in life cause you stress?  How can you trust God with these?



    We love feeling we can have control; that we’ve reduced all risk of danger or threats.  However, we know better. Circumstances can change in a moment, revealing the places in our lives we need God to touch.  Our call here is to choose to rejoice…no matter the circumstances…no matter what! 

    --Why is it hard to give up control?  What do we need to surrender so our hope is in Christ alone?


    Pray Together:

    Lord, no matter what comes our way, our eyes will be fixed on you.  We choose to praise You for who You are.  You’re good, faithful, and in control!  We love You, and we choose to have our hope and joy in You!



    Sing Together:

    “Joy of the Lord” - Rend Collective


  • Bedtime Prayers

    Bedtime routines with little ones can be exhausting! There is bath time, finding the “perfect” pajamas, brushing teeth, cleaning up toothpaste smeared on the sink, kids arguing over which book to read (which always leads to reading more books than planned), tucking them in, and finally, you’re ready to turn off the lights! It’s a busy, tiring, and at times frustrating routine, and it has also become one of my favorite routines of the day. In these chaotic moments, God has provided a window of opportunity for us to connect to the hearts of our children and to pray with them…right in the middle of this busy routine! Since my oldest was born, every night after I tuck my kids in, I pray a simple prayer over them. I have prayed the same prayer now for seven years over each of my children. It’s the most important part of our bedtime routine. It’s rarely ever missed, and my kids now make sure of that. Deuteronomy 6 gives instruction for parents to impress truth upon the lives of your children at home, as you go, and when you lie down and get up. We must seize these moments as opportunities to model to the next generation what it means to follow Jesus Christ. ‘Seize the moment’ means you need to grasp hold of it’; no matter how tired, frustrated, annoyed, etc. you may be…seize these bedtime moments to impress God’s truth and pray with your children. They’ll love it and keep you going. Couple suggestions to pray with your kids:

    Pray for…

    • Peace

    • Forgiveness

    • Patience

    • To know God intimately

    •Family members, friends, and neighbors.

    Your bed-time prayer does not have to be long or flowery; just allow it to be genuine and intentional. Just for fun, here is the prayer I do with my kids…

    “I pray the Lord opens your eyes, so you can see Him. That He opens your ears, so you can hear him. He touches your mind, so you can know Him. He touches your mouth, so you can speak of Him. He opens your heart, so that you may love Him. He blesses your hands, so that you may do His work!”

    I have said this simple prayer at bedtime over 2,500 times since becoming a father. I trust the Lord has not only heard them but will continue working in my children’s lives in response to them. There is tremendous power in prayer! So, before you turn off the lights, make sure to seize the moment and bless your children!

  • Building Character


    One of the ways God shows His grace is by using His power and presence to build character into our lives.  Character is the mettle and grit that empowers kids to face life's challenges with confidence.  Character is like the studs, joists, beams, and tie downs in houses that give it strength to take on all of the harsh elements that work it over year after year.  Character is best transferred to a young person's life by the example of someone with whom he or she has a heart connection with.  So when a young person sees their parents, uncle, leader, etc. apply character in their life--especially during the "harsh elements"--the easier it is for the young person to develop these traits in their own life.

    Here are six necessary character traits to instill in our children:

    1. Faith--Becomes a character trait when what we believe starts making moral choices for us.

    2. Integrity--is the moral clarity we depend on to do the right thing even when no one is looking.

    3. Poise--God's presence in a person's life helps him or her remain focused, thinking clearly, and persevering through the ups and downs of life.

    4. Disciplines--Train tracks confine a train, but in so doing, empower it to do an enormous amount of good for people and the marketplace.  A train that leaves it's rails is called a "train wreck".  Train wrecks are a mess and so are the lives of people who dont have disciplines built into the core of their character. 

    5. Endurance--The world is full of quitters.  Young people need to learn to keep going when everyone else would have long given up. (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

    6. Courage--Fear and worry snuff out faith! Much of our efforts in keeping our kids safe or attempting to reduce risk has reinforced the idea that fear and constant worry is normal for Christian.  We must help our kids move beyond their weaknesses and fears to become everything God has called them to be! 


    "Grace assumes that children will struggle with wrong behavior, but doesnt overreact to it.  It corrects it as it goes along, but it's true focus is on building character into the child's heart--deliberately and patiently..." -Dr. Tim Kimmel

    Go Deeper:

    Connecting Church and Home


  • Dads, don't forget what's most important!

    Father's Day is behind us and on we go with the rest of summer! Hard to believe that the 4th of July is less then two weeks away, before you know it summer will be over and  school will be back at it!  It's so easy to allow our schedules, responsibilities, etc. to take over and lose sight of what's most important.  A research study was done on over 1,500 children and the main question that was asked is "what makes a family happy?".  The primary answer was not vacations, bigger home, nice cars, new toys...it was just doing activities together.  I've heard it said before that children spell love as T-I-M-E.  So with that being said, here is a couple tips from the blog "Tips for Busy Dads" on how to stay plugged in to what is most important, your family:


    1. Set your expectations right

    Expect chaos because so many times when I get home, chaos is happening. Rare are those days where I walk into my house and my family just ministers to you with a soda, newspaper and the evening news (were those ever the days or just drawings from Norman Rockwell?). Usually I get girls telling me about their day and wanting me to do things with them…things that just make me tired thinking about it. So make sure your expectations are right before you walk through your door so that you don’t get frustrated.

    2. Be flexible

    No matter how many books you read on parenting and children, the bottom line is no one can prepare you for what you are going to encounter. No one specific book can tell you exactly how to raise your children. The rules break all the time. That is why you need to be flexible and roll with the punches. The more we are flexible and have our expectations set right, the less frustrated we will be when things don’t go quite as we had planned or as the book says. By being flexible we are able to really learn who our children are and how we can best meet their needs and help them grow to be healthy children and young adults.

    3. Inject Christ in your life

    On your way home, turn on the Christian music station or read some scripture before you walk into your house…scripture on patience Seriously, I have found the more I listen to Christian music before I go anywhere, the more my mindset changes and get focused on the right priorities.

    4.”Be here now”

    “Be here now” implies that it doesn’t matter what you could be doing somewhere else or should be doing. What is most important is that you stay focused on where you are at. So that means, when you are at home with your kids, you focus on your kids. That means no cell phone, iPad or any other work distraction you may have. I know that is easier said than done, but the reality is we have at least 9-5 M-F to focus on our work and toys (yes, our iPhone is definitely a toy). We need those few hours each day when we get home to be focused on our children and loving our wife.


    What else can you add to the list?


  • Debunk The Marriage Myths

    You have probably heard of the following: Divorce rate is just as high in the church as outside.  Most marriages are unhappy.   Living together before (or even rather) getting married is now considered conventional wisdom.  Relationships will only work when you're "happy".  These are the common beliefs about marriage in our culture today, leaving most people feeling discouraged and even hopeless that their marriage can't survive the "valleys" that life brings.  

    How would things change in your marriage though if these "beliefs" were actually only myths?  God's design for marriage in fact works and you can actually have a thriving relationship with your spouse for as long as you live!  Check out this short summary of some encouragingresearch about marriage from the book The Good News About Marriage:


    #1The divorce rate has never been close to 50 percent!  There is no way to nail down one final divorce rate.  However, accoding to the Cesus Bureau, 72% of people today are still married to their first spouse.  And among the 28% who aren't, a portion of those marriaged ended in widowhood, not divorce. The current divorce rate is more accurately at 20-25%.


    #2Most marriages are happy! Although most people think that only about a third of marriages are happy, in reality around 80% of marriages are happy.  In multiple surveys, 91 to 97 percent of respondents say their marriages are happy.  93% of people say they would marry their spouse again if they were to do it all over again. 


    #3The divorce rate in the church is not the same as the rate among those who don't attend worship services.  The common belief to the contrary is based on a misunderstanding of the well-known George Barna studies.  The reality is that every study that has been done has found that those who act on their faith by attending worship services, praying with their spouse, and so on are happier and closer in their marriage.  Studies find that the rate of divorce drops 25-50 percent among church attenders. 


    #4Most marriage problems are not caused by big ticket issues, and simple changes can make a big difference.  Most marriage problems are caused by day-to-day misunderstandings, unintended hurts, and trying hard in the wrong areas.  82% of the time in marriage conflicts, one partner is just simply unaware of the other spous's unhappiness.  Awareness is a relatively easy problem to fix compared to an affair, addictions, etc. 

    Be encouraged!  Divorce is not the greatest risk to marriages, discouragement is.  Don't give up, your marriage can thrive!  Find out more here

  • Do mission together!

    Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children, in more than 100 countries since 1993. During shoebox distributions, local churches present a Gospel message about how Jesus is The Greatest Gift the children could ever receive. Then, they invite the children to a 12-lesson discipleship course called “The Greatest Journey.”

    It’s important as parents, to not only live out our faith in front of our children, but to also include them in doing mission together! Operation Christmas Child provides a great way to teach your children about caring for others as your family blesses children all around the world.

    Here are several ideas on how you and your family can make an impact with Operation Christmas Child this year:

    1. Give Thanks

    Thank God for how He is working in the life of your family. Talk with your child about how important it is to share the message of Jesus with others, especially with those who haven’t heard about Him. Explore additional ways that you and your family can share about Jesus in your community.

    2. Select Gift Items

    You can include handmade items that you and your child have created. If you prefer to purchase the gifts, encourage your children to select gift items they think other children would like. Some people prefer to follow a theme, such as buying items of similar color. If your aim is to go gift shopping in one trip, consider making it a race among your family members. Can you fill a box—within budget—in 10 minutes or less?

    3. Personalize It

    Write a note and include a photo of your family in your shoebox. A photo transcends language differences and puts a face to the gift. Your kids can fill out our “Let’s Be Friends” coloring pages as another way to personalize the gift.

    4. Emphasize Prayer

    Pray before, during, and after packing your shoeboxes. Pray for smooth passage of the shoeboxes to their destinations. Pray for the local churches who will distribute these shoeboxes, as well as for the children who will receive them. Ask God to use your gift to open doors for the Gospel with their families.

    Make this into one of your family traditions each year, and create new ideas along the way!

    For more info on Operation Christmas Child click here!

    **You can also donate supplies at the Operation Christmas Child booth on Sunday mornings for the shoebox party on Nov. 13th @ 1PM!


  • Do our kids see grace?

    How come some parents are more successful at nurturing a long-term faith in their kids? Our research has shown that one of the key variables is how kids are raised to understand the Gospel.Too many young people today live by what philosopher Dallas Willard calls the “gospel of sin management.” This truncates the Gospel to the belief that we have to adhere to a bunch of good behaviors in order to have a relationship with Jesus. When young people don’t live up to these behaviors, guilt causes them to think that the relationship itself is over. They end up running from God and the church, just when they need both the most.

    But grace is the heart of Christianity, and it needs to be the primary understanding of faith in our homes. Through the Incarnation, God pursues us, offering a gift of salvation that isn’t dependent upon our actions or our ability to clean ourselves up. It’s a gift we simply receive. And continue to receive every day.

    Kids make mistakes. They’ll choose to sin. I frequently tell my children that Jesus is bigger than any mistake we can make. He can handle it all — all our little accidental mistakes, all our big intentional sins.

    Grace doesn’t mean we live without boundaries. Kids need parents to clearly establish behavioral guidelines and then discipline them when they step across those lines. But we must strive for a way to sprinkle grace even into our discipline — perhaps especially in our discipline. Sometimes, it’s the tone of voice we use when taking away privileges. Other times, it’s how we empathize with a child’s frustration — the frustration he feels over a poor choice. Or, (more likely) the frustration he feels with his parents for imposing discipline.

    Kids also need to see their parents relying on the same grace that we want them to experience. If we want our homes to shine with a complete picture of grace, we as parents need to be quick to apologize. Confessing our mistakes to our kids not only builds closer family relationships, but it also helps our kids recognize everyone’s need for God’s tender mercies. Indeed, you’re more likely to have children repent if you have made “I’m sorry” a regular part of your vocabulary.


    Excerpt from A Faith That Sticks by Kara Powell

  • Friends & Family Weekend

    We’re planning for a great time this weekend! Come on out this Friday night @ 6:30PM for a music night, featuring “The Narrow”,from Olivet Nazarene University. The Nineteen Fifty est. coffee shop will offer beverages and snacks.

    On Saturday morning @ 10AM, we’re having our annual Friends and Family 5K and 2K walk at KCC. Come dressed in your favorite sports apparel for the run! There will be games and a 100yard race for kids, who can dress up as their favorite super hero! There is no cost for the run, but we will be accepting canned food donations for the benevolence ministry.

    Don’t miss out Sunday morning for our one service at 10AM! “The Narrow” will be with us again to lead us in worship. Right after service we’ll have a free lunch, activities for kids, pony rides, face painting, and our family friendly Field Games. Don’t miss out this weekend, in finding and building community @ Peoples Church!

  • Launching Battleships

    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)

    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

    The passage shares God’s command, not suggestion. God intended it to describe an educational process for families to disciple each generation. These few verses shaped the lineage of Israel, significantly impacting each generation. For them, every generation plays a role and is just as significant. Putting it simply, God has a plan for each generation to know and love Him. The key piece to this plan is through the family!

    When it comes to raising your children, are you “skipping stones” or launching “battleships”? No matter how hard you throw a stone and no matter how many “skips” you get, that stone is always going to sink. Many young people today will identify with the “skipping stones”. Sure, they start off great, moving with a lot of speed, but they eventually lose power and sink right to the bottom, never to emerge again.

    When following the commands of Deut. 6 we are not preparing our kids like skipping stones, we are slowly but surely building up battleships. Though battleships take time to build and are obviously much heavier than rocks, they will not easily sink! Battleships cruise through the water and waves with ease and are not afraid to take on what is ahead of them. They are built to last and move in power. Generational discipleship is not dumping sermon after sermon on your kids, it’s intentionally investing in them in everyday scenarios. It’s living genuine and passionate lifes for Jesus Christ every day! When you’re at home, it’s about Jesus. When you’re at the store, it’s about Jesus. When you’re on vacation, it’s still about Jesus. Our kids are learning how to live for Jesus by watching you. Don’t spend too much time lamenting over mistakes, let’s correct what needs to be corrected and begin living the D6 (Deuteronomy 6) lifestyle!

    Go Deeper:


    The DNA of D6







  • Praying with your children

    No matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to begin praying with them. Here are a few
    ideas to help you get started.

    Newspaper prayer: Have each family member take a portion of the newspaper and circle items that he
    or she feels need to be prayer for. Then ask family members to pray for the things they circled.

    Sentence Prayer: You can help your children pray aloud by giving them a sentence to complete, such as:

    “Lord, I thank you for…”
    “Lord, forgive me for…”
    “Lord, help my friend…”
    “Lord, help me to let go…”

    Highs and Lows: Ask your children what their “highs” were from the day, and then ask them about their
    “lows” from the day. Share your highs and lows as well, and than pray about them together.

    Prayer Journal: Share your prayer requests with the other members of your family, and then record
    them in a prayer journal. One person can pray for all the requests you’ve listed for the day. The next
    time you pray together, look over the requests you listed previously, and update any changes and
    answers. This is a good way to see how God has been active in your prayer lives.

    Remember that prayer is just a conversation with God. Let your children hear you talking with God
    about your day, your concerns, and your joys, and then ask them to do the same.

    Adapted from Faith Begins at Home by Mark Holmen

  • Seize the Moment













    “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

    “We will not hide them from their descendants, we will tell the next generation, the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” –Psalm 78:4



    Scripture clearly articulates the duty of parents, grandparents, and invested adults to instruct children in the things of the Lord. Every generation of Christians bears the responsibility of handing down what they have received—the testimony of who God is and what He has done—to the next generation. When it comes to passing on this precious story, we don’t need to over-complicate it. In Deuteronomy 6, Moses doesn’t give us a program, manual, or an overcooked strategy for discipleship. Moses simply encourages us to seize the moment.

    Life is busy. The thought of adding something else to your already full schedule generates more anxiety than anticipation. Here’s how you keep your priority to impress truth upon the hearts of your kids. Your greatest mission will be best accomplished through this simple, daily practice. Just seize the moment.

    Here is what this can look like…

    • As you drive your kids to school, turn the radio off and pray for them. It’s probably going to be short and simple, but it opens the opportunity for them to share their concerns with you. Seize the moment to impress their hearts that God cares about our daily struggles.
    • It’s time for dinner and you finally get a chance to sit down together…Put the phones away and seize the moment. Let them know what you read in the Bible today or how you handled a conflict with patience.
    • It’s Sunday morning at church, and you notice a couple of teens in service. Seize the moment! Introduce yourself, get to know them, and ask how you can pray for them.
    • It’s been a long day. You left work, cooked dinner, brought your kid to practice, picked them up, convinced them to finish their homework, and now you made it…it’s bed-time. Before you turn off the lights, seize the moment. Ask your children (no matter their ages), “What is God doing in your life?” “Do you have anything you would like to talk about?” Pray for them and let them know that God is good and always near.

    These verses bring tremendous encouragement. Reaching and discipling the next generation doesn’t have to be complicated. Just seize the moment. Read scripture together, play your family’s favorite worship music at home, and share how much you love Jesus. Kids will always catch what we project!



  • Set The Pace

    "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." Heb. 12:1

    There is nothing more rewarding, exciting, and fun (nerve-racking too!) then being a parent!  There are many blessings that come with being a parent, but great responsibility too!  Parents are the #1 influencer in a child's life and as you already know they're always watching and repeating what they see and hear.  The old saying "do as I say not as I do" is a foreign language to kids...the "bar" you set is what they will usually aim for.  That can be great news in alot of situations, not so much in others! 

    So when it comes to matters of faith, make sure you are setting the bar high!  Mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, uncle, (whatever relationship you have to a child) make sure you set the pace spiriually!  Don't walk or jog...let your children see you run after God with passion and perseverance!  Then watch how contagious this faith becomes for your kids!


    Here are a couple of ways you can "set the pace" in your home:

    -Believe God for to much, rather then to little.

    -Be a better person in private, then you are in public.

    -Pray.  Simple, but absolutely powerful!

    -Stay teachable

    -Be faithful in the little things

    -Prioritize the things of God first, in all things.

    -Teach your kids how to serve, by actually serving.

    More tips here


    Dont allow discouragement to keep you from "setting the pace".  God will equip you with everything you need to lead and be an example for your family!

  • 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!

  • Teach Me to Pray

    Read Together:

    In this manner, therefore, pray:

    “Our Father in heaven,
    Hallowed be Your name.

    Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our debts,
    As we forgive our debtors.
     And do not lead us into temptation,
    But deliver us from the evil one.
    For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

    Matt. 6:9-13

    Main idea:

    Jesus often retreated to a quiet place to spend time alone with His Father. Prayer refreshed Him after a long day of ministry. It was His source of strength. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us how to pray and offered the Lord’s Prayer as an example.  We too, can find our strength and be refreshed in the Lord as we turn to prayer.

    Preschool & Early Elementary Takeaway:

    Jesus taught us to pray because it helps focus our thinking on God’s will, not our own. The Lord’s Prayer declares God as our provider. It acknowledges that only God can forgive our sins, ease our anger and to protect us. 

    Why is it important for us to forgive others?

    What does it feel like when someone forgives you? 

    Student & Teen Takeaway:

    It’s important that we move beyond prayer as a means of obtaining our personal wants and needs and to focus it as a time to increase our desire for God and to get on board with His mission (reaching the lost). Prayer not only draws us closer to God, but gives us compassion for our family, friends, and neighbors. 

    What does the Lord’s Prayer tell us about what’s important to God?

    What struggles have you experienced in prayer?

    What do you think it means to persevere in prayer? Why would this be important?

    Couples: Each day brings it’s own challenges, some easier than others.  We often forget to protect our hearts from the worry, stress, anxiety, frustrations, disappointments, etc. that we experience throughout the day.  Turning to prayer, particularly as a couple, can help us get our eyes off our circumstances and to fix them once again on Jesus Christ!

    How can I pray for you today?

    Who in our family should we be praying for?

    Pray Together:

     Lord, we need you.  We know you’re the provider, savior, and protector of our family.  We pray that you continue to soften each of our hearts, help us to be sensitive to the leading of your Holy Spirit.  Forgive us for trying to live out of our own strength.  There is nothing that You can’t do.  We will trust in you!

    Sing Together:

    Lord, I need You.


  • The Importance of Warmth

    The first emotional bonds we form are with our parents, and the nature of these bonds influences us throughout our lives. For many young adults, parents have been the primary influence on their spiritual and religious development, and relations with parents are linked to their first conceptions of God. Instilling Christian truths into our children and inspiring them to pursue their own relationships with God is of the upmost importance for Christian parents. But what exactly promotes or hinders this spiritual transmission to the next generation?

    Research collected by Vern L. Bengtson in the book, Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations, states that the quality of parent-child relationships, is strongly associated with the passing on of the faith from generation to generation. Vern identifies four different parenting styles that help promote or hinder spiritual transmission:

    #1- Warm, affirming parenting: This is perceived by the child as a consistently close relationship with one or usually both parents. This type of parenting can be described as loving, supportive, and respectful. The methods in this parenting style for religious socialization involves teaching, modeling, and living in a community that affirms their faith. This isn’t perfect parenting, and it is not without some bumps and bruises. Bengstons’s research shows though, that these parents are living consistent, Christian lifestyles. Throughout the research, it reveals the better the relationship one has with their children, the better the likelihood of their children embracing their faith as adults.

    #2- Authoritarian Parenting: The other extreme of warm parenting would be a parenting style perceived by the child as cold, distant, or authoritarian. With this style, even the most dedicated efforts by parents, to pass on their faith, can be undone. Many young adults in Bengston’s findings report they no longer adhere to any religious affiliation due to their parents, and other well-meaning adults, being highly critical and having fractured relationships.

    #3-Mixed Message Parenting: Sometimes a parent, usually a father, appears to shift between criticism and nurturance, creating an ambiguous image in the child’s eye. The child can also perceive parents occupying two extremes, one being very excited about their faith and the other more ambivalent. In Bengston’s research, they’ve found when there is “mixed-message parenting,” there is less intergenerational continuity of faith.

    #4- Preoccupied Parenting: This type of parenting refers to parents who are distracted by marital, financial, or health problems, occasionally even substance abuse. These parents mean well, but when preoccupied for a long period of time, in which the children are not near the center of the parents’ attention, the research shows that it does not typically lead to a successful passing on of the faith.

    In summary, in families of faith, warmth matters. The quality of the parent-child relationship directly affects how much influence mothers and fathers have on their children’s spiritual temperature in adulthood. The young adults in Bengston’s study who felt particularly close to one or both parents not only continued in the faith, but have many positive experiences of their own too!

    If interested to learn more about this study, check out the book Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations

  • 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




  • What is Family Worship?

    What is Family Worship?

    And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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.” —Deuteronomy 6:6–7


    One of the primary responsibilities God gives parents is to raise their children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. God calls parents to lead and love their family diligently; regularly reminding their children of the faithfulness and glory of God found through the Lord Jesus Christ. Family worship is simple: you read God’s Word together, pray together, and sing.  It does not have to be super-spiritual or deep.  In fact, there may be sometimes you wonder if it is having any effect at all.  Be careful with those harmful thoughts.  Let us remember to not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  The power of Family Worship is not in an evening, but in the work of the Holy Spirit through the sowing of the Word of God over time. Keep sowing, keep watering, impress God’s truth, no matter what!   

    If you haven’t started Family Worship, we’re here to help!  Soon we’ll be providing some Family Worship guides for your family to use at home.  In the meantime, here’s a way to begin incorporating the Bible into your family’s routine.  One of the best and most fun ways to kickstart spiritual conversations and reading scripture with your family is around the dinner table.  What I have found helpful when doing this is to first make sure everyone has their food and drink before we begin. (Even after getting everyone settled, there will always be distractions. Keep going…patiently.)  Then, I simply share with my family what the Lord revealed to me during my morning devotional time.  I read the scripture, share what it means to me, and I ask them what they think about the scripture read.  Depending on the age, this is where it can get interesting!  Hang in there and trust that the Lord will do His work. Add this simple routine to your family dinner…tonight!

  • What is Winning@Home?

    Winning at Home is here to help connect what happens on Sunday morning to the rest of your week! You will find takeaways from Sunday’s services, resources that will strengthen you and your family, and helpful tips on how to apply your faith in everyday situations.

    Let’s start 2016 with momentum and a focus to connect our faith to everyday! Here is an article with helpful tips on how to start off the year in God’s Word.


    “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4)

EasyTagCloud v2.8

About Us

Located in Bourbonnais, Illinois, we are a praying church dedicated to the transformation of our community and the world by the powerful message of Jesus Christ.

Upcoming Events