Moms and dads dream of a future where their kids become adults and still want to come home regularly to visit. As parents, there’s something we can do to lay the foundation for that dream to become a reality.
Click here to watch the video:
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Ideal can seem out of reach, and it sometimes feels easier to put it out of sight. Part of being a parent is to point our children toward the ideal, while at the same time navigating what is real.
Click here to watch a message from Andy Stanley on parenting:
If you're a single parent and you watch this, don't misunderstand what he says. He says the ideal situation is for parents to be married but unfortunately for many of us, me included, we end up having to raise our kids as single parents. Let me encourage you that it can be done, with a good outcome, and remember the importance of being connected to the church as none of us are meant to do this on our own.
Let us know your thoughts or any prayer requests you may have by clicking here.
Parents here's a great idea to do with your kids. Get a pumpkin and a black sharpie and every day have your family write something they're thankful for. By Halloween your pumpkin should be full.
The Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” looks into the ways social media companies use collected data to keep users engaged for longer periods of time. Catherine Price, author of “How to Break Up With Your Phone,” gives Hoda and Jenna tips for creating a smarter relationship with technology.
Click here to watch a video to learn more.
Please take a moment to watch Pastor Lisa as she encourages us in the Red Letter Challenge and shares about some updates.
We would love to have your testimonies of how God is working, too!
Send your testimony, questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Every parent has had the frustrating experience of telling their child one thing and then watching them do the opposite. God has the same experience with us. The reason He has given us His Word is because He wants us to live according to His Word. At the end of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains that the purpose of his message is not just so that folks can hear some good preaching, but so that they will live according to the preaching.
Watch below as Lisa shares on Day 1 of our 40 day Red Letter Challenge on being with Jesus and doing what He says.
Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know by clicking here.
Pastor Lisa explains more about the upcoming Red Letter Challenge and encourages us all to join in!
Have you heard about the Red Letter Challenge? It's a 40-day adventure that will change your life and we're going through it together as a church!
Watch below as Lisa explains more!
If you'd like to have more info about the Red Letter Challenge, or to register, check out our home page, call 604-531-2344 or click here to email.
One of the most important things we can do as Christian parents is be intentional about speaking life over our kids. The Bible says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue,” and we can powerfully impact our children’s lives and futures by the words we say — positively OR negatively.
So today, I want to talk about why this is so important, what kinds of things we should be speaking over them.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEAKING LIFE OVER YOUR KIDS
Why is it so important that we put thought and effort into the things we speak over our children? Why should we guard our mouths, carefully choose our words, and intentionally speak and pray life-giving truths over them?
God’s Word tells us over and over again that our words have incredible power. We can use them to bring blessings and life or curses and death. What a responsibility!
Here are just a few of the things that the Bible has to say about our words:
SCRIPTURES ABOUT THE POWER OF OUR WORDS
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In Psalm 78, God gives us a blueprint for how faith is replicated throughout all generations. He chose to use the family as the primary place to nurture faith. Now that social distancing is the new normal in these next few months, families are spending more time together. It is parent’s responsibility to “tell the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” (v. 4) We wanted to give you some tips to assist you in loving your kids well during this time.
A WORD TO PARENTS
There are times in our lives when things seem a little crazy or out of control. It seems like nothing is normal. During these times, children will look to the only people they know can bring some kind of comfort and normalcy – adults that they trust. Whether you are mom, dad, nana, pops or auntie, it doesn’t matter. They will be watching and listening.
This is an opportune time to talk about God. He is the only constant in our lives. He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our God only requires us to be real and to trust Him. We can show our little ones and even our teens how we can be real with God with our emotions and still trust Him.
Faith is often caught not taught. So, here is permission to be honest to yourself and to your kiddos. If you are feeling scared, let them know you are scared. However, the most important part is to show how you take your scared self to God through prayer, devotions, reading His stories and most of all by placing your trust in Him. God is with us throughout this journey called life. Let’s invite Him into our conversations, emotions and into our children’s lives. After all, God is not only your heavenly Father but also theirs.
TALKING ABOUT COVID-19 WITH YOUR CHILDREN
When talking about the COVID-19, remember children are able to handle information according to their age. It is possible to overwhelm them with too much information. It is hard enough for adults to process what we can not control. Help your children by protecting them from too much information.
0-3yrs old – They really don’t care. They want to play and enjoy time with you. They are very selfish little ones who are adorably cute. It’s okay for them to be selfish. In these everyday moments with our children, it is parent’s responsibility to express the Father’s love through our actions. When you are patient with your children, they see God’s patience through you. When you get angry, but ask for forgiveness, they begin to understand the mercy of God. Take time to express the Father’s love to your children in this time.
3-5yrs old – They will only be aware of what they see or hear from you. They will imitate you to a tee. They are only interested on how you react. Because of your reaction, your children will mimic you so allow yourself to pause and see yourself in your young child. Ask them why they reacted the way they did, and share comfort to them in hugs, encouraging words, and care. These are opportunity to express God’s care for us, even in difficult time through simple interaction of love. Ultimately, we must keep it simple. Here are some examples of how to communicate the changes and make it interactive for them:
You can’t play with your friends because we are all working on staying healthy.
We can’t go to our friend’s house, but we can call them.
Let’s draw/color a picture to send to our friends.
Let’s schedule a ‘watch the same movie day.’ (It’ll be a watch party from our own homes. Try to have some of the same snacks.)
If they do ask about the virus, keep it simple like ‘People are getting sick’. This is why we are washing our hands, staying home and eating good food. When everyone is better, we will be able to visit friends.’
Elementary – At this age, kids are more curious. They will miss their friends. Try to be creative on staying connected to friends like phone calls, text, drawing pictures, sending pics of their crafts and such. They will care about the why more than the what. Why are they not with their friends, school, teacher, etc. versus what is going on? This is a great opportunity to point them to certain stories in God’s Word that will show that God is in control. He knows what is best. This is why we put our trust in Him because He promises to always be with us and protect us from any harm. Again, keep it simple but with enough information that will help them understand the importance of trusting God by staying home. Here are some examples of how to give enough information but keep it simple:
COVID is a type of flu. Do you remember how it felt to be sick with the flu? This flu is easy to make others sick, too. Everyone is staying home to keep each other healthy. I know it’s different and hard, but God is with us and He will protect us in this time.
Please let us know your thoughts or if we can help you in any way by clicking here.
We’re home. I mean, a lot. I’m assuming you are to; whether you’re reading this in America or Australia or South Korea, a global pandemic means we are all spending a lot more time at a place we call home.
Being home has caused me to do some reflecting and I realized that in doing so, I found myself going “back to the basics” in regard to discipleship at home.
The other day I had someone say to me, “I love reading your blog and I like your thoughts on discipleship in the home but I don’t even know how to get started. I don’t think of those things like you do. Where do I start?”
It’s a good question and one that I have heard expressed many times before. Acknowledgment of the need for faith formation at home is often overshadowed by fears of implementation.
- How do you “see God in the everyday”?
- How do you begin to prepare for a “faith talk”?
- What in the world does it mean to “speak a blessing” over your kids?
If you, or the parents you serve, have ever asked these questions or ones like them, take a second and celebrate. Why? Because asking questions like these show a heart that is already in tune with God’s heart for children and families and even if you feel completely at a loss for “what to do” chances are the very fact you feel that way probably reflects in your parenting and leadership already.
Combining that heart with intentional actions created to draw children into the “mystery” of the faith is a dynamic duo for discipleship at home.
If this is a new arena for your family or those you serve, I encourage you to start with these four small but powerful “baby steps” that begin to shift the focus of the home towards Christ.
In Deut 6:4-9, God tells parents to “impress” His commands on the children and provides four times in which to do that. One of those times is “when you rise.” Mornings can often be rushed, crazy times as everyone is trying to get shoes tied, hair brushed, coffee guzzled and breakfast consumed. In the middle of it all, take just 30 seconds to stop with each child and pray a simple blessing.
This prayer doesn’t have to be long or eloquent. In fact, simple is good; it’s easy to remember and repeat daily. Something like, “Lord, be with Grace today. May she know that you are with her, that you love her and that you have called her by name and may she return home full of joy and wisdom.”
Another time God encourages us to engage with our kids is “when you sit.” It’s rare to have families in a place where they all sit down together, but sometimes dinner still gives us that opportunity. To center our conversation during those nights, our family asks four questions: What was your high today? What was your low? What mistake did you make? Where did you see God today?
We have had more “teachable moments” at dinner than we could have ever imagined. Sometimes we only get two questions in before we begin discussing something related to our faith, God, family or church. And what’s great is that everyone, even Mom and Dad, gets to participate.
God tells parents to share with their kids as they “walk along the road.” This doesn’t happen as much as it did but we do drive along the road an awful lot. If you have to travel frequently, might I suggest downloading or purchasing some Adventures in Odessey programs from Focus on the Family? These radio dramas provide a great platform for discussion with kids and they will love listening to them (you will too – they’re pretty great!). We have had many conversations with our children brought on by topics discussed in the episode and as an added bonus, the episodes all have Scriptures to go with them so you don’t have to figure it out yourself!
Older children/teens? Podcasts! There are some great podcasts out there that explore history and story. Remember, Jesus is with us everywhere and He is the greatest storyteller. Listening together to these podcasts can open up conversation that allow us, as parents, to introduce our children to a providential God who shows up all through history.
The final time God specifies is “when you lie down.” Kids are fantastic stallers when it comes to bedtime. Wouldn’t it be great if you got them at their own game and turned their stall time into a time for discussion and blessing?
For young children, check out the Jesus Storybook Bible which tells the stories of Scripture in a unique way and points out where Jesus can be found in every story.
For older kids, before they go to bed, simply ask them if anything is on their mind that they need to talk about before bed so they can sleep well. It will shock you what they are willing to share in that safe place with you. These moments will be the last thoughts before your cherub slips off to sleep; can you think of a better sendoff?
Once these four practices become habitual for you, you will find it much easier to put Christ in the center of your family activities. Your kids won’t think it’s “weird” when you take time to schedule a Family Faith Talk because you’ve already invited Jesus to the dinner table. It won’t feel difficult to turn to Scripture in everyday moments because you’ve been listening to it in the car and reading it before bed. And before you know it, your baby steps will become faith-forming strides as discipleship happens… at home.
We'd love to hear ways that you disciple your kids! Let us know by sending us a comment here.
God tasks parents with the holy calling of raising our children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” In this our greatest task is to help them understand the Gospel so they might trust in Christ and be saved. The problem for parents is that we often have a difficult time discerning when our kids have truly come to Christ. Either we get excited that our kids are showing interest in the Gospel and pronounce them Christians too quickly or we are so afraid of them making a false profession of faith that we go a long time without treating them as a brother or sister in Christ.
As parents we do have some guidance in knowing if our children are truly in the faith. Everything that would be present in an adult’s conversion will be present in a child’s conversion, but it will show itself in a different manner. I was 19 when I came to Jesus, and was aware of my new life in Christ the moment it took place. At the same time we have stories like John Piper’s. He does not remember his conversion, but his mother was convinced he came to faith and he does not remember ever not believing since then.
We can never know beyond a shadow of a doubt if our child has actually trusted in Christ, but we can see evidences that point to a genuine conversion. Here are some questions we can ask as we attempt to discern whether or not our children have trusted in Christ.
Does Your Child Know He Needs a Savior?
Awareness of sin and the need for a savior is an absolute necessity in conversion. While a child will not have years of drunkenness or debauchery for which they should be ashamed, he will know he has sinned and needs to be forgiven. In Romans 2, Paul talks about the law being written on the heart of every person. We instinctively know we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
When your child tells you he wants to become a Christian or starts talking about baptism, ask him why he is thinking about this now. Draw out of him, in his words at his age level, whether he feels conviction for his sins and knows that he needs a Savior. Unless he is convinced of his sins, he cannot know that he has a problem from which he needs to be saved.
Does Your Child Understand Jesus’ Death and Resurrection?
If your child shows awareness of and conviction for sin, begin to talk to her about Jesus. You will not be looking for her to give a discourse on the hypostatic union or penal substitutionary atonement. Does she know Jesus is the son of God? Does she believe that he is real, and that he lived the perfect life we could never live?
Then you should move into a discussion about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Can she articulate the basic facts about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Again, you are not looking for a doctoral level treatise, but in her words can she tell you about what Jesus did for her. What you are looking for here is illumination. As she talks about Jesus, do you see an awareness that she understands and knows this at a heart level?
Does Your Child Believe She is Saved by Repentance and Faith?
The other night we read about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment so she could be healed in our family devotion. Jesus told her that her faith made her well. I took that opportunity to talk to our daughters about salvation being by faith alone. Their Dad is a pastor, their Grandfather is a pastor, their Uncle is a pastor, and their Great-Grandfather was a pastor. They never remember a time when they were not gathering with the church each Sunday and never remember a time when they were not hearing the Gospel in family devotions and in discussions during everyday life, so I wanted to make sure they heard a clear reminder that none of these things make them a Christian.
When your child approaches you about becoming a Christian, you must make sure that she gets this. “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves.” The Scripture’s testimony is clear, and while your child may not be able to give you an excursus on justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness, you do want her to evidence that she knows she must repent and trust in Jesus. Does she understand that her works or her baptism don’t make her a Christian, but that repentance and trust in Jesus do? Does she have childlike faith in Jesus Christ alone?
Is Your Child Showing Signs of New Life?
Seeing signs of the work of the Spirit in your child’s life is not as evident as it would be in an adult. Your six-year old is not going to have the same kind of testimony that a man with a notorious past would have, but his salvation is just a miraculous. If he has trusted in Jesus, he has been born again and the Holy Spirit indwells him. He will shows evidences of conversion.
If believers grow in conviction over our sins, compassion for other people, and display the fruit of the Spirit, then this will be present in your child’s life. It will be there in childlike form, but it will be there. You will also start to see the lights come on for him spiritually. He will start to understand more of God’s truth and demonstrate a greater awareness of God’s work in his life. As you observe his life, do you see signs of the Spirit’s work in him?
Is Your Child Free from External Pressures?
We don't want to put pressure on a child to make a profession of faith without actually understanding the Gospel. You can never know for certain that your child has pure motives in his desire to become to profess Christ, but you should examine to the best of your ability any outside forces that may be exerting pressure on him. Ask him what made him start thinking about this. It may have been a friend’s baptism, but what about the event made him start pondering it for himself? Communion may have sparked an interest in him, but does he just want to take the bread and juice, or did hearing the meaning of Communion draw him to Jesus? These are all factors for you to ask about, think through, and pray over.
Always Bring the Gospel to Your Children
Your child does not get a visible mark on her forehead or a stripe on her back when she comes to Jesus, so you have to talk, pray, and discern. Invite your pastor in to talk to your child and ask questions. He may be able to see and hear things you don’t.
Most of all though, keep putting the Gospel in front of your children. Talk about it in everyday life, in family devotions, and around the table after Sunday worship. Sing songs, pray over your kids, and repent to them when you have wronged them. God’s word never returns void, our labor in the Lord is not in vain, and in due time we will sow if we reap, so take every opportunity to tell and show your kids that Jesus is better than life.
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“Joy, humor, and laughter should be part of everyone's spiritual life. They are gifts from God and help us enjoy creation.” ― James Martin
Sometimes we forget that God created laughter.
Think about it. When God was creating mankind, He equipped us to experience a special burst of enjoyment...a way to release stress and relish the unusual, crazy things in life.
But did you know that laughter also has these 4 additional benefits?
- blood flow
- blood sugar levels
- immune system response
- sleep patterns
God tells us in Proverbs 17:22 that "a merry heart does good like a medicine." And He means it!
Laugh, rejoice, sing, and enjoy the God who gave us laughter. Let it sweep through your soul today and improve your overall health.
Let us know your thoughts, comments or things that make you laugh by clicking here.
Today the kids learned that Jesus’ power lets us live forever.
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. (Romans 8:11)
They heard the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
When we do something wrong, there’s usually a punishment, a consequence. When we sin, the ultimate consequence is separation from God. Forever. Even though Jesus never sinned, He willingly died for us. He loves us so much that He took the punishment for our wrongs. It was the only way to heal our friendship with God.
God saves us by His grace when we believe. And we can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8) We’re powerless to save ourselves. Only Jesus can save us.
Jesus’ story didn’t end at the cross. Remember, Jesus is God’s Son, with God’s power! And that power is stronger than death! Three days after Jesus died, something incredible happened! (Matthew 28:2-4). The angel at the tomb said: “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.”
Jesus’ power beat death—on that day, for Jesus. And today, for you and me. The Bible promises this: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God loves us so much that He sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us. Jesus died and took the punishment for all the wrong things we do. But Jesus is stronger than death, and he came back to life! Jesus wants to be our friend forever. When we ask him to, he’ll take away the wrong things we’ve done and fill our lives with His love. Jesus will always be with us and will help us make the right choices. When we believe in Jesus and ask Him to forgive us, someday we’ll live with Him forever in heaven.
Death is an uncomfortable—and even scary—topic for children and adults. Even though we don’t like to talk or think about it, it’s likely that most kids will experience the death of a pet, friend, or relative. That’s why it’s critical that we help children understand the hope we have through Jesus. Even though death may mean the end of this life, kids can celebrate the astonishing promise of eternal life with Jesus. Today we helped children understand their need for Jesus. They learned that through Jesus’ miraculous power, we can live forever in heaven.
If you'd like to learn more of how you can believe in Jesus and be forgiven and live with Him forever, please click here. We'd love to hear from you.
Another amazing day at Summer Kids Club!
Parents have been telling us their kids are loving it and can't wait to come back the next day!
And... we had a huge treat today! The kids learned about, and got to watch, a baptism! What a joy to celebrate someone's public proclamation of being a follower of Jesus!
Join us this Sunday at www.whiterockbaptist.ca to watch the baptism and a highlight video from this week's camp!
Today the kids learned that Jesus' power gives us hope!
“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” (Psalm 31:24)
After Paul became a follower of Jesus, he fervently shared the news of Jesus everywhere he went. In Jerusalem, Paul encountered a group of men who opposed his teachings. These men began a riot, accusing Paul of spreading false doctrine and of defiling the Temple. Guards arrested Paul and threw him in prison. The following years included trials, death threats, secret transfers to other prisons, and finally a trip to Rome where Paul could plead his case before Caesar.
One time, Paul was with sailors, soldiers and prisoners on a ship in a fierce storm for at least three days. There were hurricane-force winds and huge waves. The weary seamen lost hope of ever being saved. At this low point, Paul shares the hopeful news given by God.
God’s message of hope, conveyed through Paul, rang true for the soldiers, the sailors, and the prisoners. God’s angel assured Paul that “none of you will lose your lives” (Acts 27:22).
In many ways, Paul was powerless in the stormy sea. He didn’t have experience as a sailor. Guards held him prisoner. And, of course, he couldn’t stop the crashing waves and howling winds.
But Paul did have Jesus’ power on his side!
In the same way, the kids at SKC may feel powerless through life’s storms. The world can seem turbulent, dark, and confusing. Bad news crashes over us. Fear blows relentlessly, leaving kids feeling hopeless.
Yet God promises to strengthen us with His power! And we can trust that God’s promises are true. Like Paul, we have Jesus’ power on our side. Today, we celebrated that truth and gave kids the hope of victory and comfort during life’s uncertainties.
Today the kids learned that "Jesus power helps us do hard things", "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
God often asks his followers to do hard things. Noah built an ark. Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son. Mary bore the Son of God. Ananias had the terrifying job of reaching out to Saul.
Saul hated the early church. He approved the stoning of Stephen and arrested and imprisoned Christians. Christians ran away from Saul—not toward him!
In Acts 9:15, God doesn’t ease Ananias’ misgivings with words of comfort or empowerment. He simply shares His life-changing plan for Saul and urges Ananias to go.
Jesus still asks his followers to do hard things. Kids know it’s hard to forgive when someone hurts their feelings. They’ve experienced the difficulty of splitting time between parents’ homes after a divorce. Kids can tell you how tough it is to make new friends, do what’s unpopular, learn a new skill in school, and reach out in friendship to someone who’s lonely.
Today’s activities, at SKC, will encourage kids with the truth that Jesus’ power can fortify them through life’s challenges. Just as Ananias drew strength from God’s reassurance and plan, kids will come away with renewed inspiration that they can trust in Jesus’ power to tackle the hard things they face.
Click here to let us know your thoughts or send us any comments! We'd love to hear from you.
Did you know there are tons of benefits of memorizing Scripture?
Just a few are that Scripture Memory:
1. Renews our mind and transforms our life
2. Helps against temptation
3. helps us live in obedience,
4. brings God's blessing to our lives,
5. allows us to more readily encourage other believers,
6. allows us to share with unchurched people better,
6. gives us a better understanding of God and His will and
7. makes us wise!
Now, who doesn't want all that?
God also calls us to memorize Scripture!
Here are 2 boys who memorized scripture - ages 4 and 2! If they can do it, so can you!
Contact us, if you would like to learn more about memorizing Scripture or receive a Scripture memory plan, at email@example.com
If you've never experienced the fun and excitement of a Summer Kids Club, you are missing out!
Kids talk about it all year long, and volunteers are just as blessed as the kids.
Today is our third day of fun, food, crafts and learning. Seniors and staff from buildings around WRBC parking lot smile and wave and dance along to the music every morning.
The best part is that kids are experiencing God’s Word every day. Memorable Bible Points are reinforced throughout each station, each day — making it easy to apply long after camp is over. The bible memory buddies and all stations work together to make this powerful educational tool work for kids and leaders.
Here's a summary of what they are learning:
- Bible Point – Jesus’ power helps us do hard things.
- Key Bible Verse “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
- Bible Story: Ananias helps Saul. Acts 9:1-19
- Bible Point – Jesus’ power gives us hope.
- Key Bible Verse “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” Psalm 31:24
- Bible Story Paul encourages others in a storm and shipwreck. Acts 27
- Bible Point – Jesus’ power helps us be bold.
- Key Bible Verse “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless” Isaiah 40:29
- Bible Story Peter and John teach about Jesus. Acts 3:1 – 4:31
Day # 4
- Bible Point – Jesus’ power lets us live forever.
- Key Bible Verse “The spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” Romans 8:11
- Bible Story – Jesus’ death and resurrection. Matthew 26:17 – 28:10
- Bible Point – Jesus’ power helps us be good friends.
- Key Bible Verse – “Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12
- Bible Story – The church is united. Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35
It's not too late to join in on the fun!
We're going to have the same camp again from August 10-14!
Click here for more info and to register! All children grades 1-7 are welcome!
How do we usually react when our kids are doing annoying things we don't understand? Especially when we're tired or stressed. Are we inquisitive? Or do we shout for them to stop? For many of us, too many times it is the latter.
Denaye shares a great idea and a story on how being curious instead of accusing worked for her!
She suggests asking your child, "Can you tell me more about what you’re doing?”
Here's an example of how this helped in her parenting:
One day I heard this crazy ruckus outside. I walked out and my son was running back and forth along the stone pavers in our yard pounding them with a metal shovel. Back and forth, back and forth. My first inclination was to scream “KNOCK IT OFF! You are going to break something!”. Instead I took a deep breath and walked out calmly and asked…"Can you tell me more about what you’re doing there?”
He told me he was making music. At second glance, he wasn’t behaving erratically after all. He was pretending the stones were a giant xylophone and the metal shovel was a mallet. Each stone made different sounds based on their sizes. So instead of being mad, I was actually impressed with his creativity.
So what did I do? I told him that he could continue as long as he wasn’t damaging anything. We walked around and checked the stones and they were unharmed. So, I let him carry on. Sometimes there’s a method to their madness and we just have to pause and figure out what it is. Always strive to approach with inquisition rather than accusation—because there might be some serious exploratory learning going on.
Let us know your thoughts or comments by clicking here.
Parenting and trying to raise godly children is the hardest job in the world. 😆
Now, being on the other side, I can’t encourage you enough to make God the #1 priority in your family and in your life. Please take 52 seconds to watch the video, in the link below, on Session 7.
The reward of having two 26 years old who passionately serve and love Jesus is the best reward for all the years of hard work. 😊
Parents, in order for our kids to fall deeply in love with Jesus, our walk has to match our talk. ❤️
Click here for link to video (Session 7 is 52 seconds)
What are your thoughts, struggles, questions? Let us know by clicking "Send Comments" below. We'd love to help.
This Sunday we're learning about favouritism.
We hope you & your kids will join us over at Kids Church@Home to learn more.
If you have any comments or questions, please click "Send Comments" below.
Please watch below as Lisa shares some news about this summer!
We're so excited to host a fun, safe Summer Kids Club this Summer - July 27-31 & Aug 10-14 at WRBC and Aug 17-21 online! We hope your kids and their friends, who don't normally attend church, will be able to join us! Register by July 13 (for early bird discounts) by clicking here.
Enjoy this Bible story about Paul from Galatians 2:11-22 to prepare for the Kids Church lesson this Sunday.
Let Sunday, my family sat in the basement during
our livestream church, and in the course of the hour-long service, one or more
of my boys participated in the following:
- asking for snacks
- flipping through a photo album
- playing with the dog
- racing back and forth across the basement
- hiding under a blanket
- climbing the telepost
- begging for a kids show
It’s not that my kids are “bad”, and it’s not that our church service was boring. It’s that…well, they’re KIDS. And most kids aren’t great at sitting still through a whole sermon, even when it’s on TV. The novelty of “church-on-TV” seems to have worn off, at least for my boys.
Why should they participate in “adult church” anyway?
When I first posted this idea online, several people suggested churches that have dedicated online children’s ministry programs on Sunday morning. That’s fine. I have nothing against children’s ministry. In fact, I worked in paid or volunteer children’s ministry for over 20 years. Our church has a weekly online class for kids too.
While there are definitely benefits to age-appropriate teaching, I firmly believe that inviting our kids into full participation in the service has benefit too!
Participating TOGETHER in church makes our kids feel included right from the start. There has been a lot of chatter recently about why teens leave the church, and it seems that part of the mass exodus may be related to our age-segregated programming (aka Children’s Church and Youth Group).
They’ve been separated for so long, they don’t know how to be part of the bigger church family. When they’re not specifically catered to anymore, they leave because they no longer feel a sense of belonging.
Our kids and teens need to know they belong in the greater Body NOW, not just when they turn 18. To do that, we need at least some aspects of our church life to be intergenerational.
As parents, you an I have the choice to let our faith become intergenerational. We can continue having our own church services, OR we can do something different…something revolutionary.
We can worship TOGETHER.
But since your kids might be a lot like mine, I’m going to share 3 easy steps you can take to help your kids engage in online or Livestream church services (even without a kids program).
Intergenerational church doesn’t need to be exhausting!
1. Be all there.
Be all there. For real.
I mean us, as parents. It’s tempting to answer texts during the service since the pastor won’t notice the white glow on your face. But you know who will notice? Your kids.
If you’re not fully there, they won’t be either. (This article goes more deeply into preparing your own heart for online worship.)
2. Manage Expectations
Sitting through a whole sermon can be hard for kids, especially if they’re not used to sitting through sermons. Or maybe your kids ARE used to sitting through sermons, but they need the expectations (and mild peer pressure) of the church family to help them focus. In the safety of your home, they won’t sit still.
As parents, we need to recognize that it can be weird to sing out loud at home or to sit quietly on the couch watching the pastor speak from the computer.
We need to decide what we will expect from our kids.
Do we want them to sing?
Do we want them to take notes during the sermon?
Do we just want them to stop begging for snacks?
It helps to know our kids. If you have a child with ADHD, expecting him to sit through the sermon is unfair. If your preschooler is always hungry at that time of day, make sure she has a snack. Thankfully, you’ve been stuck at home with these kids for a couple of months now, so you should know what they can and cannot do!
3. Encourage Active Listening
I started homeschooling this year (in September, before it was mandatory 🤣) and here’s one thing I’ve learned:
My kids can sit and listen for a VERY long time when they’re listening to something engaging AND their hands are busy. I keep a bin of Lego in my living room for read-aloud time, and my 6, 8, and 11-year-old boys will happily create while I read for an hour, and still beg for more when my voice is exhausted.
I know my kids are not alone in this. In fact, I got the idea for “active listening” from other homeschool moms.
Friends, active listening WORKS.
So here’s what you do:
Set out some supplies on the floor or table. (See my list below for ideas. )
Instead of begging your kids to sit-down-and-listen-already, simply ask them to create something that reminds them of the service.
For example, if your pastor is preaching on the parable of the sower, ask your child to create something that reminds them of the parable. A young child might glue pompoms to a page as seeds, or scribble a picture of dirt. Older kids might draw or paint the story or set up a re-enactment with building blocks. Teens who might normally be disengaged might enjoy journaling in their Bibles or drawing out the Scripture text in funky lettering.
As they create, your children will be listening better AND they’ll have something concrete to remind them of what they learned. (Also, you’ll get to listen to the sermon for once). Win-win-win!
You may find that you get drawn into the activity as well, and connect more with the service than ever before!
There are MANY ways you could encourage active listening, which I’ll list below. Just know that you can change the type of toy/art supplies each week or just use the one type that works best.
If you like to have a visual reminder that it’s okay to worship God through crafting and journalling, you can print this poster of all the ways kids can engage in Scripture.
8 Types of Supplies To Encourage Active Listening During Church
Here’s a list of possible supplies you could set out:
1. PAPER AND PENCILS.
Young children can draw pictures, and older kids can draw or write out the text in fancy lettering. Throw in some markers and some kids will be sad when the sermon is over!
Allow your kids to pound and roll and sculpt while they’re listening. This little gem was created by my 8-year-old in response to the Easter lessons at church.
These ingenious little craft supplies are perfect for keeping hands busy on long drives, and it turns out they’re also perfect for church! Turn them into glasses so you can see the world through God’s eyes, shape them into little people or animals, or make buildings. WikkiStix are easy for kids of any age to shape, which actually makes them better than playdough, in my opinion.
4. RANDOM CRAFT SUPPLIES
5. BLOCKS OR LEGO
Kids can use blocks to spell words, create scenery, or re-enact Bible stories. My own kids have used blocks to create a lion’s den and to finish the phrase, “God, you are amazing because…”
Find the perfect block set for your family!
6. ART SUPPLIES.
Set out a cup of water, washable paint, brushes, and paper and ask your child to create a piece of art that reflects the service.
7. NATURE SUPPLIES.
One sunny autumn day, my preschooler rushed into the house demanding that we come outside to see his altar. My husband and I were a little shocked at first (I mean, an ALTAR??) but it turns out that he had set up the scene of Elijah on Mount Carmel. He built the altar out of sticks and was throwing colorful autumn leaves onto it to depict the fire coming from heaven.
If you can watch your online church outside, why not let your kids use what’s around them to respond to the service?
8. JOURNALING BIBLES
One of my boys loves to read a portion of text and then draw his interpretation right in his Bible. I let him color the entire page because he has a second Bible. I love that he will have this journaling Bible as a keepsake, and it is also a great learning tool!
Find a journaling Bible!
So that’s it! When you try this at home, please let me know how it goes. Leave a comment here or connect with me on social media!
May God give you the wisdom to know your child and the grace to set their imagination loose to experience the wonders of God even through online church.
Please let us know if any of these helped you and if you have more suggestions!