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Tag Archives: Parenting

Kids in Alabama Need Your Help

Speaking of talking with your kids about death, I was just informed of an amazing organization that is coming alongside families who are recovering from the devastating tornadoes that hit the South last week.

Mitzi Eaker has put together a really neat project that is a very practical way for your family to lend a hand in bringing hope and love to kids who need to know that God and the Church are still looking out for them.  Think “Operation Christmas Child” – but in May.  Here’s some quick info I was provided by some friends who are close to the project.

“We are asking that families and children’s ministries across the country get involved by creating “Boxes of Hope” for children which will be distributed in disaster relief centers, emergency shelters, and area hospitals to storm victims. These boxes will contain a personal note to the children with scripture for encouragement, fun activities such as a coloring book, small toys or games, and a few toiletry items. “Boxes of Hope” are aimed at providing a distraction and encouragement to children who have lost everything in this heartbreaking disaster. As parents, we know that seeing our children receive such a gift in this circumstance would help put our minds at ease as well.”


Read more,  including how your family can be involved by visiting kids4al.com.

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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Review: Spiritual Parenting DVD Curriculum

I recently had an opportunity to continue reviewing products from the Spiritual Parenting series produced by David C. Cook and written by Michelle Anthony. Michelle Anthony, by the way, has served as the Pastor of Family Ministries at ROCKHARBOR Church, the Family Ministries Architect for David C Cook and is the author of the book Spiritual Parenting (which I previously reviewed here: https://westcoastcm.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/kidmin-book-review-spiritual-parenting).

Here’s a quick video intro from Michelle, herself:

I want to keep this review concise, so let me jump straight to the Digs and Dribbles…

Things I Dig

I love, love, love the quality of these videos.  All too often, DVD curriculum is simply footage from a fixed camera that someone clearly pushed record on and walked away during a conference.  This is not the case with this curriculum.  This DVD set is creatively put together with multiple shots and great editing.  Seriously, my hat goes off to the guys and gals over at David C. Cook who put this package together – well done!

I’m also blown away with the depth of the content provided in this series.  Michelle and her team didn’t hold back when they put this series together.  There’s a ton of information to be gathered from this curriculum… I’m impressed with the effort that was put into this series.

Things that Dribbled

If you read my last review of Spiritual Parenting, you’ll know that I’m often asking what the parent who’s not already engaged in the church should do with this resource.  I’m still asking those questions with this curriculum.  As a church, we would offer a series like this on Sunday mornings at our parenting gathering/fellowship – which, believe it or not, is not a room full of Christian parents (some are… but not all).  With that said, this could be a great resource to pass on to families who are already committed believers – that’s just not our target audience.

I’d also have to agree with my friend, Gina McClain, when she noted that these sessions are LONG.  When you factor in discussion and activities, these sessions will clock in at nearly 90 minutes… an amount of time that I think is a stretch for our programming – on campus or in small group settings.  Again, it’s not a knock against the content – it would be 90 minutes of greatness.  We just don’t have that time in our context.

Wrapping Up

Overall, this is a resource that I’m going to pick up and give to a small group of parents in our church who are looking for a “next step” in nurturing their family’s faith journey.  I’ll probably even take the DVD’s for a test run with my wife as we wrestle through some of the great questions that Michelle brings up.

You can purchase the series here.

Follow Spiritual Parenting on Facebook here.

Follow Michelle on Twitter here.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Resources

 

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Kidmin Book Review: Spiritual Parenting

Earlier this week, I mentioned that I’d be reviewing Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony… and just that teaser post peaked interest from parents and fellow kidmin leaders.

I’ll tell you this up front – I think this is a great resource for some parents and it isn’t the right resource for many others.  I think there are truths in this book that any parent can take away, don’t get me wrong… I’m just not going to suggest that you put a copy in every parent’s hands.

Who is Spiritual Parenting written for?

Our goal as parents should be to endeavor to pass down our faith to the next generation in such a way that they will be able to pass down their faith to the following generation in our absence.

Go ahead, read that quote again.  If you agree with Michelle’s premise (and I do!), then you’re going to dig this resource.  If that doesn’t resonate with you, if that’s not the end you have in mind, then your going to struggle with the house that gets built on that foundation.

So… who is this resource for again?

The answer to this question is simple and complex.

The simple part – this book is for those of us who deeply desire to pass the faith on well to our children, our grandchildren and the generations that will follow.

The complex part – it’s not just for parents.  This book is for children’s minstry leaders, pastors, moms, dads, grandmas, teachers – anyone who can shape a child’s life and wants to shape it in a way that makes a lasting impact for generations to come.  Anyone who has the power to help shape a child’s environment should take the time to read through this resource.

Digs and Dribbles

Not familiar with what “Digs and Dribbles” means?

That’s okay… I just made it up.

Basically, there are parts of this book that I really dig.  They will shape the way I parent and the way I minister to families from here on out.  There are other parts of this book, as there are in any resource, where the content dribbles a bit.  That is, if the book were a fountain of take-aways, there are sections where the water merely dribbles out.

Things I Dig

The best gift we can give our children is the confidence to see that we believe everything is filtered (even the bad stuff) through God’s hands.  We need to release our control of their circumstances.

More than any chapter, Michelle’s chapter “A Heart of Dependence: An Environment of Out of the Comfort Zone” (chapter 7) is one that I want the families at our church to own.  I would buy this resource and pass it out to every parent in our Homebuilders class and every family that hangs out with us on Wednesday nights if you could guarantee me that 10% of them would own this value after reading the book.

I think what I dig most about Spiritual Parenting is how Michelle takes values that I think I own and challenges me as a parent to cultivate environments that help produce what God desires for my son and daughter.  Her concept of cultivating environments is fascinating – it’s going to help shape the way I parent.  Because, in the end, it’s not about perfect behavior.  It’s about passionate hearts. (her line, not mine)

Things that Dribbled

Throughout the book I kept wondering – what about the parent who isn’t “there” yet?  How do I walk a parent to a place where they care more about their child’s spiritual development than their test scores, their soccer practice or even their safety? (seriously, I DIG chapter 7)

The only dribble is that I think you need to have built a ton of trust with a parent to put this resource in their hand and have them begin to own the ideas behind it.  Let me compare this to a book I recently put in the hands of as many parents as I could – Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (this year alone, we handed out copies to over 100 families).  At their core, the parents in our community feel overwhelmed – and that book speaks to that in a mighty way!  It was easier to hand it out because it answered a felt need.  I’m not sure, in the hustle and bustle of family life, that parents know how much they need a resource like this. (but they do. They really do!)

Wrapping Up

I want families to be as transformed by this book as I have been – but, it’s going to take some work on my end.

If you’re a parent reading this post, you’re probably already in a place where this book can touch your life and your parenting style – heck, you’re already looking to have other voices and thoughts in your parenting circle.  However, if you’re a leader of parents, you’ll need to pick up a copy and start planning baby steps for the parents in your community to get to a place where they feel like they need a resource like this.  Because they do – they really do.

 

Order your copy here.  Share your own review here.  And, as always, share your thoughts below.

Disclosure:  A complimentary copy of Spiritual Parenting was provided by David C Cook for purposes of review.  I didn’t promise them I’d be nice… and, I’m pretty sure they’re cool with that.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Book Review, Kidmin, Resources

 

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Reggie Joiner: Parents in Transition

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The following is a guest post submitted by Reggie Joiner.  I’m humbled and honored to post his words below.

Parents in Transition

Time flies fast from elementary to college age, so get ready to change your parenting habits. Every child seems to move in warp speed toward the teenage years.

I was caught by surprise when a new declaration of personal independence was automatically assumed the day my son got his driver’s license. It was as though I represented an oppressive and extremely unfair regime whenever I tried to enforce any rule. (Whenever I said no to one of my teenage daughters, she would go to her bedroom, close the door and play Britney Spears’ “Overprotected” over and over again for over an hour, loud enough for me and the whole house to hear.) I have to admit, it was difficult for me to transition from parenting children to parenting teenagers. I had worked with teenagers all of my life, but I had never actually had any living in my home. I am still a recovering parent of teens, but here are a few things I have recognized about this chapter of parenting:

It’s a complicated time.

While your children are transitioning from being dependent to independent, you are transitioning as a parent from having authority to leveraging your influence. You can’t parent them the same way you did when they were in elementary school.

It’s an urgent time.

Face it. You know a window is closing fast. Ready or not, in a few short years your children will be leaving home. You are running out of time, and it is easy to feel a little panicked. Everything seems to matter more (grades, decisions, relationships.) And to make matters worse, everything costs more too. Have I mentioned the price of college these days? Feeling better?

Keep fighting for your teenager’s emotional health by investing in relational time with them. Especially during this uncertain season, they need a positive relationship with you more than you or they may realize. Here are a few things to remember that might help you make the time you spend with your teenager more meaningful:

• Find a common activity you can both enjoy.

Go to favorite restaurant, movie, or concert. Discover a hobby or a type of recreation you can do together. Find common interests. It only takes a few.

• Make sure there is no agenda.

They will see right through a masked motive and interpret your effort to hang out as manipulation. Don’t forget. This is about building your relationship. So don’t use this time to deal with issues. Guard the fun.

• Keep it outside the house.

You probably already spend most of your time together in your home. It can be full of duties, responsibilities, and distractions, so get out and do something that is a contrast to your normal routine.

• Do it without friends.

Anyone you add to your time will drastically change the dynamic. Give your teenager individual and undivided attention, without your friends or their friends, and even without siblings.

• Mutually agree to turn off cell phones.

Make at least part of your time a no-electronic zone. Phones have a way of distracting you from meaningful and engaging dialogue.

• Put it on the schedule (but not on a Friday).

Be sensitive to how a teenager wants to organize his or her life. Discover the rhythm that exists in their schedule and agree with them on the best times to hang out.

• Stay flexible (and be willing to reschedule frequently).

A teenager’s world is always changing. They could feel trapped if you are rigid about your scheduled time with them. Don’t let your time with them become a competition with their other interests and priorities. Avoid making them choose between you and something else they really want to do.

• Remember your goal is not to change them.

Avoid getting into conversations where you are trying to correct or improve a behavior. Save those conversations for another time. You can shut down a positive experience if you try to leverage it to fix something.

• Keep working at it.

Learning to communicate with those you love can be awkward at times. Strive to ask the right kind of questions and listen more than you talk. You are not trying to become your teen’s best friend, but you are laying an important foundation for the kind of friendship you want to enjoy with them during their adult years.

• Use it as an opportunity to give your teenager approval.

I’m amazed at how many adults left home without ever really feeling like their parents believed in them. Look for numerous opportunities to encourage their specific strengths and skills.

Having fun and spending quality time together is increasingly important as your relationship with your child changes. This week, find out what kind of activities your teenager likes, and schedule some intentional time together when you can simply enjoy being together.

And if you have other tips you’ve discovered about spending time with a teenage son or daughter, please post them in the comments so we can all learn from our shared experiences.

(This guest post was submitted by Reggie Joiner. Reggie blogs regularly at http://orangeparents.org and http://orangeleaders.com and you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/reggiejoiner)

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Guest Post, Kidmin, Orange

 

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Recharging the Family

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I had the joy of speaking at our church’s Homebuilders* group this weekend… and it got me thinking.  I shared a story of our adorable 3 year old son and how he loves going to church because he and his sister play in different rooms (baby Kate just turned 1 a few months ago… so she’s still down in our church’s nursery).  You see, Carter loves building towers with blocks and Kate LOVES knocking them down… but, at church, Carter can build towers and play with toys without “the Destroyer” coming by and wrecking his masterpiece.

After sharing that story, I wrestled with what we’ve done with church.  Church, in many ways, has become a place where a family goes to spend time away from each other.  Parents head off to classes or worship services, youth attend their own programming, while children spend time in a completely separate part of the church.  It comes to mind that a family who is struggling to find balance in their lives might decide to skip church altogether to spend family time at the beach or Disneyland (which, for us, is a 30 minute drive down the freeway) rather than “waste” a morning apart at church.

But, here’s where I think the church has an edge on those other family outings – a trip to Disneyland or the beach ends when everyone piles back into the car at the end of the day.  The time a family spends at church has the potential to change the way that family spends the next week together.

So the question to us and our ministry teams is this – is the time that a family spends with us on a Sunday (or a Wednesday night… or during large events that we run)  impacting the way they live out their lives together that week?  If we can point to tangible ways that the time they spend at church is shaping the way their family time looks in their living room that week, then we’re on the right track.  If we treat out ministries and programs as an end to themselves, then we have to compete with Disneyland – and we will always lose that battle.

*Homebuilders is a weekly gathering of parents at our church.  We discuss parenting, marriage and family life topics.  Homebuilders, for Glenkirk, is a community that’s smaller than a church service, but bigger than a small group – allowing parents a next-step into community with other believers who seek to raise up Christ-following kids.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2010 in Orange

 

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Top 10 Children’s Ministry Resources: #2 Think Orange

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I came away from The Orange Conference this last year with all sorts of shifts buzzing through my mind.

You can find some of those thoughts here.

My biggest “wake-up” moment came for me weeks later as I finished my first pass through Reggie Joiner’s Think Orange.
I needed to reevaluate everything that I thought I knew about children’s ministry.

I could take up a lot of space laying out everything I LOVE about what is essentially my new Children’s Ministry manifesto… but, I think Jonathan Cliff does the concepts some justice in his series of Think Orange posts here.

The Church-at-large exists to equip families to reach the next generation with the Gospel of Jesus.  It’s taken me 8 years of Children’s Ministry to finally hear that message and respond – I’m excited to see where that philosophy of ministry takes our team.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2009 in Book Review, Kidmin, Orange, Resources

 

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Top 10 Children’s Ministry Resources: #3 Jesus Storybook Bible

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For years, I’ve wanted a Bible that could fill the gap between a board book like Baby Bible Stories about Jesus and a chapter and verse Bible like The Adventure Bible for Young Readers, NIrV.

With the Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones has not only created a book to fill that gap… she’s written my favorite book ever.

Here’s the story of how God created Adam and Eve, as told by Sally:

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I’m at a point now where I can’t read the creation story without thinking of it as a love story.  Thank you, Sally Lloyd-Jones.

When I have parents come up to me and ask for a Bible recommendation, I almost always put the JSBB in their hands.  I preface it with a statement that goes something like this: This retelling of scripture won’t teach your kids Bible verses to remember… instead, it will weave the story of Jesus into the nooks and crannies of the narrative of God’s Word.  This is the best story time Bible I’ve found.

It’s hard for me to not rank this #1 on my list… but the next two have radically changed the way I think about Children’s Ministry.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2009 in Book Review, Kidmin, Resources

 

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