Archive for 'Parents'

Two dangerous apps

Posted on 27. Mar, 2013 by .

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I’m very involved in the student ministry at my church now and as a result, I’ve learned a lot more about what students are “in to” these days. When you know what the Middle School and High Scholl students are doing, I know it’s only a matter of time before the elementary kids are into it as well. It took a while before I started getting friend request from elementary kids, but now it’s common to see 4th and 5th graders getting onto Facebook. I’m also starting to get follows from many of our older elementary kids on Instagram, so the social media juggernaut is well on it’s way into elementary life!

Although Apple keeps most objectionable apps out of the store, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t apps that can be incredibly destructive to young people.… Read the rest

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Faith is supposed to be messy

Posted on 21. Jan, 2013 by .

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I’m going to jump off from the post I wrote last week about the kind of faith we’re pushing. These are the questions I’m thinking about for my family as well as questions I’m thinking about for the ministry I lead.

I’ve found that the longer I’ve followed Christ, the easier it is to become institutionalized. We surround ourselves with people who think like we do, act like we do and believe like we do. We so easily create a Christian ghetto and consider it a good thing. I remember being a part of a church a long time ago that created a ministry environment where there was something to do at the church practically every night of the week. From athletics, school, swimming pool and even a cemetery, every significant experience in your life could happen right on that 80 acres of property.

Christian parents tend to do the same with their kids. We want to protect, protect, protect. Protecting isn’t a bad thing, but too much protection may have a negative consequence.

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A great Advent resource for families

Posted on 30. Nov, 2012 by .

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Advent calendars aren’t really anything new. I remember them from when I was growing up. However, with the trend of ministries looking for better ways to help parents lead kids in shared spiritual experiences, the advent calendar is the perfect tool.

There are some great advent resources around these days, but one I want to highlight is an online Advent calendar that a friend of mine, Jenny Funderburke, put together last year. You can find it at familyadvent.com. It’s meant to be a parent guided experience for families that can be done every day between now and Christmas. The calendar begins tomorrow, Saturday, December 1st. Be sure to pass this information along to families in your church.

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The Parent Rap: Misdirected?

Posted on 23. Oct, 2012 by .

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This video has been making it’s rounds, over half a million views in the last six months. Honestly, I saw it yesterday for the first time. I loved it. I laughed multiple times and showed it to Sara. Titus watched it twice.

As much as I liked it, I kind of had a problem with it to. This video, along with many others like it continue to prop up an unrealistic view of the family. Sure, it looks like my family, but research says that only 25% of families in America are defined as kids living with both their biological parents.

Yes, the family pictured in this video might be God’s ideal for families, but 75% of current families in the US will never look like this. If the church continues to point to this image, both in humor and all seriousness, we risk isolating non-traditional families from experiencing the fullness of what God has for them. I’m not speaking out against videos like this. Again, I loved it. However, where are the both serious and humorous videos that inspire families in a less than ideal situation.

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Promoting Parent Cue

Posted on 30. May, 2012 by .

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For years now, I’ve been transitioning Gateway into a family friendly church. It’s not that Gateway wasn’t family friendly before I got here, but we’ve been working hard to create intentional opportunities where families are equipped and encouraged and handed tools that empower them to lead their kids on a journey of faith. We’ve got a lot of things in the works right now and will be unveiling some stuff later this year, but a big win has been the Parent Cue app.

Since we use Orange Curriculum (My First Look, 252 Basics and XP3) it makes the Parent Cue app a no brainer for equipping parents. We simply communicate to parents that they need to download the app and now they can better connect with the content their kids get every weekend.

Here’s the video we produced to promote the Parent Cue App. It’s AMAZING!

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Don’t raise well rounded, well educated and happy kids

Posted on 03. May, 2012 by .

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I’ve been working alongside parents now for fifteen years, but I’ve only done this from the perspective of actually being a parent for the last five. Having kids of your own certainly changes your perspective. We all have hopes and dreams for what our kids will grow up to be. Every time we host a child dedication class, we ask the question, “What does parenting success look like to you?” We also ask another question that hits the same issue from a different angle asking, “If you could pass only one thing to your child by the time they become an adult, what would that thing be?” I know that we put parents on the spot with these questions, but I’m amazed how often parents give answers like, “I want my son to be happy” or “I wan’t my kids to be successful” or even, “I want my child to have respect for all people.” I’m not going to say that these are wrong things, but if these is the greatest hope this generation of parents have for their kids… well there’s no wonder we’re seeing moral and spiritual decay. My goal is that by the end of the baptism class, I’ve either convinced them or at least built a case for wanting an authentic relationship with Jesus for their kids.

I absolutely loved Craig Groeschel’s talk at Orange this year. He essentially communicated many of the philosophical and strategy positions behind Orange, but from his own personal perspective and experience. His shocking statement was that we should not aim to raise well rounded, highly educated and happy children. That’s what our culture communicates as a need, but this doesn’t line up with the scriptures.

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ORANGE 2012: Game Changer

Posted on 26. Apr, 2012 by .

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I’m at the 2012 Orange Conference and so far, it’s been pretty amazing, but Orange is always like that.

I’ve actually been able to attend more breakouts than last year… and I’ve actually been paying closer attention in the general sessions as compared to last year. I hope to publish my notes from some of the sessions/breakouts later tonight. I also had the opportunity to lead a preconference breakout on yesterday, and include some notes from that as well.

Stay tuned…

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Orange Tour Online

Posted on 05. Mar, 2012 by .

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So back in January, I took 20+ staff and volunteers to the Orange Tour in Dallas. What  can I say, I’m a huge believer in the regional conference! This Orange Tour was easily the best one yet… but all of them have been so incredibly good.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 6th you and your team can experience the Orange Tour right from the convenience of your computer. Orange will be streaming the conference from 1:00 PM until 3:45 PM (I’m assuming that this is Easter Time). It’s a free web event, you just have to register here.… Read the rest

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Orange Week: I need help!

Posted on 08. Feb, 2012 by .

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It’s been almost four years since I first learned about the Orange strategy. One of the most compelling concepts was it idea of two combined influences – church and home. This really clicked for me as a long-time children’s pastor who felt such an unbelievable burden to raise and disciple kids yet struggled with doubts about long term effectiveness. Clearly defining the family as the other part of the combined influence wasn’t an “out” for me, but a moment of clarity on how I could use my time more effectivity… or even strategically.

However, as a dad who “knows his stuff pretty well,” I’ve come to realize how much help I really do need. Four years into unpacking the Orange strategy, this stuff has hit home in a new way was my four an a half year old boy has come to an age where what I say and do has significant consequences.… Read the rest

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Make it easy for parents to win!

Posted on 25. Jan, 2012 by .

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I think my last big take-away from the Orange Tour was this little concept.

Make it easy for parents to win!

In Think Orange, Reggie describes the four levels of parenting.

  1. Aware – These are parents who may be outside your church. Studies have shown that most parents are aware that the moral and even spiritual development of a child is their responsibility.
  2. Involved – These are parents who are in our churches. They’re around, maybe following Christ, but they’re not really doing anything intentional with their kids.
  3. Engaged – These are parents who are beginning to be intentional. They’re trying things that they’ve not done before.
  4. Invested – These parents get “it.” Whether you provide a plan or not, they’re going after it, developing spiritual champions.
  5. Read the rest

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