Archive for 'Parents'

Playing for Keeps: Live Webcast

Posted on 18. Sep, 2013 by .

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18 months ago I returned from the Orange Conference with on single book that has impacted my ministry more than any other resource I have come across in years. There have been incredible resources that have impacted the way I lead, communicate and create, but this resource was something that impacted me and was something I could physically give my small group leaders. I've personally seen leaders change because of this book. I've seen kids impacted powerfully because of this book. What book is this? LeadSmall. It's a job description for any small group leader, preschool through high school. It's inspiring. It's practical. I've given away dozens and dozens of these books and this year we're rolling out systematic training and resourcing around the idea of LeasSmall. Oh, and it only gets better. I left the Orange Conference this last spring with a new book. Playing for Keeps. I knew a good bit about the book as it was being written. I knew it had a fable piece to it to help connect the teaching points. I knew it was also written in the style of LeadSmall. It also tied into this marbles theme. However, I wasn't completely sure what it was all about.

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When a Teen Idol crashes and burns

Posted on 14. Jul, 2013 by .

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I'm sure every generation of parenting had it's extreme challenges. With the hyper connectedness of media and social networks of today's times, it seems like parent have got to be one their A-game like never before. The issue I'd like to bring up is subject of teen idols. Most kids have them, from TV actors, sports prodigies and most well known... the teen rockstar! This kind of teen role model isn't really a bad thing, everyone needs someone to look up to. However, as parents, we need to prepare our kids for the likely event of when a teen idol crashes and burns. Case in point... Miley Cyrus. The lovable star of Hannah Montana of just a few years ago, who had the hearts of millions of pre-teen girls is no longer the teen idol you want influencing your pre-teen girls. This isn't just a problem for teenage fans who fell in love with Miley years ago, but new fans are made everyday with old DVD's and video on demand services. The pro-Christian message and strong morals Miley professed a few years ago has been replaced with strong messages of sex promiscuity and drug use. Check out the reaction of these teenagers who watched her new music video "We Can't Stop." WARNING, this video is not safe for children! My favorite quote, "It made no sense, like, nothing made sense,” one teen said “[Miley] just wanted to take every cool and edgy and explicit and naughty thing she could come up with and throw it all together in one big vomit of mess.” Some of the teens recognized the disaster, but others saw it as Miley making a name for herself and they were in full support. This flip-flop happened so fast, many parents still think as Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana as a great role model for their kids. So what happens when your child's harmless teen idol goes off the deep end?

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Parenting meets business strategy

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Several years ago, I read a pretty amazing book by Patrick Lencioni, Three Big Questions for the Frantic Family. Lencioni writes amazing books for business leaders about overcoming dysfunction within teams, having better meetings, clarifying core values and other important business objectives. However, he dipped into sacred family territory with Three Big Questions and I must admit, it made quite the splash in my family. Within a couple of weeks, we had a chalk board in our kitchen and several of our friends moved chalk and dry erase boards into their kitchens. Was the book helpful? Yes! Are we good at applying the principles. Not always. Maybe we just need a coach to help us move along at times. A new book just came out that approaches the same topic. Bruce Feiler wrote the book, The Secret of Happy Families. Bruce was inspired by Agile software programing, a system to keep teams on track with software development and saw connections to daily family life. The system encourages  practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. Why not apply this to the family. He did and the result was a best-selling book and a TED talk. What do you think? Have these business/family crossovers been helpful? Inspiring? Lacking? Anyway, below is the TED talk by Bruce Feiler:

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Orange Legacy App

Posted on 25. Apr, 2013 by .

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Orange released a new app yesterday. It's both frightening, amazing and depressing all at the same time. Whatever emotion you feel, it's a truth that no parent should ignore. We have limited time. Below I have put in both of my kids. Wow! Time is ticking away! imageimage_1 This app allows you to put in a child's birthdate and it estimates the time left until their graduation. It is a visual representation of the time we have left to influence a child before they leave home. You can also add in specific events and see the countdown until that day. When you see the time you have left, you get serious about the time you have now. Download the app right here. Ornagebanner

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Easter commercial for parents of young kids

Posted on 28. Mar, 2013 by .

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I love this comercial from 12 Stone Church, a great church outside of Atlanta, GA. They took a comical look at the very real frustration that parents of young kids feel about getting to church on time.

Read the rest

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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. I want to present two that are becoming quite popular among students. Here’s the problem. Many of the kids will follow the students on social media because they know them, they know their siblings and they attend the same church. The kids may download certain apps because the older kids reference it in their posts or on their profile pages. Once these apps end up on the phones, it’s only a matter of time before they’re sucked into dangerous waters.

The first app is called snapchat. Here’s how snapchat works. It allows you to send a picture to a friend or contact and you set the expiration of the picture from 1-10 seconds. That means after they’ve seen the image for a maximum of 10 seconds, it dissapears forever. Here’s what they say on their website:

Snapchat is the fastest way to share a moment with friends.

You control how long your friends can view your message – simply set the timer up to ten seconds and send.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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