A new year at church often brings with it new opportunities to connect with a small group of people for support, encouragement, prayer, reading and learning more about God through His Word and spurring each other on to grow (mature) in our lives of obedience to our good God. This is why my church intentionally calls such groups Growth Groups as opposed to bible study groups or community groups. Yes, the bible is studied and community sought, but growth is the primary goal.
It is lovely as a married couple to attend such a group together, but often highly impractical unless you host the group in your home. Seeking, for yourself and others (including your spouse), to grow in knowledge and trust in Jesus far outweighs any desire to be in a group together.
How do you talk about and model your involvement in such a group with your kids? Here’s a few tips on how to do this well to help your children understand the purpose and value of growth groups:
1. Be explicit about where you are going.
Whether your group is an evening or daytime group, you still have the opportunity to tell your kids what you are doing when you go out. “Good night sweetie, Daddy’s going to growth group to read and learn from the bible. Sleep tight, I’ll see you in the morning” helps to model a love for God’s Word and a desire to be grown by it.
2. Prioritise and be punctual.
It might mean that Growth Group night is one of seven in the week when there is just one bedtime story (or none) instead of three so you can get there on time. Is this robbing your kids of affection? No, it is showing you respect the other members of the group, value its purpose of growing and don’t want to miss any of it. It is exactly why you prioritise getting to your child’s [insert sporting/dance/arts performance here].
3. Facilitate your spouse’s attendance.
Having your children hear phrases like “I’ll do the dishes tonight darling, you go get ready for growth group” or “I’ll pay those bills today during my lunch break, I’d rather you get to growth group” will reinforce your love for each other and help them see that desiring Christian growth in their spouse (God willing) is honouring to God.
Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God?
If you do, then I’m sure others would too.
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