A Prayer of a Father

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Great God,

My existence I owe to you,
My value is found in you,
My identity as your son achieved by your Son,
secured through his death and resurrection.
With all that I am and all that I have I honour you.

As your son may my life make you smile,
as a husband let me present your daughter radiant and pure.
As a father may I lead your children in repentance,
as a friend let me share a burden and encourage with hope eternal.

In my thoughts, with my words, through my actions
may your Spirit produce fruit evident of your mercy, grace and love.

Amen

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7 Ways to help first-time teens/kids in church

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Having been used to a fun and engaging kids program, kids and/or youth transitioning into church services can be a make-or-break time for their Sunday experiences. Here’s a few tips for parents and churches to help them love “adult” church as much as they loved their kids/youth program:

  1. Ask them how they feel about it. This helps start the conversation, you can tell them what to expect and helps them get excited about gathering as God’s people in this different context.
  2. Sit with them and model singing, listening and participating in the meeting. Maybe take turns with other parents to sit with them and their friends. It can be nice doing this together with other Youth Kids.
  3. Our church has YOUTH EDITION sermon outlines. Grab a YOUTH outline on your way in (or ask where to get one). These have some more guided questions to help the kids/youth listen and take notes. Get them to write down words they hear but don’t understand so you can discuss them later.
  4. Plan to have a ‘post-match debrief’ so your child/ren can ask questions and help you get a read on what they have understood from the meeting. It would be good to talk about what you remember and/or have been convicted of to model repentance, change and growth from God’s word.
  5. Investigate ways your child can serve at church. Start with having them tag along with you where appropriate. This helps them feel more a part of the church family and less of a ‘consumer’.
  6. Encourage your teens to keep an eye out for new and visiting teens and to welcome them by talking to them – treating them how they would like to be welcomed if they walked into an unfamiliar church with unfamiliar people.
  7. Unless it is already happening, quietly and respectfully ask the preachers and service leaders to include the youth so they feel included as valued members of the congregation. This could include teen-specific sermon applications and/or illustrations, acknowledging their attendance and the vibrance their energy brings.

Dad’s, we need to take the lead here! Studies show what many have suspected for a long time – children whose father valued and prioritised church attendance and involvement have significantly higher rates of church attendance as adults.

Where there are families in our churches with single mothers, particularly of boys, this is also where men in church can be role models to these boys – but talk to the Mum first!

What will your kids say you love?

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I’m not particularly into cricket. Watching the Boxing Day test is not something we do as part of our Christmas tradition. My kids probably think the Boxing Day test is seeing how many unsanctioned activities they can use their new toys for before they break! I’m not particularly into cricket. Some will call me un-Australian for this confession, but please read on. You see, the reason I’m not really into cricket, and why my kids are not really into cricket, is because my dad was not really into cricket. I don’t hate cricket, I’m just ambivalent about it.

So what will my kids say I love? That will be interesting, won’t it! It will depend what I talk about, what I spend our money on, what I use my time doing. Most of all, it will depend on whether I include them in what I love.

I would hope my kids would hear me talking about Jesus and perfect report card He has secured for us. I would hope being generous with our money and possessions will show my kids that all we have is His anyway, so lets use it for His glory. I would hope my kids will say that Dad loved reading His bible – whether by seeing me read it, taking it everywhere and not being distracted by notifications that come with using a device. I would hope my kids will remember being involved in reading God’s word, in serving our church, in loving others through hospitality.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

What will your kids say you love?

Involving your kids in what you love will also show them you love them too.

 


Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God?

If you do, then I’m sure others would too. 

Please SHARE these posts, and in doing so pray for a generation of kids who have had the gospel of Jesus taught & modelled to them by their parents.