My friend, Mike Johnson (Director of Childhood Leadership Development at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX) recently posted this message. It is a powerful reminder that every parent has the small window of opportunity to impact their kids for the Kingdom. In fact, the window is even smaller than you might think. Enjoy this message from Mike and be CHALLENGED to make the most of every opportunity you have with the children you serve!
One of the greatest needs and focuses of any Kids Ministry should be that of safety and security. After all, we are entrusted with the most precious lives that mean the world to every parent who drops them off in our care. If we do not do our due diligence in providing a safe a secure environment for the children, then we are not demonstrating the value that we claim to place on them.
Many of you are aware of my friends at KidCheck. Well, they have developed a powerful child safety video and guide for organizations caring for children. These tools are designed to provide actionable, specific best practices and suggestions that can easily be put into practice to improve child safety and minimize any possible safety and security issues.
The video “Improving Child Safety in Your Organization” and companion “Child Safety and Security” guide discuss the leading concerns around child safety to help organizations create a safe environment for the children in their care.
Creating a Security Team
Securing Your Facility
General Childcare Safety
Here is the best part: they are providing it to you for FREE! All you have to do is click on the video below and watch it yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
The Kid Bible Heroes interactive app for kids features youngsters living out grown-up faith that will build your kids’ trust in God. Each narrated Bible story pauses for games, fun sound effects and interactive animation. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
With the Kid Bible Heroes app, your kids can learn about ordinary kids in the Bible who were used by God to do extraordinary things. The app features five Bible stories about everyday heroes like David, Miriam, Samuel, Mary, and the young boy with the fishes and loaves. Through their interactive stories, your kids will learn about God’s plan for their lives, trusting God, having courage, listening to God and being willing to step out in faith.
WANT YOUR KIDS TO EXPERIENCE THE BIBLE LIKE NEVER BEFORE?
Enhance your kids’ Bible knowledge with the Kid Bible Heroes app, a cutting-edge digital resource from My Healthy Church. This series of apps was designed with the next generation in mind, giving kids a fun and interactive way to learn the Bible by simply using technology that they enjoy.
Each narrative story expands kids’ faith and enhances their learning experience by featuring games, puzzles, fun sound effects and other interactive activities to help them discover biblical truths. Let your kids be a part of the story by downloading the Kid Bible Heroes app today.
With the news yesterday of the Supreme Court striking down the “Defense Of Marriage Act”, the topic of “Gay Marriage” is once again a major story in the news. No doubt, our kids are hearing all about this topic both on the TV and, many times, on the playground. It’s hard for a Christian parent to control the context in which their child may have conversations regarding this important topic.
I received a question yesterday from a fellow Kids Pastor asking my opinion on whether or not he should “address” his Kids Ministry on the topic of Gay Marriage and/or Homosexuality in general. I gave him my opinion, so I thought I would share it with you here – in case there were others who were wrestling with this same question.
In short, my answer is, “No.”
I think you have to be careful what issues you are addressing “as a group.” So many children are at different parts of the journey regarding both mental and emotional maturity. When you address something as serious as homosexuality and gay marriage to a large group of kids, it is very difficult to do so in a way that is appropriate for EVERY child.
In addition, many parents (as they should) want to be THE ones to discuss topics such as this with their kids. I understand, many parents DON’T ever discuss it with their kids. That’s unfortunate. However, you don’t want to undercut parents by addressing it publicly in a large group of kids. This should be something that parents include in their general talks about “sexuality” with their kids.
Of course, if a child asks you a direct question about it – treat that just like you do any other question about sex or sexuality. Answer with, “I would be happy to share my thoughts with you about this subject. Let’s talk to Mom or Dad when they come to pick you up. Perhaps together, we can answer your questions in a healthy way.” Then, follow the cues of the parent. If they do not wish to discuss it right then and there, follow their lead. Allow them to do so on their own terms and in their own timing.
An alternative to discussing this with the large group is to offer a special class or “discussion” in which you allow parents to sign their kids up to attend. Allow parents to attend with their children if they wish. Rather than coming at the topic in a negative manner (i.e. “We are AGAINST gay marriage”, etc.), discuss the topic within the overall umbrella of God’s plan for our sexuality (“God created male and female to complement one another. Marriage is the life-long commitment between one man and one woman.”).
The topic of “gay marriage” and “homosexuality” is a difficult one. It is polarizing. While we don’t ever shy away from the truth, we also must be wise and careful when dealing with the youngest among us. We want clarity, not confusion.
Do you agree? Disagree? Do you plan to address it as a larger group? In small group time? I welcome your thoughts.
For too long, the church has been silent on the issue of SEX. Children (and adults alike) hear little to nothing on the subject of healthy sexuality from the church. Part of the reason it is not spoken about from the pulpit is that it makes us uncomfortable. It makes us uncomfortable because it rarely brought up in the pulpit. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, so we consider it off limits.
Many parents are so paranoid about their kids becoming sexually active, they foolishly think that by not approaching the subject of sex for as long as possible, they will somehow keep them from learning about it and falling into sin. Because it so off limits for their behavior, they’ve made it off limits for their conversation with their kids.
I started the series “How To Talk To Your Kids About ____________” several weeks ago. I have been speaking to the parents of our church about how to have the tough, meaningful conversations with their kids. I have included the outline for the talk, “How To Talk To Your Kids About SEX” below.
You can listen to the audio of the entire talk HERE:
“How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex”
1) Sex was created by God. Genesis 8:17
2) Few parents ever give their kids a healthy sexeducation.
When Talking To Your Kids About Sex:
1) Begin early.
2) Use proper terms, not nicknames.
3) Be measured in the amount of information you give.
4) Talk about God as the Creator.Psalm 139:13
5) Schedule the talk.
6) Create a comfortable and safe environment to talk.
8) Keep God as the focus.1 Corinthians 6:16
9) Be open to using outside resources or illustrations.
10) Clearly express that God has reserved sexual intercourse for marriage alone.Hebrews 13:4
11) Explain that sex is a component of a healthy marriage relationship, not a stand-alone event.
12) Allow your child to askquestions.
13) Encourage your child to keep sexualconversations between you and them.
14) Invite your children into an ongoing conversation.
15) Remember the goal: a lifetime of sexualpurity.
I have recently started a teaching series at our church called “How To Talk To Your Kids About…” In this series, I am hoping to help parents engage in meaningful conversations with their kids about some very BIG and important subjects. I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of these teachings with my blog readers.
I have included the basic outline below. Also, you can listen to audio of the full teaching HERE:
Feel free to use it to teach the parents of the children in your ministry about the importance of having meaningful GOD conversations with their kids.
“How To Talk To Your Kids About…God”
My Mistake: Not recognizing the role of parents as the primary spiritual leaders of their children.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” – Deuteronomy 4:9-10
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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 door frames of your houses and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“What are some of the ways you partner with parents in the spiritual formation of their children?” – submitted by Elizabeth
—When parents bring a child to me and ask me to lead him to Christ, I explain to them the joyous opportunity they might be missing. I give them some pointers about how they can talk to their child about Christ and pray with him or her.
—We involve parents in water baptisms for their kids.
—We have a comprehensive strategy to strengthen families. We coordinate our kids’ ministry efforts with the Sunday morning services, the small groups ministry, classes, concerts, seminars, and everything else.
—We coordinate the content for every age group in the church so we’re all studying the same passages and learning similar lessons. This way, parents, children, and teenagers can have meaningful conversations about what they’ve heard in church.
—We include a Family Devotion in the weekly bulletin to give parents a simple, clear tool to lead their children in a spiritual discussion based on Sunday’s message.
—We have started conducting classes to train parents to talk to their kids about important topics, such as salvation, sex, drugs, friends, tragedy and loss, making good decisions, and death.
—We’ve designated every Sunday night as our “Family Service” so kids and their parents can worship together—and we don’t worry about distractions.
—To elevate the importance of the parents’ role, we’ve taught a number of sermon series on family dynamics, communication, forgiveness, understanding, and love. We come back to these important issues regularly and often.