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Posts Tagged ‘youth’

In the last couple months, I have had several conversations with people trying to figure out what to do about going to a church that they were not being spiritually fed at but can’t leave because of their kids. After more than 20 years in camping ministry, youth ministry and church leadership, I have heard several reasons why but they usually come into the same main points…

– the kid’s friends from school are there
– their extended family goes there and want to keep every one together
– there are a ton of kids at this particular church
– the kids think it’s fun
– the church has spent top dollar in programing, multi-media, and other resources
– their youth have been going there since they were kids and don’t want to move (even if they are not being spiritually fed)

I understand many of these from a culture stand point but can I suggest they are not the best reasons for staying at or choosing a church? A matter of fact, I would dare say they teach our kids how to be consumers of church more than church community and are leading them down a dangerous path.

Church is more than a Sunday morning experience and if that is all we are giving them, there is a strong likely hood they will walk away from church as adults. Let me suggest some things to consider when looking at a church for your kids …

– Ask yourself, what kind of church do you want for your kids once they are off the playground and dealing with the world. Is the church giving them love? Bible teaching (more than cute stories)? Willing to struggling with the hard stuff? Showing them real community that seeks God together and follows Him in unity? What do you want them to have and know by the time they are young adults? Are they being spiritual fed and matured?

– Ask yourself, what kind of person are they teaching my child to be? Are they modeling it in action? If you believe your child has a purpose in this life under God’s leading, is the church family and leadership willing to partner with you as you guide your child on that path?

– Does the church preach salvation and the Scripture? The last thing you want is your child learning church is nothing more than a motivational speaker preaching to the choir to give them a quick fix, of course you can also find motivation if you read inspirational quotes online often. Go deeper for your kids sake….

– Lastly, and maybe most important… ask yourself if you are being spiritually fed at the church. Your kids need to see Christ in you and your life much more than any preacher, youth leader or children’s volunteer. Don’t settle and teach them what it looks like to become complacent in your spiritual walk and then wonder later why they do the same in their adult years. Model for them what a hungry, faithful, and serving life looks like and they will follow.

I’m sure I am forgetting a few as I write this one of the fly but my hope is to get people thinking. Finding the church God has for you and your family is a vital issue. Don’t let the kids lead you, lead them.

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I got a free copy of “How Should a Christian Love?” from Thomas Nelson to post an honest review of. This is a book that is part of a series of “Next Generation” devotional books for pre teens.

This book is an extension of Thomas Nelson’s Word of Promise CDs where young actors portray the Bible in audio form. With the book, you get a section of the Bible in this form (this book you get I Corinthians through Philemon) on a MP3 CD, the devotionals, activities built-in (word finds, crosswords and the like), and journaling spacing which I think is great to get kids used to.

I think the one thing I had to get over is I though this was going to be for high schoolers but it is not. The lessons are basic but staples to the Christian faith. The staples that many churches miss in the pursuit of finding cool stuff or dealing with “teen” issues. This is the basics that each kid needs to forma foundation to stand on.

I do wonder if the MP3 CD is needed. Most of the kids at our church can only listen to MP3 at the computer or after fighting to get it to their iPod. The other concern is the MP3 seems to jack the total price up to an unneeded $15.99 which could cause a challenge for smaller churches. Reading the Bible yourself could have the same if not better effect in comparison of the trade-off but that’s a minor criticism.

Love this devotional over all and would highly suggest it if you’re trying to teach the young people in your life about the basics of the Christian faith. I will be passing it off to our youth leader….

Other titles in series…. “Who is Jesus?”, “What is Salvation?”, and “Why should I choose Jesus?”

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