Family Friday Links 2.23.18

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Here's what we've been learning online this week:

Matt Morgan had a post entitled, "A Letter to the Tired Children's Ministry Leader". He writes this letter to those who are experiencing a hard season in ministry. If that's you, go read this post and be encouraged.

My friend, Josh Hedger wrote a post on discipline. This is one of the hardest things for parents to figure out. Josh shares how the gospel can (and should) impact discipline. Parents, this is well worth your time.

Gospel-Centered Parenting had another great post on helping children LOVE home. This post asks and answers the questions, "Can we do anything to help our children love home? And more importantly – should we?" This is an important post to think through especially as our kids get older.

What have you been reading online from and benefitting from? Leave us a link in the comment section to check out.

Family Friday Links 2.16.18

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Here’s what we’ve been reading online this week:

Chuck Lawless had a post for leaders and pastors about being tired, “... of opposition and apathy.” He goes on to list 10 things we fail to see in the midst of being tired. This is a helpful post for pastors, leaders, as well as parents.

Stoked on Youth Ministry had a post on writing discussion questions. It starts out this way, “As every youth worker knows, and has probably experienced, discussion times can either be amazing or a total flop!” The post then goes on to list 5 tips that will help discussion time be amazing more often. This is a great reminder for anyone who leads discussion, including parents.

Our friend, Sam Luce, had a post on the importance of gospel-centered curriculum in children’s ministry. He says, “The big mistake we make here in our teaching, and our curriculum is we limit the gospel to an event.” He goes on to list ways some curriculum has shrunk the impact the gospel is supposed to have.

What have you been reading online lately? Leave a link in the comment section for us to check out.

It's Summer Time! What Are You Doing With It?

School's out for summer (Cue theme music). For my family, it couldn't get here fast enough. The trouble is that if we aren't intentional, the entire summer can slip away without us experiencing what God has in mind for our kids. Here's three things you can do to make the most of your summer:

1. Remember

In order to make this summer truly count for your family, remember what God has called you to do. He's called you make disciples (Matt. 28). As parents, God goes further. He instructs you should to make disciples of your children. As their primary spiritual influence, you must show them what it means to be a believer. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 makes how to do this crystal clear:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children

First, have a living, growing, and vibrant faith. The only way to teach it diligently to your children is first to possess it yourself. Then, and only then, you can do what God has called you to do: teach them diligently in everyday moments of life.

2. Routine

Families benefit from structure. Just because it's summer doesn't mean there should be no routine. But the structure should look different than it does during the school year. Include some unstructured time in your schedule, but don't forget to make plans. Put that trip to the pool or baseball game on your calendar before you miss the chance. And be sure to make time to go outside.  

Create routines where kids can grow in spiritual disciplines. Help them to start reading the Bible regularly on their own. Help them create a routine of keeping a prayer journal. Create routines where they can ask you questions. Above all, make it fun!

3. Rest

School is out for a very simple reason. Teachers and students need a break. They need to rest ... and so do you.  Take a vacation. Take a staycation if you have to. Put your work and e-mail away and make some intentional memories with your family.

Don't let this summer come to an end with the guilt of what might have been. Be intentional this summer. You never know what God may do.

Family Friday Links 10.6.16

Here's what we've been reading this week online:

Sam Luce wrote a post on teaching kids about the Trinity and why it's important. He wrestles with the reality, "The problem with explaining something so complex to kids is we look for a solid object to explain such abstract truths." We have the responsibility as parents and pastors to teach these things to our kids. If you're looking for ways to do this, start here.

Kenny Conley had a post for children pastors/leaders on doing less. He says, "Doing less means I have far more time to make sure that everything we do is incredible. Doing less means I have far more time to invest in volunteers to ensure they’re truly impacting their kids." This is something we need to think through.

Timothy Paul Jones had a post on leadership and its ties to the family. Speaking on the qualifications for elders from 1 Timothy 3:2-7 he wrote, "Paul plowed through administrative and teaching skills in only a few words, yet he invested nearly one-third of this text in issues related to the pastor’s home life." We all talk about this a lot, but how seriously are we taking it?

What have you been benefitting from online recently? Leave us a link and brief description in the comment section and we'll check it out.