Family Friday Links 1.18.19


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

Julie Masson had a post on the ERLC on the topic of protecting teens from pornography. In the technological age we live it’s important to know what your teens are doing online. The quiz provided in this post will help parents to know their level of knowledge of their kid’s online habits.

Christina Embree had a post on dinner table discipleship. She lists questions to ask kids around the table to get them talking and using those conversations for their spiritual growth. Parents, this is a practical tool that is easy to use.

Jen Wilkin had a post on exploring why kids as why. She wrote, “It’s important for parents to discern the underlying reason a small child asks “why” if we’re to give a loving and appropriate response.” She goes on to explain different ‘why’s” and how to respond to them.

Leave a comment about what you’re reading (writing) online for us to check out.

The ETCH Family Ministry Conference


This past October, I attended the ETCH conference in Nashville Tennessee. It was my first time. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t before going), ETCH stands for Equipping The Church and Home. It is a conference for children’s, youth, and family ministry workers and pastors. Nashville is a drivable distance for me and I was fortunate enough to have my wife, Cheryl, go with me (although she didn’t attend the conference, she “rested” … and by rested I mean shopped).

ETCH was a good time to catch up with ministry friends from around the country, see friends who have moved to Nashville, and make a few new friends. All it all, it was a great experience.

If you’re planning your professional or team development for the coming year, consider ETCH. In 2019, the ETCH Family Ministry Conference will focus on what it looks like not only to survive but to THRIVE in ministry personally and with your team. Conference sessions will answer questions such as the following: What does it look like to focus on the things that can help us thrive in our ministry? What does it look like for us as ministry leaders to help others thrive?

Here are a few take-aways that resonated with me from last year’s conference.

The success of your ministry doesn’t change your position before God.
— Ben Trueblood
Don’t elevate your gift over your family or team; submit it to them.
— Lisa Harper
Parents need to be: engaged, equipped, encouraged, and enlisted.
— Mark Jones
Five Pillars of Parenting: 1) A secure parent; 2) A healthy balance between exploration and protection; 3) A rhythm of grace followed by truth; 4) Safe spiritual mentors/community; and 5) Play and laughter.
— Joshua Straub
Get God first, then you’re free to do family. The family is critical, but not it’s not first.
— Russell Moore -
A lifestyle of mission for the family does three things: 1) Creates margin in people’s schedules; 2) Helps families normalize gospel conversations; and 3) Encourages a normal sense of hospitality.
— Michael Kelley
Love God AND neighbor. It’s both not an either/or.
— Dorena Williamson
When it comes to being the primary spiritual influence in the life of a child, whose responsibility is it? The person of faith who knows the child.
— Heidi Hensley
Maintaining gospel focus in ministry requires 1) Working hard at resting; 2) Fighting sin, especially pride; 3) Remembering to serve from your identity, not FOR your identity; 4) Not doing anything that doesn’t clearly connect to the gospel; 5) Continuing to learn the gospel; 6) Continuing to grow in your love for the gospel; and 7) Continuing to find ways to live the gospel.
— Brian Dembowczyk

Looking forward to attending #ETCH19 … and maybe even submitting a proposal for a breakout session.

Note: An earlier version of this post originally appeared at

Family Friday Links 1.11.19

Family Friday Links.png

Here’s what we’ve been reading as we enter the new year:

Nick Batzig had a post entitled “The Resolved Parent”. In it, he is recommending a family Bible reading plan that will help parent’s be, “... more purposeful about the way in which we foster the spiritual care ...” of his children. If you are a parent and trying to figure out what to do for family devotions, this might be a way to go. Check it out.

Christian Fox had a post on the Gospel Coalition about the idol of parenting success. She wrote, “This idol tells us we must be perfect parents and place our hope in creating perfect children.” This is a trap that is too easy to fall for parents to fall into. Read this so you can see the warning signs.

G’Joe Joseph had a post (via The Gospel Coalition) listing 6 shifts that are going to be required in order to reach the next generation. After listing 6 very important steps to keep in mind he wraps up the post this way, “In a culture that panders to public opinion, may we boldly and winsomely proclaim the bad news that leads us to the greatest news in the history of the world.” This would be very help for both parents and children’s / youth pastors to keep in mind.

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

Family Friday Links 12.21.18

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

Greg Baird has a 3-peat on his hands as he a post about personal growth. He wrote, “Personal growth isn’t a magic bullet. It does take work.” Growth happens whether we plan for it or not; the question is, with it positive growth or atrophy? Read this post to learn how to start thinking about a personal growth plan.

Rob Reinow had a post on the D6 Family site entitled “Worship Jesus at Home This Christmas”. He offers suggestions what family worship could look like this Christmas. While it’s hard to stay focused on what is most important this time of year, this is helpful.

Kevin Thompson wrote a marriage post on the topic of kisses. He says, “When we forget the last kiss, we are tempted to take every kiss for granted.” Read the rest of the post to find out why.

To all those who regularly read here from those of us who write here, Merry Christmas!