Family Links Friday 5.3.19

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Here’s what we’ve been reading online lately:

Cam Hyde had a post on discipling kids. His basic point is that anything we start is going to be awkward to in the beginning. That doesn’t mean that we should use that awkwardness as an excuse not to do that thing. He goes on to list 2 things to keep in mind as we we are discipling our kids. He concludes with this great reminder, “… I promise that it’s never too late to start.” Be encouraged by reading this post.

Parent Ministry had a great post on kids and cell phones. The post concludes this way, “… if you are intentional on when/how you give it, you will find that this can be another connection to bring you and your student closer together!” This is a challenge for most (and by that I mean all) parents. This post will help you think it through.

Brent Prentice had a post on For the Church on kids and baptism, answering the question when should a child be baptized. This is a hard questions for both parents and pastors alike. This post will help by pointing both to most, if not all, of the relevant questions that need to be answered.

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

The Missionary Work of Parents

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Imagine a missionary working overseas with an unreached people group. He or she is unfamiliar with the culture and language and working without the help of a native or translator. The only culture this missionary knows is western and Christian.

It would be foolish for the missionary to engage with the culture the same way he or she engages with the American culture. Instead, the missionary would spend time doing what mission organizations call “missiology”—learning the culture, habits, and language. Missionaries are trained in this before they do anything else.

Parents, like missionaries, are trying to reach children who live in a very different culture. While your kids live in your community and speak the same language, their culture varies drastically. A steady stream of media shapes their assumptions, attitudes, and worldviews. This creates perspectives that are often different from your own. This can cause a lot of parents to interact with their children and wonder, “How could they do that?” or “What are they thinking?”

In the middle of the contrasting views and confusion, parents are often tempted to do one of two things:  Yell at their children to conform to their culture; or, simply give up. I encourage you to do neither of these things.

Jesus did not love us this way. He did not reach us with anger or apathy. What we have in the holy incarnation is the Son of God reaching us by becoming like us. He did not yell from heaven, demanding our repentance and belief. He became like us and compelled us to put our faith him. He entered our world.

If you want to reach your teenager you must learn who they are, what they are absorbing, how they think, what language they speak, what stresses them out, and what brings them joy. God knows us and loves us. This model should encourage us to know and love our kids, regardless of failures and differences. If we don’t understand our children, we end up loving a future version them instead of who they are now.

As you enter into a bit of your child’s life, you’re sending them a message: “You are loved, and I’m here to walk alongside you.”

Article appeared first at the College Park Church Resources blog.

Zach Cochran

Zach serves as the Assistant Pastor of Student Ministries at College Park Church in Indianapolis, IN. He received a B.A. focused in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee at Martin and received his M.Div. from Southern Seminary. Zach has been serving in student ministry for the last 9 years and has a deep commitment to stepping into student’s world for the sake cultivated gospel impact where they live, what they do, and where they go. You can follow him and Twitter and Instagram @zachccochran

Captain Marvel and Christian Identity

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As Christians, we're raised with Christ (Colossians 3:1), and we have a new life that is rooted in this new identity. This truth makes me think of Captain Marvel.

A few weeks back, I took my girls to see this latest Marvel Studios film. Well... it's the latest until this Friday when Endgame comes out. There are some minor spoilers ahead for those of you who are catching up. Just skip this if you haven’t seen the movie.

Like most fans, I loved the opening tribute to Stan Lee and the Flerken cat, Goose. But the most beautiful thing about the movie to me is the fact that the lead character, played by actress Brie Larson, is called "Aunt Carol" about a hundred times in the movie before she's ever identified by her superhero name. In fact, Carol Danvers is not identified as Captain Marvel at all until the end credits.

In a world that over-values public persona, Captain Marvel stands as a reminder that your family identity, the person you are to the people closest to you, matters so much more than your platform or public image.

She should also remind us as Christians that the identity God gives us in Christ is the grounds for what we do for him. Who we are in Christ is fundamental. It stands as the foundation for our Christian activity. Take some time today to remember who Christ has made you to be... a disciple (Matthew 28:18-20), a member of his family (John 1:12-13), a servant (John 13). Then, choose to live your life in accordance with your identity. Live up to what you've already attained. Live a life that's worthy to the great calling you've received (Philippians 3:16; Ephesians 4:1)

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By the way, my friends Garrick Bailey and Timothy Paul Jones have a podcast called Three Chords and the Truth.They wrestle over apologetic questions about the truth of Christianity and then take a theological look at a classic hit from the history of rock and role. In a recent episode, they spend some time discussing God, humanity, and gender in Captain Marvel. Give it a listen. I think you'll enjoy it.

Family Friday Links 4.19.19

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Happy Good Friday.

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

Scott Kedersha recently shared his biggest struggle as a parent. He laments, “The biggest mistake I make as a dad is when my behavior matches the behavior of my children.” He goes on to list ways in which we as parents can better respond. This is s worthwhile read for any parent.

Rob Fattal had post on Gospel-Centered Discipleship discussing leadership. He starts the post out this way, “Leadership is a tough concept to grasp, especially for those that are in or aspire to leadership positions.” If you are in a leadership or hope to be one day read this post; it will help you rely on the Holy Spirit as you lead.

Bryan Loritts had a post on discipleship. He says, “Distilled to its essence, disciple making rests on four pillars. In order for a church leader to effectively make disciples, these four pillars must be present—and strong—in their own spiritual lives and outward leadership: ...” he goes on to list the these four pillars. If you’re either a parent or a pastor this list will help you disciple better.

What have you been reading online? Leave us link in the comment section and we’ll try to check it out.