Posts Tagged children
Our family is really digging some music we’ve found recently — great worship music for kids. These have been fun both in the car and in family worship:
2. The Rizers – This is a worship album of Scripture memory songs produced by Mars Hill Church. You can download a few of the songs for free through NoiseTrade or you can buy the full album on iTunes. You can also see an interview about the project below:
I want to recommend a relatively new blog for those of you who are parents: OrangeParents.org. The blog is led by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof, authors of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity, with some contributions from other authors. Their hopes with the blog are to help you, as a parent, to:
- rediscover your family’s role in a bigger story.
- widen the circles of influence in the lives of your sons and daughters.
- stay focused on what really matters for your children’s future.
- renew the fight for your closest relationships.
- create a healthy rhythm in how you interact with one another.
- learn to lead yourself as a parent.
The Bible tells us to be doers of the word, not just hearers (James 1:22). This means that we should be constantly thinking of how to apply God’s unchanging word to our ever-changing lives and situations. A great example of this is Kristie Braselton’s recent post applying 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) to motherhood.
If I have obedient, well-behaved children and everyone tells us what good parents we are, but we have not love, it is emptiness and means nothing.
If I get everywhere on time and no children bother me while I’m checking my email, and if I have a clean house and serve great meals and get lots and lots done in a day, but I do not love my kids, then none of it matters, and I am nothing.
If I have a vast ministry that impacts many and I accomplish great things in my lifetime, but I did not love my children, then I missed my first importance and I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not wish its kids were like someone else’s when they are embarrassing or take credit for how wonderful they are when they are charming and sweet. It is not condescending and it is courteous, even to small children who won’t call you out on it. It does not hold the schedule or the to do list above the people they were meant to serve. It does not walk around like a grumpy martyr for all the things it has to give up for these people. It does not discipline in anger or feel a sense of retribution for itself, but rejoices when the truth is expounded to its children and God is honored and revered. Love holds up under the constant pestering, it gives its children the benefit of the doubt, it hopes great things for them and works to that end, and it withstands every offense. In every moment choose to love, and it will never let you down.
One of the great joys for our family over the last few months has been our times of family worship. Until recently, I always had a sense that I should be leading our family in worship or devotions, but I had a tough time understanding what it should be like (it always seemed overly formal). But as Abby has gotten older (she’s a few months away from being 3), we’ve seen that her love for singing, dancing, and running around has created an environment that is rich for simple and fun family worship. In fact, she enjoys it so much that almost every week at some point she asks if we can do family worship that night.
Based on our lives, commitments, and schedules, we probably do family worship once or twice a week. Here’s what it looks like for us:
1. We turn on a CD with great worship music, dance around and sing. Often times, this includes songs that we sing in church, a few songs from our friend Kristie Braselton, and, recently, some songs from Seeds Family Worship. I always tell Abby to “sing loud,” because I want her to learn to enjoy praising God with energy and passion.
2. We pray and thank God for some truth that was in one of the songs we listened to.
3. We read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. This is a great kids Bible that connects every story to Jesus (which makes it a must-read for every adult!). We typically read it in order and pick up wherever we left off the time before.
4. We talk about the story and try to help Abby understand it. This is a great exercise for us to try to keep things simple, but not lose any of the meaning or weight of it.
5. We each take turns praying for our friends, family, the world and ourselves. We pray big prayers and little prayers. We often lead Abby through “repeat-after-me” style prayers, but sometimes she turns it loose (kind of funny when that happens).
All of this takes anywhere between 20-60 minutes, depending on how much time we take. I’m sure over time this will change and morph, but for now it’s a great way to keep God central in our home and train our kids in the gospel. I’m not committed to this form or method, but I am committed to the idea and practice of family worship.
If you have any other ideas or things that have helped your family, please post them in the comments below!
The closer we get to our fall Preview Worship Gatherings, the more I’m thinking about how Second Mile Church can most effectively minister to our kids. I’ve got a two-year old of my own and my desires for her church experience really shape what I want for our children’s ministry. I think children’s ministry needs to be primarily about three things:
- Safety – It is essential that kids are protected and secure.
- Fun – I want my daughter to love gathering on Sundays to be with God’s people.
- Jesus – Kids need to learn something, particularly about Jesus. They need to grow to admire and adore him.
What else? What are the other things that you think matter to parents or matter to you personally? (Leave your comments below)