Parents often wonder, am I doing enough or doing what is needed to pass on my faith to my children? Turns out researchers have also been wondering that too. What is it that makes a difference regarding whether or not kids who’ve grown up in church will hold onto their faith as they become young adults. In their books, Why They Stray, by Steve Parr and Tom Crites, and Sticky Faith by Kara Powell and Chap Clark, these authors have compiled a list of 15 issues that matter greatly to young adults that are still in the church.
- Conversion as a child
- Home life that encourages and lives out Biblical principles
- Child’s personality (Strong willed children, a little less likely to stay in church)
- Parents’ style of discipline
- Parents’ marriage
- Families that sit together in Worship
- Kids who liked their Pastor
The first two on the list have primarily to do with the child him/her self and their openness to responding to the gospel in both decision and obedience to follow the Lord in Baptism. Certainly the teaching and example of the parents as well as hearing the gospel presentation at church, home or other events provides opportunity as well. If you are like me, you are going through the list at least mentally checking off which issues you/your family and your child meets. As the list continues, the focus switches slightly to reflect things about a child’s family situation. You will notice the last one on this list mentions a child’s relationship or thoughts about the Pastor. We as adults can have a positive impact with this one as well by sharing the positives of our Pastor with our kids, being his cheerleader so to speak rather than frequently criticizing. Consider this list if you will and then check out part 2 of this post next time with the second half. The second half of this list shifts slightly to focus a little more on the role the church body plays in this issue. So the good news is this: We are in this together! Yes, the parents have primary influence in spiritual matters, but the church has an important role also. Please read the rest of this story next time. Until then, stay encouraged parents, we’re here to support you!
A few dates to mark on your calendar:
Student Christmas Party:
On Saturday, December 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. we will have our Christmas service project and gift exchange. We will travel to Bee Hive Homes in Edgewood where we will join the Children’s ministry to decorate Christmas cookies with the residents there. Returning to the Loft, we will eat lunch, play games, and have a creative gift exchange ($5.00 limit) to wrap up the evening.
New Year’s Eve Lock-in:
This year, our annual New Year’s Eve Lock-in is going to move to the Edgewood Elementary Gym. Starting at 7:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, we will be engaged in activities all through the night. We will be busy all night and through the morning wrapping up at 7:00 in the morning on New Year’s Day. Please mark your calendar, and let’s make this the biggest New Year’s Eve event this side of the mountains.
Please follow this link for additional information along with an article discussing holiday traditions.
Families of children and preschoolers, mark your calendar for a great night of Christmas memory making called Keepsake Christmas – Making Memories at the Manger, on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm. This will be a fun interactive time not only to reflect on the Christmas story, but also to reminisce about your own family in a relaxed atmosphere designed to create memories your family will cherish for years to come.
During this engaging, approximately one-hour program, families will hear a dramatic retelling of the Christmas story from a cast of Mary, Joseph and an Angel. This will provide a unique look at how the amazing events unfolded on that first Christmas. Each family will create their very own keepsake nativity scene. You are encouraged to think of a family who you would love to share the Christmas story with and make plans to bring them along.
In addition to our Keepsake Christmas, we are planning a visit to the Bee Hive home in Edgewood with the Youth Department on the morning of Saturday, December 9, more details to come. We hope you will make plans to participate in each of these events.
Each One Reach One
Earlier this year, I challenged our students to find one person they didn’t know, pray for them, and make a connection with them with the idea of bringing them to church and possibly leading them to Christ. “Each One Reach One” is what we are calling it and I am so exciting to hear our students share experiences about how they have been sharing their faith and the challenges they have ran into. As our students discuss the conversations they have initiated or joined and the struggles they have encountered, others are seeing that they are not the only ones struggling or starting conversations. Please be willing to talk about this with our students. Ask them if they have had any Gospel conversations at school. Please join us as we pray for God to lead each one of us to that individual He is preparing us to talk to, invite to church, or lead to Christ.
High School – Escape…
On November 11th, we are taking our High School students to Escape it. That’s right, we are going to lock them up in a room for an hour to see if they can escape. $35.00 will get each participant into the room and a meal before we head home. Plans are to leave the Loft at 2:00 p.m. and return by 7:00 p.m.
Mid School – Fallout
On November 18th, our Mid School students are invited to join us as we go to Fallout, a trampoline area with a ninja course. $30.00 will get the students 2 hours at Fallout and a meal before we head home. We are going to leave the Loft at 2:00 p.m., and we should be back at the Loft by 7:00 p.m.
Please take a look at our newsletter for more information about the RESCUE in our student ministry and read an article about backtalking to mom at the following link https://newsletter.dymapps.com/read/12832
You may have noticed a few changes in the Children’s area on Sunday mornings recently. We are now using material called Bible Studies for Life, a series produced by Lifeway Christian Resources. Children’s leaders are privileged to spend an hour or so each Sunday morning with kids, and we want them to come away each week confident they have heard some of what God has to say in the Bible, how it applies to their life and have spent a few minutes on Bible skills. When you get a chance, check out the Levels of Biblical Learning poster hanging on the bulletin board near the welcome center. It covers 10 biblical concept areas – God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Bible, Salvation, Creation, Church, People, Family, Community & World – that children can learn as they study God’s Word. The concept areas are presented through six different age ranges, from infancy through the preteen years, and reflect levels of understanding that follow how God designed children to learn. Bible Studies for Life: Kids is based on the Levels of Biblical Learning. We look forward to our October Unit of study: “Love and Obey God”. Please pray that we will see more of our kids become regular attenders.
As we move into a new school year, I have issued a challenge to our students. Each One, Reach One… As our students are going through their normal day at school, I have challenged them to find one non-friend and build a relationship with them with the intention of bringing them to church and leading them to Christ. Hopefully we will see and hear a buzz coming from the students as we share weekly about what has happened on this front. Please pray that our students are open to God’s direction and that they have the courage and willingness to follow as He shows them the individual that He is pointing them to.
In the past, our students attended the Lives Ablaze Student Conference on Labor Day weekend. This year I am so excited to have the opportunity to take our students to a live simulcast with Tenth Avenue North, Propaganda, The Skit Guys, and others. Dare 2 Share LIVE is on September 23rd allowing us the opportunity to join with other students across New Mexico in learning to serve our communities. $30.00 covers admission as well as lunch. Registration deadline and fees are due on August 30th. Please contact Sid Ware at (505) 453-5854 with any questions. This information and an article by Jonathon McKee can be read at: https://newsletter.dymapps.com/featured/160
Thank you for praying for us while we were at Lives Ablaze Student Camp. We took sixteen students and three sponsors to Inlow. Your prayers were heard, and God moved in mighty ways. There was one profession–of–faith at camp. Praise the Lord! Please continue to pray as we move through the next steps of discipleship. Our students grew closer to each other and to God through the week. They have come back on a spiritual high. Unfortunately Satan knows this and is going to try everything that he can do to distract and discourage our students. As we move through summer please pray diligently that our students don’t give in to Satan’s attacks and that they remain strong in their faith and their commitment to God.
Change is happening once again in our youth department. In an effort to help our church become more family friendly and to try to get more high school involvement in our growth group, we are going to be moving our High School Growth Group back to Sunday mornings. With Promotion Sunday coming up and being a natural transition time, we are going make the changes then. On June 11th, Promotion Sunday, we will all gather at the Loft for our promotion celebration. On Sunday, June 18th will be our first run at the new schedule with all students meeting at the Loft at 9:15 a.m. Please be in prayer for our Students and Leaders as we transition to this new schedule.
Lives Ablaze Student Camp is coming up June 26-30 for students having completed 6th grade through 12th grade. The cost for the camp is $180.00 if payment is received by May 26th, after which the price will increase to $195.00. An information packet will be made available as soon as all of the details have been finalized.
If finances are not going to allow attendance, please contact Sid as some scholarships have already been provided. Contact Sid at (505)453-5854 or firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for scholarships or for more information.