Archives For partner with parents

I don’t know about you but I LOVE free stuff.  I especially love free stuff that can help me to connect preteens with the Bible. 

This morning, I reviewed the graphic novel series produced by the peeps over at The Almighty Bible. This afternoon, they have 2 copies of II Samuel and Acts that they are giving away for free to two lucky readers. 

If you would like to win a pair of books from this awesome series from The Almighty Bible, tweet the following:

@Pastor_MattMo is giving away a copy of II Samuel and Acts from @almightyBible http://thealmightybible.com/  Check it out at mattmo.org

If you’re not a “Tweeter”, leave a comment on the blog or on facebook to enter the giveaway.  I will randomly choose TWO WINNERS on Thursday.

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One of the hardest parts of ministering to preteens is overcoming the myth that the Bible is boring or stale. If we can just get them to engage in the Scripture, it will prove itself as anything but boring and stale. But how do we create that spark?

I was recently given a copy of The Almighty Bible, and I’m really impressed with this resource. The Almighty Bible is produced as a graphic novel for each book of the Bible. Each novel is full of illustrations that coincide with the Biblical text. The Almighty Bible is not intended to be the only Bible your child owns, therefore it is not a word-for-word translation of Scripture. Even though some of the Biblical text is summarized or omitted to keep the novel format, the stories that are told are incredibly accurate to Scripture. The series is designed to generate an interest in Scripture that will lead preteens to a deeper study of a more traditional Bible, and from my reviews, I think it does just that.

I asked several preteens to look through the copies that I was given, and their responses were priceless. One student turned page after page after page, and all he could say is, “This is the coolest Bible ever!” Another student read a story from II Samuel and asked, “Did this really happen?”  Based on their intrigue alone, I would say be sure to order your copy!

In summary, The Almighty Bible blends the timeless and perfect Word of God with the high-definition media that saturates a preteen’s life.  This combination creates a great spark that will pull a preteen into the Bible and fuel their journey through God’s story.  The book series, the iPad app, the online club, and much more—make this resource a must have for the preteen in your life. 

Go check it out at The Almighty Bible

Check back tomorrow for your chance to win a free copy of this awesome resource!

When my wife sees an expensive piece of furniture or decorative item for our house, I have a humorous response that always pops out.  I look over the object and quickly reply, “They want $_____ for that?  I could make that!”  This always draws a laugh from my wife because she knows my lack of skills in the craftsman department.  But in the discussion, I always bring up the fact that I could do it if I just had the right tools.  I’m not sure that I wouldn’t fail, but I would definitely have the confidence to try if I just had the right tools.

Parents are looking to the church for the right tools to do their job with confidence.

I’ve never met a parent who didn’t care about the spiritual condition of their child.  But I have met parents who do not feel equipped for the job as spiritual leader.  There is a great opportunity for the church to partner with parents in developing a plan for the spiritual upbringing of children.  But that’s harder than it seems.

According to the 2010 State of the Church and Family Annual Report (Barna & Rethink Group) 72% of churched and 46% of unchurched parents said that the church would be a good helper in developing a plan for raising their child.  This statistic shows great opportunity for the church.  Parents are looking to the church for the right tools.  However, less than half (45%) of parents said that they received “very clear” expectations on parenting from the church.  Only 27% of unchurched parents with recent church experience said that the church clearly communicated its expectations of parents.  We have a great opportunity to equip parents as spiritual leaders, but we are failing to clearly communicate the essentials of Biblical parenting.

It’s time to stop talking about the importance of leading a child’s spiritual development, and start equipping parents with resources that will help them meet that goal.  I’ve been guilty of thinking that I just needed to convince the parents of the importance of their role.  But they already understand the importance.  They are screaming at the top of their lungs, “We understand the importance of our role.  We want to be the spiritual leader for our child.  We want to do it, but we need the right tools for the job.”

The 2010 State of the Church and Family Annual Report says it like this:

Almost half of all parents say they have no plan in raising their kids; they simply do the best they can. And even among the parents who say they have a plan in mind to help their child become what they desire, you might wonder whether their plan is well thought out or cohesive.  This is a great opportunity for leaders to speak into the lives of parents.  If we actually have a clear and compelling approach to helping families, this is a chance to help families realize more is possible. (p. 34)

Some great ways to equip parents with tools might be:

  • sermon series on parenting that highlights the methods/tools your church uses to create a partnership between church and home
  • small groups or discipleship classes for parents that focus on parenting for each stage of development (preschool, elementary, preteen, jr. high, high school, college)
  • regular scheduled meetings for all staff/volunteer leadership of family ministry (preschool—college) to talk about integrated strategy
  • compile a list of books, articles, blogs, sermons, etc that would be helpful for parents
  • shared experiences for parents and children/teens

This list is by no means exhaustive.  It will be different for every church, but it is always better to do something rather than nothing.

What is your strategy for equipping parents with the right tools to be spiritual leaders?

(2010 State of the Church and Family Annual Report is available at The Rethink Group Store.)

 

We hosted a parent meeting this past Sunday for all our 5th grade parents and we talked about what was in store for their child in 6th grade.  We discussed the various units and lessons that we will cover, and then it happened.  I said “Pornography.”  Just the mention of the word puts everyone on high alert.  I don’t think parents were shocked as much as they were desperate for some assistance in how to address the issue with their preteen. 

Here are the cold hard facts…

The fourth most-searched word on the Internet for kids ages 7 and under in 2009 was “porn.”
For all kids up to age 18, sex was No. 4, porn No. 5.

A recent survey found that 30% of girls ages 9 to 15 years old had sent or received sexual messages or photos of themselves.

1 of every 3 that reported to receive “sext” messages said that they accidentally received the message that was intended for someone else.

(Data from OnlineFamily.Norton.com and research from AK Tweens)

These stats mean that many preteens are falling prey to pornography, intentionally and even unintentionally.  As the church, we need to be thinking through a strategy for equipping parents to have a conversation with their children.  I am reminded of the damage and consequences that came from just one look in the life of King David.  His eyes caught Bathsheba naked, and his mind could not escape the image.  The result was a downward spiral of sinful decisions.  The danger is real, the stats are real, and we need a strategy.

I feel like the best way to address the topic is on the family level.  Therefore, we have chosen to equip the parents with resources to carry-out a discussion with their child that points to God’s call to pure actions and thoughts. 

What’s your strategy for equipping parents to deal with the danger of pornography?

I’d love to share some of the info that we’ve given to parents to help that conversation.  We also give information for protection services that will help them to create boundaries on their computers and mobile devices.  If interested in that material, you can contact me via comment, twitter, or email.