Category Archives: Children

Parenting in the Pews with Sensitive Topics

At The Town Church we value the church family being together as we worship God. Each week we offer children’s ministry for children up through age 5. Twice a month we offer children’s ministry classes for children through 5th grade during the teaching time of the service. While we do offer some children’s ministry, our corporate gatherings are often full of children. That is the church.

Since we often have children of all ages in our services, the roll of the preacher in preaching through specific texts is, at times, challenging. For instance, we have been working through the book of Exodus over the last several months. We are now into the middle section (Covenant Code) of Exodus where we see law after law after law from God. Many of these laws will go over the heads of children (honestly, some of the laws go over my head). However, some of the laws may spark curiosity and cause children to ask questions. We could choose to skip those passages to try to protect parents from the awkward conversations on the drive home, but we believe the Word of God (all of it) has been given to us so that we can know God. 

This Sunday (2.25.18) we will discuss a few laws that may be interesting to navigate with children. In my preparation this week I thought it may be appropriate to send a message to our church family. Below is the message I sent. Parents, are you discussing these sensitive issues with your children? In our overly sexualized and provocative culture and time in history, your children need to be hearing about these things from you so that they know the home is a safe place to ask questions and hear the truth. Here is our reminder – Parenting/discipleship/the Christian life is a long game. Endure and enjoy.

************************

Good afternoon church family, 

As I’ve been studying this week I’ve come across a few passages where God gives commands to his people about sexual relations outside of marriage as well as sexual relations with animals. These can often be tricky topics to talk through when there are a variety of ages represented in the pews. However, these things are in the Bible for a reason so I don’t want to skip over them. I want to face them head-on and allow God’s Word to teach us. 

For those of you who are parents, I want to reassure you that I will try as much as I am able to use words that are as appropriate for all audiences as I can manage. Often I will try to be vague enough in my speech that children may not understand what I am talking about – but adults will. I will often say things like “appropriate relations” or “relations appropriate for marriages.” I think most adults will understand what I am trying to communicate with those types of words. You have probably noticed that the words I often choose to use are more sanitized than what is actually in the Bible. This is intentional. I want to be careful that I am not going beyond how Scripture speaks of sexual relationships. 

That being said, however, I also want to give you notice when I am going to talk about things that may be explicit so that you can begin to prayerfully consider how you could have conversations with your children about these topics. If you sense that your children understand what is being discussed on Sunday mornings or from your family reading of God’s Word, you have a beautiful opportunity to talk to them about what God desires for our bodies and relationships. That instruction needs to be coming from God, trickling down through you as the parents. 

I would encourage you to assume your children are picking up on some of the things we are discussing. Ask them questions. Invite them into open discussion about these things. Introduce them to some of these topics in ways that seem appropriate for their understanding. This is God’s Word and we’re told that God’s Word is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). 

This Sunday as we read, study and hear from God’s Word, we will see that God cares about sexual relationships between a married man and a woman. While I won’t be explicit in my choice of words, the passage we will walk through (especially Exodus 22:16-17 and 22:19) is quite straightforward. Be prepared for questions and conversations with your children.

If ever you would like to talk about how to have these conversations with your children, please let me know. I don’t have all of the answers but I would be happy to help you in your ongoing pursuit of pointing your children more and more to the truth of God’s Word and our collective need for a Savior. 

We’re in this together and I thank God for it!

Vince

Young kids in worship: a helpful article

crop_16_02_21the_town_church_r141We have a multitude of children in our church which means our Children’s Ministry only has space for kids up through 4 years of age.

I’m a dad of three young kids (1, 3 and 5). Because of our space limitations, my five year old son, Elias, joins us in worship on Sunday mornings.

We mostly love this. He gets to be with our larger church family and his comments and questions later testify to him absorbing some of the content.

But this has also created a new dynamic for my wife and me (well, at least me). I have to admit that, at times, having Elias join us is really stressful, distracting and plain unenjoyable.

Is he being too loud? Why is the concept of whispering so hard for him to apply consistently? Ugh, he dropped his clipboard again! What do the people around me think of my parenting?!?

I would guess many of us can relate to some degree, whether or not you are a parent of young kids. We all still share the same space together.

I was forwarded this short article, written about these very tensions. I found it extremely helpful and encouraging. I hope you do as well.

The Biggest Story

We all love great stories. This is evident as we see stories told in so many ways – movies, books and video clips posted on Facebook.

I’d like to point us to a children’s book that describes the greatest story of all time: The Biggest Story – How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden.

This book is beautifully illustrated and exceptionally written. The very first week we had it for sale in our Library, my youngest daughter saw it and immediately used her own money to purchase it.

“Once upon a time there lived a man and a woman. They were the happiest people on the planet. True, thy were the only people on the planet, but they were still terrifically happy.”

Unfortunately, things didn’t stay happy and wonderful for long…

Check out some of the beautiful illustrations:

eden1

 

ark

 

chpt2

 

Or watch this video:

 

Parents, purchase this book in our library this week. You and your kids will love it. Guaranteed.

Bring them up…

Last Sunday we worked through Ephesians 6:1-4. You can listen to the sermon here. In verse 4 Paul instructs parents (specifically fathers) to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Although this does take intentionality, we also saw in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 that the instruction of our children can be accomplished in the natural, every day flow of life.

EverythingAs a church, we have a desire to provide resources to help you in your efforts to teach your children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and might. These resources may be found in the Library at our building.

This past week we added a new resource to our Library – Everything a Child Should Know About God. This book is a beautifully simple look at systematic theology for children (geared for ages 3-6). Pick up a copy this Sunday!