Building Faith at Home

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Blueprint: Ministry to today’s parents is as
important as ministry to their children. Your best tool is your
ability to encourage. Continuously encourage parents to not give
up. Encourage them to take advantage of the time they have with
their kids. Encourage their daily efforts to care for and mentor
their children. Encourage parents to use their lives as the best
examples of their faith for their children.

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Don’t pressure parents to take on involved projects,
lessons, or “homework” to build kids’ faith; it sets parents up to
fail when they don’t have the time or energy to follow through.
Simply remind parents that every moment they have with their
children is a moment they can use to point their children toward
Jesus. Parents today carry around enough guilt because they feel
stretched too thin and think their children are paying the price.
Parents need reassurance–not more activities or expectations–from
you.

Wiring That Works

Today’s parent is connected socially–to people from every walk of
life. In the past, neighborhoods often served as borders for
parents’ social circles. Today we live in a global village where
communication with people a world away is almost instantaneous.
Parents rely on advice from people they know only through digital
media almost as much as from immediate family and friends. They
tend to place more trust in what peers and friends say than what
“experts in ivory towers” say. To truly connect with today’s
parent, you must build a framework of often-digital social
connections.

Blueprint: A significant way you can equip parents
is to construct a safe, reliable social network where faith
conversations happen daily. These parents don’t just need support
from their pastors and leaders on how to instill faith in their
children; they need support from each other. Give parents direct
connections with other parents. Help guide them to forums and
social networking sites where they can talk openly about the issues
they face in an atmosphere they’re accustomed to. You can create
forums on your church website (check out forumup.com), on
Facebook, or on faith-based networking sites that offer topics your
parents will connect with (try christianparentsforum.com). There’s nothing
better for a parent who’s struggling through an ordeal than to hear
another parent say, “Boy, have I been there” or simply, “I’ll pray
for you.”

A Decent View

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One of the most dramatic differences between today’s parenting
landscape and yesterday’s is the dramatic increase in multimedia
exposure.

The new millennium was ushered in by an explosive technological
revolution. At any given moment, kids of all ages experience
multiple technological influences in their lives–and the Internet
is only the starting point. In most of today’s homes, it’s normal
to see computers, televisions, and a cell phone for every resident
old enough to walk and talk at the same time. Numerous forms of
technology bring with them numerous avenues for media
bombardment.

To put it another way, “Never before in the history of
telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent
(and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors
in so many American homes with so few restrictions.” That’s
according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Parents may be onboard
with technology, but chances are they grapple every day with how to
effectively monitor, manage, and mitigate technology when it comes
to the largely uncensored media their children
experience.

     

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