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Should I Bring My Kids To The Exchange Community?

Should I bring My Kids

Jesus said,

Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. ~Matthew 19:14

We Love Our Children!   Yet sometimes it’s difficult to get anything out of a message or to worship when our kids just won’t cooperate.  For some the option has been for one parent to keep the kids at home or to send them to a Sunday school class during the worship gathering.  Yet, in these cases, our children never learn the importance of having a rhythm of worship.

We offer an age appropriate story, activity, and snack for our smaller children during our message time.  This way they get to worship with their family yet also hear a message at their own level.  Just have you children sit with you and we’ll call all the children right before the message and bring them back before the closing song.

We also have a little room for parents with small children to use if necessary.

Here are a few suggestions to help you engage and teach your child about the worship gathering:

  • Before worship, talk to your child about why we worship God.  Because of the great love that God has shown us through Jesus, we want to give thanks to Him and learn more about his love.
  • Communicate your behavior expectations before the gathering begins.
  • Have your child do the things you do, stand, fold hands, pray, etc.
  • Follow along with them in the bible reading for the day.
  • Especially if your children are too old for our kids Corner, sit close to the front so the child can visually engage with the speaker.
  • work on elements of the gathering at home with them: The Lord’s Prayer, Apostles Creed, and frequently used songs, etc.
  • Talk about the good things that happened at the gathering.   Ask your children, “What did you learn about God?”, “What did you learn about his love?”, “What did you learn about Jesus?”, “What Story did they talk about in Kids Corner?”
  • Pick up a, “Jesus Story Book Bible” at the local bookstore or in the back of church to help you teach your children about Jesus during the rest of the week.
  • Teach them the gathering is just part of the Christian Life.   Join a Missional Community to show them how God’s people follow Jesus together and Show his love through.

Please Don’t Teach Your Kids About Santa

St. Nicholas from an ancient mosaic in Turkey

With Thanksgiving out of the way we threw out the goards and pumpkins, packed up the fall decorations, cut down a tree, and started decorating the house in green, red, and gold.  The reason is obvious, Christmas is coming.  I was at walmart the other day and saw an 8-10 foot blow up raindeer, which I actually kinda like.  Yet most of what I saw was Santa Claus themed.  More and more we see an addition to the Santa Myth with the Elf on the Shelf stuff as well.

Last year I shared, Why I Won’t Be Teaching My Children About Santa Claus.  I see way to many Christian kids more focused on Santa and “his” gifts than on Jesus and His Gift.  I’ve got nothing against watching Christmas movies that involve Santa.  I liked, Tim Allen’s, The Santa Clause movies.  I loved, Will Ferrell’s Elf.  I enjoy the Grinch and Frosty Movies.  Yet as I watch some of these with my Daughter, Areli, I’ll let her know that they’re pretend.  Even now, at a year and a half, I’m teaching her that we’re decorating everything because we’re celebrating Jesus’ Birthday.  You won’t find a Santa in our house, because we’re celebrating Jesus and no other.

I will be teaching my daughter, however, about the real St. Nicholas.  We’ll be reading to her, Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend, and as she get’s older we’ll watch St. Nichola of Myra as well, so my daughter will know who the real Santa Claus really is.  I want her to know that St. Nick  was really a great defender of the Christian Faith and showed love to children because of the love he had seen in Jesus.

Parent’s if you share Santa with you kids, which is hard to avoid, make sure you don’t describe him as a God like person who is all-powerful and all-knowing.  Don’t credit him with the gifts you worked hard to provide.  Don’t decorate you houses in Santa’s image.  Rather, share with you children how Christmas is all about Jesus.  Put a nativity as the focal point to your Christmas decoration.  Teach your children who St. Nicholas really was, so that there is no confusion.  And then enjoy all the fun holiday stuff with you kids knowing what is true and what is make-beleive.

Resources

Information on the real Saint Nicholas.

Video The Real St. Nick from Lutheran Hour Ministries

St. Nicholas Films

Picture found here

See also: Why I Won’t Be Teaching My Children About Santa Claus

Missional Community: Integrating Children

Here’s some good advice on what to do with your Children in a Missional Community setting.

Logan Gentry

One of the many challenges that Community Groups face is how to handle children in the community.  We have a key conviction that children should be included and seen as members of the Community Group.

This means they are seen as members of the community that need to be discipled with the gospel as we seek to be a community on mission. If we don’t count the children, then we could easily find ourselves in the situation one of our Community Groups faced where there were 14 adults and a total of 16 children. That’s 30 total people that must be considered and accounted for in order to even meet as a Community Group.

In New York City, there are no apartments that fit 30 people and even if there were, 16 children in one apartment is asking for chaos and destruction. It became unmanageable and impeded the ability of…

View original post 1,093 more words

Sharing the Christmas Story

We all have family or friends that we feel like we can’t talk to about Jesus.  Even sitting around a  Christmas tree, right next to a Nativity Scene, we have a hard time finding the words to talk about the gift we have in Christ.  Yet at the same time, we might send numerous emails or text throughout the week to these same individuals.  Maybe you could reach them in the same way you are already communicating with them.

Note:  I’m not telling you to bombard them with cheesy, precious moments, glittery image, Christian quote or story with a curse added to the end if they don’t love Jesus enough to forward it on to ten other people.

Anyway,  try sharing showing this awesome video.  In my family, when one person plays a cute video, there’s usually 3-5 more before we get off  youtube.  Throw it in the mix.  Reinforce the story.  Share it on Facebook or Twitter.   

Whether you use the video or not, find a way to point people towards Jesus, and the real meaning of Christmas, this week.

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