Friday, April 8, 2011

Kids Need More than One Voice

Here's a homework assignment for every parent and children's ministry leader.  Sit and watch 30 minutes of TV with your kids, listen to 30 minutes of music with them on a "kid" station, or play 30 minutes of the current popular video game.  Popular media has learned something that Christians would do well to learn as well.  Multiple inputs of information/influence have a much more profound impact than just one!

During that 30 minutes of homework you're doing, listen to the messages being conveyed.  "You deserve the best!"  "This will make you popular and happy!" "Everyone who is anyone has this or is doing this!"  "You can do anything if you just try your best!" and other culturally popular agendas like them come through loud and clear.  The trouble is, these messages are flat out wrong and will destroy the life of whoever chases after them.

Here's the good news!  The same strategy of multiple inputs from popular media can also be used by Christians for incredibly positive results in a kids' life!  Know why?  It was God's design!

God knows that your kids will be dramatically influenced more when they hear the same message over and over, so He designed families and churches to work together to bring up a godly generation.  It doesn't work if you just drop your kids off at church to let them take care of the "God thing."  And it doesn't work if you as parents think you can teach your kids everything they need to know about God.  Both of those extremes are harmful.  Our kids need godly families and a relevant church!

So, 1) turn down the influence of popular media in your kids' lives.  We don't hide our kids from everything out there, so they look and feel like social freaks around friends (I know a few Christians like that, and it's not a pretty sight), but we do set limits on how much and what they are exposed to.  Media is not the best baby-sitter (even though as a parent, I know how tempting it is), because it does affect how your kids think and view the world.

And, 2) turn up the influence of godly people in your kids' lives.  For instance, why don't you start looking for the teachable moments when you can bring God into your kids' worldview.  Also, make sure your kids are plugged in to a relevant, Bible-centered church ministry where others can speak and model truth in front of your kids, too.  Reggie Joiner is famous for rightly saying that every parent needs another godly adult to say the same things they say to their kids.  I'm so glad my kids have other people from our church pouring into them.  Here is a picture that two of Elli's favorite Kid City leaders sent to me after church last week!  Where else but church can you be influenced for Jesus and get wrapped up in a carpet like a taco? :)

These are two pivotal ideas that Christan parents must do in order for their kids to be life-long followers of the Way.  Now, go back and take in another 30 minutes of media with your kids, so you're not that socially freaky Christian!

1 comment:

  1. speaking of a "God thing"...
    A couple of weeks ago I verbably committed to a November, "uncharted", medical missions trip to Haiti with GAP missions, a group I am involved with. We will go high up in the mountains (hike and camp) to reach those in most need.
    I assumed I had plenty of time if not several months to raise my personal funds.
    So away we went on a spring break, family fun vacation to FL.
    When we returned I checked my (purposely) long forgotten e mail, and there it was, a message from our group leader that read "in order to be fair to the people I have turned away, due to a verbally committed, full group, and to satisfy the church board, I will soon allow first come (with flight ticket) first serve (guarenteed spot)so you will need to commit by purchasing your flight ticket immeiately or risk being bumped out. The tickets for our group flight (which the others had already purchased) are running $800-$850 and climbing every day."
    Needless to say, I was not prepared.
    I began to feel "someone" did not want me to go. I began to pray "Lord show me the way...". I really wanted to go but did He want this for me?
    Late that evening I received an e mail from a friend in the group. She had found another flight that leaves the same day and
    tickets are half the cost, on
    I would have to drive and depart from Detroit, MI, catch 2 connections, and arrive in Haiti 25 minute after the others. Ok, if this is what I have to do, then this is what I will do. I went to bed somewhat relieved but definately thankful for "a way". I intended on booking the next day.
    The next day I began my normal routine and recieved a message from a friend in "the group" that she would book with me (we were the last 2) and would fly together...YAY! I was feeling more relieved now.
    I continued my day, got my mail and there was something from our insurance company...probably a bill, I thought to myself. I opened the envelope and it was no bill! I began to cry as I read REFUND FULL DEDUCTIBLE PER ARBITRATION AWARD with a check in the amount of $500. We had a omeowner's claim in '08 due to a leak in our roof and paid a $500 deductible. It seems "someone" thought we should have that money back.
    I was so overjoyed with emotions of being led by the Lord and not letting satan win that I had to tell my mother-in-law, who is staying with us for a while. Her response was "Wow! You are really lucky!" I politely smiled and said "No. I am really blessed..."
    I left to pick up Christian from school. Still filled with the Lord, I told him the news as soon as he got in the car. He looked at me with a big smile and said "Mom, that is a "God thing".
    Once again I began to cry, overjoyed by the Lord.
    Christian is an example of the words you speak, Jon. Kids are dramatically influenced by Godly parents and relevant church!