All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Where are the kids when we’re in community group? | Part 1

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Here at Sojourn, our church culture revolves around two primary ministry wings: (1) our weekly worship gatherings at our campuses on Sundays, and (2) weekly community group “scatterings” that meet in homes around our city throughout the week.

Over the past year, Sojourn’s leadership has been wrestling with a burning question. It is one that haunts us, and it is one that is beginning to haunt many church leaders who are part of the small group (community group, missional community, home group, house church) revolution. Here is the question.

Where are our kids when we’re in community group?

Over at the Lifeway Kids blog, Jana Magruder unpacked what she has experienced as the most likely scenario.

My husband and I have been in multiple small groups (community groups, missional community, home groups, etc). The scenarios presented for our kids during these times have been: take kids and let them watch a movie in the host’s playroom, hire a babysitter to watch all kids at the host home, or hire a babysitter to watch our kids at home. None of those translate to intentional time of kids learning the Bible, hearing the gospel, or developing meaningful relationships like their parents are getting to do during their small group.

That’s what we’ve seen as well. Most of the time, parents turn to either a babysitter or Pixar. But we believe there is a better way. Over the next two days, I’m going to post some tips for incorporating kids into community life. First, on Friday (June 27), I’ll post thoughts from Casey Smith who serves with Acts 29 Europe and The Crowded House, a church community in Sheffield, England, UK. Then, next Saturday (June 28), I’m going to post a few additional tips that I’ve received in conversations with parents here at Sojourn’s Midtown campus. Come on back next week and check it out!

God Provides for Elijah (at Home for June 22nd)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “God Provides for Elijah in Miraculous Ways” (1 Kings 17).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ 1 Kings 17 or Story 62 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What is a miracle? It is when God does something we can not do. 

ASK: What kind of food did the ravens bring Elijah? The ravens brought him bread and meat (1 Kings 17:6).

ASK: What do prophets do? They speak God’s word to men.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 312-316

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

61. What does the Holy Spirit use to change Christians? God’s word, prayer, and trials.

Acts 2:42 –They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

Pirates are Coming! VBS Video

Sojourn VBS promo from Reid Olson on Vimeo.

This year’s Vacation Bible School: PROOF Pirates sets sail on July 14th at all Sojourn campuses. Locations and times are listed below.

VBS is an event for kids, ages 4 through those who have completed grade 5, to learn from the Bible and participate in art, music, and games. This year, kids will learn that God’s grace is great enough to save scallawags like you and me.

To sign up to serve, click here!

To register, click on one of the links below: 

Midtown Campus (Click Here!)
1207 S. Shelby Street, 40203
July 14-18: 9am until Noon
Have questions? E-mail Lisa Tant

East Campus (Click Here!)
8509 Westport Road, 40242
July 14-17 (four days): 9am until Noon
Have questions? Email Noelle Garcia

J-town Campus (Click Here!)
11412 Taylorsville Road, 40299
July 14-18: 9am until Noon
Have questions? Email Kristen Early

New Albany Campus (Click Here!)
2023 Ekin Ave., 47150
July 14-18: 6pm until 9pm
Have questions? E-mail Milli Coverdale

Chaotic, Imperfect, and Beautiful: A North Star Catechism Testimony from the O’Nan Family

ONansI recently asked Sojourn Midtown members, Alex and Laura Beth O’Nan to tell me about how they are using the North Star Catechism  at home. Here is how they answered my questions.

Why do you think it important to teach basic theology to your kids? There is nothing more that we desire for our children than for them to know God and follow Him in faith. We know from His Word that God has called, instructed, and equipped us as parents to teach our children about the things of God, and we desire to live in obedience to that calling. We believe that basic theological instruction will give our children a strong foundation for their faith, and we are convinced that a correct doctrine and knowledge of God and His ways will be an aid to them throughout life. Knowing God and being known by Him has been the greatest thing in our lives, so naturally we want to do all that we can to teach our children of the joys of knowing God.

How has the catechism been helpful? The catechism has been a wonderful tool for instructing our daughter Miriam in theology. Before using the catechism, my theological instructions were impromptu reactions to situations that would arise, which is good and appropriate, but not consistent or thorough. I love that the catechism is a systematic tool that covers the full spectrum of historic theological categories. It has been very helpful in establishing deep truths and key Scripture verses into Miriam’s heart and mind.

What does “catechism time” look like for your family? Well, the first words that popped into my mind were chaotic, imperfect, and beautiful!  It is chaotic because we have a 2-year-old boy Felix who is listening in even though he’s not quite ready for the memorizing. It is imperfect because I am imperfect. I often lose my patience or get frustrated during our catechism times, and many times I must repent and ask forgiveness. It is beautiful because the end result is hearing our 4-year-old daughter Miriam speak the truths of God.

We have found that right after breakfast is the best time for Miriam to work on the catechism. I usually ask her to stand up next to the breakfast table, and get all her wiggles out. I then help her remember to stand still so her brain can focus on the words. We usually begin by reviewing questions previously learned, then move into learning new material. Miriam has not begun reading yet, so I teach her through a simple routine of listening, saying together, and saying alone. I introduce the question and answer, and we discuss its meaning. I then ask her to listen to me read the question and answer three times. We then say the answer three times together. Then she says the answer three times by herself with prompts if necessary. We have catechism time usually three times a week and follow this routine each time. By the third day, she usually knows the answer independently. I would also like to add that it is completely by the grace of God that we are somewhat consistent with this and that we are seeing Miriam learn and grow in the knowledge of God. Because of the nature of my husband’s job, our family lacks any type of regular weekly schedule and most things that we attempt to do consistently end up failing or being forgotten. We are convinced that God has blessed us with the grace to remember to instruct Miriam in this way, and we are so thankful!

Catechism Flash Cards

North Star Catechism flash cards and Scout books are on sale at Sojourn book tables and online. The flash cards contain the content for all 78 catechism questions and answers in a deck of 52 playing card size flash cards. They provide a fun way to practice key truths about God’s glory, God’s kingdom, God’s cross, God’s grace, God’s church, and God’s mission. The tuck case and cards were designed by Sojourn staff member and graphic designer, Chris Bennett. Follow the link below to download the free catechism and order other resources.

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal (at Home for June 15th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “Elijah and the Prophets of Baal” (1 Kings 18:17-38).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

ASK: What did the prophets of Baal and Elijah do? They had a contest to see whose god was real. Whichever god burned up the offering would prove to be the true God.

ASK: Why didn’t Baal burn up the offering? There is only one true God. Baal is a pretend god, a false god. He doesn’t exist.

ASK: What happened when it was Elijah’s turn? God answered his prayer. God burned up the offering, the stones, and even the water poured on the sacrifices.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 317-321

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

60. What is the evidence of a changed life? The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of a changed life.

Galatians 5:22-23a –But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.