We’ve all been there before as parents. Your child has been told what to do and doesn’t do it. You’re tired and irritated. You have no patience left in your parenting tank. And so, you yell at your child and perhaps even discipline your child in anger and frustration. But what good does it do? Even though you took charge of the situation, your heart feels empty and frustrated and so does your child’s.
Let’s rewind the tape. Your child has been told what to do and doesn’t do it. Instead of reacting in anger, you acknowledge the fact that you are tired and lacking in patience. So before speaking to your child, you speak first to God. Just a simple prayer asking Him something like,
“Father, I need your help right now. I need your Spirit to give me patience and wisdom to talk with my child. I can’t do it on my own. I need you and my child needs you. Without you, Jesus, I can do nothing. So be with me now as I go. Open up my heart and my child’s heart to you.”
With a simple prayer such as this one, we take our parenting out of our hands and put it into God’s hands. We admit we cannot parent on our own. And so we pray a simple prayer of dependence … a simple prayer of reliance … a simple prayer of surrender.
This is the prayer we parents rarely pray. But I wonder how it would change us, and I wonder how it would change our families.
“You shall not covet.” Exodus 20:17a
(From this week’s Show Me Jesus Younger Elementary curriculum)
What is “Memory Monday”? Each week I’ll post Scripture and/or Bible doctrine memory work from the previous Sunday’s children’s Bible lessons. Here is the challenge! Learn the memory work together as a family. Then, kids, come to our Sunday gatherings next week and recite the memory work to Mrs. Kelsey Barnes (St. Matthews campus), Mr. David Kidd (Germantown campus) or me to receive a reward.
Now that we’ve done a few services in St. Matthews, I thought it would be good to highlight what is going on with kids at the campus there. We want every Sunday to be a celebration for our kids, a celebration of Jesus–who He is and what he has done to save his people! Just like in Germantown, our SojournKids ministry in St. Matthews will be about God’s plan to save humanity from sin through Jesus!
And we’re expecting the St. Matthews service to be a very big one for families. For the launch Sunday, there were 50 children in attendance, and growth beyond that is inevitable. In the three zip codes immediately surrounding Walden school: 40206 (Crescent Hill), 40207 (St. Matthews), and 40222 (Graymoor-Devondale/Lyndon), there are 55 children who regularly attend SojournKids Sunday Bible classes. If every one of those kids begins to attend at the St. Matthews campus and each invites one friend… well, you get the idea.
So, if you are planting in St. Matthews and you’d like to help the kids there celebrate Jesus, here are four things that you can do to help:
1) Join the balloon crew! To highlight our desire for this to be a time of celebration (and while they last), we’re giving away helium balloons each week to every child that comes to the St. Matthews campus. Arrive early at 8:30 AM and help us get the balloons ready.
2) Join the setup crew! Team members for Sojourn Music, Sojourn Kids, and Connect are arriving as early as 7:00 AM to unload the POD and set up Walden School for services each week. Men, come early and help us with set-up!
3) Join the SojournKids teaching team! There are a few small differences about the St. Matthews campus. One is that our teachers and children’s ministry servants for this campus are on a rotational schedule, and each person serves only once per month! If you are interested in serving, you can fill out our servant application here!
4) Bring a friend and your child’s friend! Nearly 1 out of every 5 people in St. Matthews is a child (18% according to the 2000 census). So, if you live in St. Matthews, there is a child living near you. Invite your neighbors to come to our St. Matthews gatherings!
Beginning Sunday, August 23rd, SojournKids will begin transitioning its check-in system in both Germantown and St. Matthews to be compatible with keytags. The key tag (like your grocery store rewards card) will be unique to your family. The Church Community Builder software that we use at Sojourn allows you to look up a family three different ways: by phone number, name or key tag barcode. After using a barcode scanner to read your key tag, you will quickly check in and print out name badges and parental receipts for your family just like you’ve done in the past.
There are two advantages to our moving to a scanner/keytag system. First, the system is intended to speed up the self check-in process even more. Secondly, key tags will add an added layer of security. Our goal is to eventually remove the keyboard from all self check-in stations. This means that you (or someone else for that matter) will either need to have your family’s personal key tag or speak to a registration desk attendant in order to print name badges and parental receipts for your family. Continue Reading…
“We have to be willing to do what needs to be done in this physical world so that the rescue of the Gospel can be seen as glorious. To that end, we have to train diligently, providing experiences to reinforce spiritual truth. We have to lead and be in charge–to be courageous and do the hard things, allowing our children to experience some discomfort and even turmoil in this world in the hope that they will experience joy in the next. It is better for a child to learn a heart lesson, though it cause him temporary pain, than for him to ignorantly follow a path leading to eternal pain.”
Sally Michael, Jill Nelson, and Bud Burk, Helping Children to Understand the Gospel, (Children Desiring God, 2009).