All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Neighborhood Connection: Mini Masters Art Class

Mini Masters Art Class:
Spring Flowers–Painting on Canvas
(Study of Georgia O’Keeffe)

When: Saturday March 6th 9:30 am- 11:30 am
Who: Children age 4 to 12

$20/child (includes cost of materials)
Where: Immanuel Baptist Church in Smoketown
(502) 423-9710 or email at

Michelle VanTine will be teaching semi private art classes for young children.  The class will meet quarterly at Immanuel Baptist Church.  The class will create beautiful artwork, exploring a variety of media and techniques such as paint, pastel, drawing, collage etc.  Also, art history will be intergraded into several lessons with exciting ways to learn about famous artists and art styles.   This term focuses on spring flowers, painting on canvas, and Georgia O’Keefe.  This class will focus on fine arts (not crafts) with exciting projects that will grow your children in creativity and talent.  The small class size allows for individual attention and help in a fun and welcoming atmosphere.  Michelle VanTine is a certified art teacher with 4 years of experience teaching K-6 art at Christian Academy of Indiana.  She has a degree in Art Education and loves to see children enjoy art and develop their talents.   If you are interested in classes, have questions, or would like sign up information, please contact Michelle VanTine.  Classes will be limited in space… sign up soon! (502) 423-9710 or email at

“First Step” Children’s Discipleship Classes

Doug Wolter and the guys at LaGrange Baptist offer a discipleship class for children and their parents yearly called “First Step.” The goal is to partner with parents in their God-given role as faith nurturers in the home.  To that end this class aims to be a catalyst for more gospel conversations between the parent and child outside of class.  We’ll be doing something similar here at Sojourn on March 21st & 28th during the 11:00 AM service.  We’re calling our version the “Ask Class: For Parents & Kids with Questions about Salvation & Baptism.”  I’m finding Doug’s class to be really helpful as Pastor Gary and I prepare for our own.

The LaGrange Baptist First Step classes can be streamed or downloaded here:

Part 1: Salvation Listen Listen |  Download Download
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Part 2: Assurance and Baptism Listen Listen |  Download Download
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HT: Doug Wolter

Pastor Daniel Montgomery’s Sermon on Children

Proverbs has much to say about raising children skillfully, and this was the topic of this past Sunday’s sermon at Sojourn.  Though this message is about parenting, it isn’t just for parents.  Raising children is all about passing on wisdom – and we all need more wisdom so the principles are definitely universal. Listen in as Pastor Daniel Montgomery explores raising children according to the Scriptures – why we discipline our kids, how we discipline our kids, and 5 key lessons all kids (and all people) must learn to live skillfully.  Grab the notes here.

Thursday Book Club: The Proverbs Driven Life: The “how” of discipline.

A Proverbs Driven Life: Timeless Wisdom for Your Words, Work, Wealth, and RelationshipsAnthony Selvaggio. A Proverbs Driven Life: Timeless Wisdom for Your Words, Work, Wealth, and Relationships, “Chapter 12, Still Sinners, A Parents’ Need for the Grace of God.” (Shepherd Press, 2008)

In Proverbs, “discipline” means education and training in a broad sense.  Moreover, Proverbs does not prescribe one single method of discipline but an array of methods (179-80).  In his second chapter on parenting, Selvaggio looks at two broad categories–verbal discipline and corporal discipline:

Speak the Truth in Love: Verbal Discipline

While corporal discipline can be justified in the book of Proverbs,  the overwhelming biblical emphasis is on training children by speaking to them.  “In fact, Proverbs teaches that parents should seek to become so effective at verbal discipline that corporal discipline eventually becomes unnecessary” (180).  Verbal discipline involves encouragements and warnings. Continue Reading…

Faith over Formula: Why the Best Parenting Techniques Don’t Produce Chrisitan Children

This article,  “The Myth of the Perfect Parent: Why the Best Parenting Techniques Don’t Produce Christian Children” by Leslie Leyland Fields, Christianity Today (January 8, 2010), is perhaps the most profound article on parenting that I’ve ever read.  It is straight-forward, convicting, and true.  I hope that every parent at Sojourn can read and re-read it.  Here is one of the best sections:

“Whether they listen or fail to listen … they will know that a prophet has been among them” (Ezekiel 2:5).

This was Ezekiel’s responsibility: to speak and embody God’s words before the people in such a way that they might know who he was, a righteous prophet of God, and that they might know who God was. Ezekiel wanted more than this, of course. He desperately wanted to turn the people back to the living God and prevent the impending and appalling judgment and death. The record does not tell us if anyone repented as a result of his words, but Ezekiel was never accountable for the repentance of others. He was accountable only for his steadfast obedience.

It is likely that we are asking the wrong questions as parents. We are so focused on ourselves—on our own need for success and the success of our children—that we have come to view parenting as a performance or a test. It appears we are failing the test, as large numbers of our youth leave the church when they leave our nests. And now genetic research tells us the test may even be rigged.

We cannot pass this test, I’m afraid, nor could we ever. If we are graded on a curve, we will always find parents and children who are more obedient, more joyful, and more peaceful than we are. We will find parents whose children turned out better than ours, parents with a higher percentage of “spiritual champions” than we can claim for our efforts.

If we are graded instead on an absolute scale—as I believe we are—we fail even more miserably. But this is why a Savior was provided, and gifted to us through grace, through faith—”and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). If even our ability to believe in God is given to us by God, then how much of parenting can we perform on our own? We must proceed, then, on our knees first, beggars before the throne, if we are to parent well.