All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Thursday Book Club: “Bible Alive” Series adds Stories of David

This week is our last in the book of Psalms as a church.  I thought I’d bring our attention to some new books out by Carine Mackenzie.  The latest books in the “Bible Alive” series for ages 4-11 are David the Shepherd, David the Soldier, David the Fugitive, and David the King. This is an addition of four little books to her “Bible Alive” series, which already includes six Jesus titles and four Moses titles.  Each of the books engages children as the stories are retold from key biblical texts.  A distinctive of the series is its strong focus on salvation.  In David the Shepherd children learn lessons of courage, and in David the Soldier, about trusting God in times of waiting.  David the Fugitive tells of God’s faithfulness and David the King presents God’s forgiveness.   These are great resources for talking to your kids about the man behind many of the psalms.

I received a complimentary copy of David and the King from Christian Focus as part of the book blog tour.  This did not affect my opinion of the book in one way or another.

Ask Class: For Kids & Parents with Questions about Salvation & Baptism

Sojourn’s Student and Family Ministry is offering class for children and their parents called “Ask Class: For Kids & Parents with Questions about Salvation & Baptism.”  The goal is to answer the questions of kids and their parents who are seeking to understand the gospel, salvation, baptism, and assurance.  We want to partner with parents, who have been commanded to teach their kids about God.  The class will be led by Pastors Jared Kennedy and Gary Almon.  Our hope is that this class will be a catalyst for more gospel conversations between parents and their children.  The two-week class is on March 21st & 28th during the 11:00 AM service at the Midtown Campus, The 930 Art Center, on the third floor.  The first session will cover issues related to Jesus and salvation.  The second session will cover issues related to baptism and assurance. Continue Reading…

Children’s Ministry/Parenting Track Session at Sojourn’s 2009 Counseling & The Church Conference

If you haven’t had a chance to look over the materials presented by Mark Prater and Andy Farmer on Children’s and Student Ministry at Sojourn’s 2009 Counseling & The Church Conference, you should take a look.  This session sought to answer the following questions: What is the role of the local church in coming alongside of parents as they seek to raise their children? How should theology drive the ministry structures and the methods used in serving parents in your family ministry? Parents often feel helpless and alone in raising their children from birth through the teen years, so the church must step up and serve a crucial role in coming alongside parents.  In these tracks, Mark and Andy looked at how parents are equipped to help their children and teens understand and live out the gospel with the help of their local church community.  Mark and Andy are pastors at Covenant Fellowship in Glen Mills, PA.


Children’s Ministry Session led by Pastor Mark Prater

Youth Ministry Session led by Pastor Andy Farmer

via Children’s Ministry/Parenting Track Session Counseling & The Church Conference | Sojourn Community Church.

What can distract us from a biblical vision for our family?

Good goals can easily become ultimate goals and therefore unbiblical goals.  The most natural expression of the unbiblical goals we have for our kids is our desire to see them succeed.  We want our kids to be successful so they can live peaceful lives that are filled with opportunity and guarded from pain, loss, tragedy, and suffering.  We strive for our kids to succeed because we rightly recognize that the soil in which our kids are raised has much to do with future success.

The goals about to be discussed are not evil in and of themselves.  In fact, most of the goals below can be good goals if they do not become ultimate goals.  It is when we put the goal of making our kids successful above the goal of equipping our children to know and enjoy God that we need to reevaluate the goals we have for our children.

(1) Kids with Skillz[1]: The goal is to enlist children in as many activities (athletic, artistic, musical, etc.) as time may (or may not) allow.

  • Do I measure my success by the number of activities in which my kids are involved?
  • Do I measure my child’s success by the number of skills she has mastered?
  • Do I measure my child’s success by his mastery of any one skill or ability?

(2) Psychologically Adjusted Kids:  The goals for the psychological adjustment of children often drift according to the pop psychology of the day.  These goals may include building self-esteem, training kids to be effective with people, or perhaps raising kids who are not spoiled.

  • Do I measure my success by how closely I align myself with a particular method of parenting?
  • Do I measure my child’s success by how much he esteems himself or how much he esteems others? Continue Reading…

Tweet Me: Lent, Media, and the Next Generation

This past Sunday, pastor Daniel Montgomery mentioned a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation on the online lives of children and teenagers.  Kids are online a lot!  The new SweetHearts candies for this past Valentine’s Day are a small evidence of the influence media is having on culture.

I know that many of you are fasting from television or social media during the season of Lent.   The Kaiser study and other resources I have listed here provide some food for thought while you’re fasting from Facebook:

  • If you haven’t yet read it I encourage you to read the report and glance at the slideshow the folks at KFF have posted online.  Pretty amazing statistics!
  • Walt Mueller  has developed a helpful tool that teaches kids to think Christianly and critically about all the media they consume.  It’s called, How to Use Your Head to Guard Your Heart: A 3(D)Guide to Making Responsible Media Choices.  The material teaches young people to filter their media choices through three conscious steps:  (1) Discover, (2) Discern based on Biblical Principles, and (3) Decide based on value and conscience.  Access a free Leader’s Guide for this tool here.
  • You can also read the New York Times article, “If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online.”
  • And take a look at Dr. Al Mohler’s reflections on the study.

HT: Doug Wolter