On Separation Anxiety

It is natural for young children to feel anxious when you drop them off at the nursery or say goodbye.  Although this can be very difficult for parents, it is a normal stage of development.  With understanding, patience, love, faith and trust, it can be relieved and should lessen and fade as your child gets older.

In the early stages of childhood, crying, tantrums or clinging to father and mother are actually healthy reactions to separation.  Separation anxiety can begin before a child’s first birthday and pop up again or last until a child is four years old, but both the intensity level and timing of separation anxiety vary tremendously from child to child.  One way you, as the parent, can ease your child’s anxiety is by staying patient, loving, and consistent and by gently and firmly setting limits. Continue Reading…

Sign up for the 10/10 Baby Dedication!

We have baby dedication services at Sojourn because God has commanded both parents and the church to teach our children about God.  We dedicate our children because we recognize our God-given responsibility as parents, and because we know that our home needs God’s help.  We dedicate our children because we want to partner with our church family–making a commitment to raise our children in light of God’s promises.

Next Dedication: Sunday, October 10th

*Note: The “First Steps: Preparing for Baby Dedication” classes are required as a pre-requisite for participating in  dedication services.  The classes will be held at 5:00 PM on Sundays, September 26th & October 3rd.

Kids Worship for September 2010

Everybody stand up! Sing to God with us!

1. “Almighty Creator,” by Mark Altrogge © 2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God.

Who made the world? (pause for answers). Who made you? Who made everything? God made everything! In the beginning, when God made everything, the world was perfect. But Adam and Eve, the two very first people God made, sinned. They did what was wrong, and disobeyed God. Because of that, the world is not a perfect place. Now everyone sins and disobeys God.

But God sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment for our sins, and because of that, we can be forgiven! That means if we believe Jesus died to take away sin, and trust Him to do that for us, we can have new life with our sins taken away! Let’s sing about this good news! Continue Reading…

Toddlers Need the Gospel

Jay Younts on why the gospel matters for your toddler:

Parents who view presenting the gospel as primarily information transfer will lack a sense of urgency. I do not mean that this parent is unconcerned about the spiritual condition of his child. He may be deeply concerned. However, seeing the presentation of the gospel as transfer of information means waiting for when the child is willing to engage in this transfer. The parent who sees the presentation of the gospel as one of search and rescue will have an immediate sense of urgency. Thus, even before the toddler can speak, he will be interacting with parents who see the gospel as the most important reality of life. This child will hear his parents passionately talking to others about the gospel. He will hear his own actions explained in terms of his need of the gospel even before he can articulate a response. He will see and hear that his parents are driven by truths that transcend the temporal. This is the process outlined in Deuteronomy 6. The very thoughts of God, revealed in Scripture, are graven into the hearts of this toddler’s parents. These parents are gripped by God’s call to rescue the lost. This mission defines these parents. This is an immense blessing to our toddler. He is being raised by parents whose mission in life coincides with God’s purpose for each day. That purpose, at least in part, is to bring honor to his great name through the rescue of the lost.

Practically this toddler will hear often of the wonder of Jesus Christ. His parents will see his sin as an opportunity to present the gospel to him and not merely to correct his behavior. He will live in a home that is focused on the wonder of a God who forgives sins. This focus leads to joy. Joy comes from the reality that Jesus is our effective and loving high priest. Living for the gospel means living with joy.

So, when this toddler spills a cup of milk because he is still learning how to handle a cup, he is not scolded. His parents speak lovingly and reassuringly to him. They help him learn to handle the cup with more precision. He knows that he is more valuable than spilt milk. He is lovingly disciplined when he sins, but he is also lovingly embraced when he acts like a 2 year old. He is on the road to knowing what it means to be loved and being secure. The gospel matters to his parents. In time, Lord willing, the gospel will also matter to him.

HT: Doug Wolter: Life2gether.

For the Over-Churched Kid (like Mine)

Sojourn wants to be a place for the over-churched and the under-churched.  My friend Tony recently posted a list of 5 dangers over-churched kids face and 9 strategies for reaching over-churched kids. I’ve listed them here, and you can click through to see Tony’s explanations.  These are great things for all Christians parents to keep in mind.  Particularly important is teaching for heart change and modeling repentance.  We “religious parents” have a tendancy to focus on our kids’ behavior rather than on their hearts and our own.

5 Dangers Over-Churched Kids Face

1. Familiar Stories Lose Their Power
2. Knowledge Can Promote Pride
3. They Have Learned to Pretend Pray
4. They Don’t Feel Their Lostness
5. The Ugly Side of Church

9 Strategies for Reaching Over-Churched Kids

1. Empower them to teach
2. Teach for heart change
3. Use creative story-telling
4. Pray for every child
5. Teach the bad news
6. Model repentance
7. Make it relevant
8. Go deeper
9. Get them on mission