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You Have A Family.

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One of the reasons why I love Child Dedication is the opportunity we have as the church to re-realize our responsibility to families. I am not a parent myself, but I have been gifted the responsibility of caring for children and families both as a Kid’s Director and as a church member. And it is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

A week from now, during the Child Dedication service, every Sojourn member will be asked to stand up and verbally commit to pray for these children—that they will grow to love Jesus and trust in Him

So, parents, what does our commitment to you look like?

We commit to teach your children the gospel both through our words and our example.

The family and the church are both given the responsibility of teaching your children. We as the church commit to teach the gospel to your children in our short time with them every week. Yes, this comes by intentional bible lessons, music, and activities that are centered around the gospel. This also comes through our desire that the truths we are teaching would sink in to our own hearts, and through our interactions with your children in all aspects of our care for them.

We commit to partner with you–holding you accountable and confronting your sin.

We are committed to your children, and we are committed to you. When the responsibility to teach your children about God is overwhelming, we are here to help. We are committed to provide you with resources, classes, and guides about family worship and biblical parenting. But more importantly, we are committed to come alongside you through life together in gospel community– both in the good and in the ugly. Parents need other parents. Non-parents need other parents and vise versa. We need each other.

We commit to pray for you and encourage you as you face the trials of parenting.

Let us step in to your life–the good and the bad. You are freed from having to hide your “mess” on Sunday mornings or any other time. Moms, this means you are freed from having to linger in the hallway feeling guilty because your child is crying in the arms of a willing children’s ministry worker. You are not a burden to us. Your child is not a burden to us. Go and enjoy the gift of refreshment that is worshipping and hearing the preaching of God’s word with your spouse and church family.

Parents, allow us to care for you and your children, not merely through programs, safe and welcoming childcare, or weekly parent emails–but with the gospel that frees us to serve and grow with you in community.

Sign up for the March 16th Child Dedication here!

 

What I love about child dedication…


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One thing I love about child dedication is that it’s a celebration of how unique the parent-child relationship is. You won’t find me saying, “I hope Elisabeth eats her Brussels sprouts today because then she’ll get to be my daughter.” No way! She’s our daughter because God gave her to us. She was born into our family. She doesn’t have to earn her status as my daughter, and I don’t have to earn my status as her dad.

What that means is that when I make commitments to my girls–even when I struggle to keep certain obligations that I have toward them–even when I struggle to love them well–I’m not struggling to earn anything. I struggle just because I love them, and I want to be faithful to the gifts God has given. In our performance driven culture, the uniqueness of the parent-child relationship stands out.

The Father designed it that way to be a picture of his relationship to us. We don’t have to earn our status in his family. We’re born into it. We receive it as a gift of grace. So, I can keep my obligations to my own kids, because I have a Father in heaven who is keeping me.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Ephesians 3:14-15)

Sign up for the March 16th Child Dedication here!

 

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Family Devotional on Luke 18:9-17)

Dear parents,

In many ways, this past week’s SojournKids lesson was about the heart and soul of the gospel. We learned that Jesus came to save Big Sinners like you and me. We told the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector or the “Know-it-all” and the “Big Sinner” from Luke 18:9-17. Here we see that we can’t brag about our goodness before God, because we come to him with nothing. Like the tax collector who couldn’t even look up to heaven, we must simply cry out to God for mercy. The Bible teaches us that we have direct access to our Father through Jesus Christ. It’s so amazing that we have this access when we consider how big our sin is. Here are some questions to follow-up with your kids about the story:

READ: Luke 18:9-17 or Story 105 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: Who were the Pharisees? Pharisees were “know-it-all” religious rulers who added their own strict rules to God’s law.  

ASK: Did the people like tax collectors? No. They took people’s money and gave it to the hated Romans. And sometimes they would keep money for themselves.

ASK: How did the tax collector pray? God, have mercy on me, a sinner. And he went away right with God.

Sync Your Home With Sunday

Two Books for SojournKids

Few things are more powerful in the life of a child than when their home and church are pointing to the same gospel.

SojournKids invites you to sync your home with Sunday by picking up the family devotional curriculum that corresponds with the gospel lessons your kids learn each Sunday. If you purchase any two books this year for your family devotional rhythms, you’ll want to get these by Marty Machowski and our friends at New Growth Press:

  1. Old Story New (New Testament)
  2. Long Story Short (Old Testament)

These two books correspond with what your children are learning in SojournKids (ages 2–elementary) and provide you with a week’s worth of family devotional material. You could easily have a Bible and these two books and never need to buy any more family devotional material. The take-home handout you receive when you pick up your child each Sunday points you to the corresponding chapter and text in these books.

We try to keep a few of both books at each campus for Sunday purchases; however, you can also have them shipped to your home by ordering here.

Get CRISPY

Treats

Rice Crispy Treats can teach us much!

Last Sunday our East Campus elementary kids participated in a class entitled “How to Have a Quiet Time with God.” The teachers used the following acrostic to provide a way for the kids to remember and practice this at home:

  • Chill out – Relax & find a comfortable place.
  • Read – Read through a Psalm or NT chapter per day. Mark the chapter with a check to know where you left off.
  • Imagine – Take a few minutes to mediate & ask, “God, what are you teaching here?”
  • Sense – Take a few minutes to listen & ask, “Spirit, what are you teaching me here?”
  • Pray – Be you. Tell God what’s on your heart. You are totally loved.
  • Yield – Get up and live your day as God has invited you. Obey him.

While the spelling is different in Rice Krispies, the mnemonic device seems to be working. Eating a Rice Krispie Treat while learning also helps.

Our prayer is that this lesson will carry with our Sojourn kids for many years. Imagine your child at age 80, kicking back in their rocking chair with their Bible, and saying, “It’s time to get CRISPY!”

If you are a Sojourner, but do not yet have a child in the elementary class, be encouraged. Know that your church is pointing them to Jesus now in their younger classes, and will be ready for them when they approach elementary. Let’s also to remember to get CRISPY ourselves!

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