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Christian Freedom & Parenting, Part 5: Schooling

Schooling controversies for Christians were born just as Christianity was getting started .

As a young family in Jefferson County, we were overwhelmed with the school choices available to us! We have great public schools in our cluster. We have great private schools to choose from, and, of course, educating in the home is an option for a family.  With our first child we were accepted at two schools – a public magnet, and private school. I remember agonizing over the decision.  We prayed and fasted.  At that time, we believed that one of our choices was morally right and the other morally wrong, and we believed there would be severe consequences for choosing the wrong school. We made our choice, and we were happy there for several years.  After her being in the home for five years, it was agonizing to send our precious little baby-girl into someone else’s care for 7 hours every day!!!  We have since decided to do things differently, but we donʼt see our first choice as morally wrong.  Rather, a different choice is better for our family in this season.

When Christianity was born, schools were not merely secular. They were pagan.  As a teacher, you were expected to reverence all sorts of false gods in your classroom.  Faced with this system, Tatian, an early Christian writer, argued that all Christians should pull their children out of these schools, declaring, “We renounce your wisdom and we no longer concern ourselves with your tenets.  We follow God’s Word instead.”[1] Many heeded his call and followed the ancient Jewish practice of home education.  The early pastor, Tertullian, disagreed, encouraging Christians to leave their children in these schools even though most Christian teachers could not work there with a clear conscience.  A converted schoolteacher, Pantaenus, had another idea: Why not start a Christian academy to teach children a Christian perspective on all of life?  And so schooling controversies for Christians were born just as Christianity was getting started. Continue Reading…

Vision: Kids Music Liturgy & Bible Lesson

This liturgy is a lesson on biblical stewardship in light of Sojourn’s vision to see the gospel transform everything–ourselves as individuals, our church, our city, and our world.  To learn more, visit

Leader 1:

(Opening call & response from the Catechism for Boys & Girls)

“Who made the world?’ That’s right, GOD made everything!

“Who made you?” (Pause) That’s right, God made you.

Who made me? (Pause) God made me!

“God made us for His own glory!”

“Why did God make everything?” For His own glory. “Why did God make you?” For His own glory.

We are here to sing to God, He made us for His own glory…. to show His beauty and His excellence.

“For His own Glory” means that God has made everything to show His fame, His beauty and His goodness.

Who are we going to sing to today? Are we here to sing to Mr.______? NO!!!! What about Ms.______? No!!!

We are here to sing to God! Continue Reading…

New Our Home is like a Little Church Video!

12 Principles for a Gospel-Centered Family

Gospel-Centered Family: becoming the parents God wants you to be by Ed Moll and Tim Chester, (The Good Book Company, 2009).

  1. Your family can show how great it is to live under God’s reign of love (Ephesians 6:1-4).
  2. Knowing God is far more important than “succeeding” in life (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
  3. The biggest obstacle to good discipline is our own selfish hearts (James 4:1-10).
  4. Trying to be a good parent will crush you if you don’t embrace grace (Luke 18:9-14).
  5. Addressing the heart matters more than controlling behavior (Colossians 2:20-3:10).
  6. Don’t train your child to be a legalist (Luke 15:11-32).
  7. Make sure you enjoy your children (Psalm 127).
  8. Teach your children about God in the context of everyday life (Deuteronomy 11:16-21).
  9. Shape WHAT younger children watch and HOW older children watch (Proverbs 4:1-9).
  10. Teach children to pray by praying with them (Matthew 6:5-15).
  11. We belong to two families (Mark 3:31-35).
  12. Children are not the center of the world (Mark 12:28-34).

Thursday Book Club: Collaborate

Collaborate, Family + Church by Michael Chanley + the group of 34, (Minister’s Label, 2010).

On the back cover of Collaborate, there are pictures of the many authors connected via a web of relationships to the project’s initiator and editor, Michael Chanley.  This is because the Collaborate book project  flows from Michael’s passion to connect.  The book, which is published by Minister’s Label, is not about Michael’s personal philosophy of family ministry.  Rather, it is a collaboration of 35 ministers, teachers, leaders, and thinkers that blends their ideas for connecting family and church.   As the web on the back hints, the book is not written as a linear or logical argument (unless you count alphabetical order by each chapter author’s first name).  Rather, it reads as a loose collection of essays about family ministry.

As a linear thinker, I found myself wanting a reference guide to help me remember where to find the ideas in the book when I’m thinking through these issues in the future.  So, instead of writing a traditional review, I’m taking the time to write out a short reference guide (below).  Is this helpful?  What do you think?  Would you organize this differently?  I’d love to hear if you’d put chapters in a different place.  I’d love to hear from the authors especially. Continue Reading…