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Resources for Christian Your family and God


Parenting Discipling Our Kids! Children are model seeking missiles they will hear what
you say, but theyll do what you do. While church has its part to
How can you intentionally grow your children as play, we believe that families are the centre of faith development for
Christians? children, and want to encourage parents in this role.
Here is a handout drawn from various sources with
So praying with them as well as for them, reading the Bible to
some suggestions and ideas to help you. Wed love to
them as well as for yourself, and talk about who Jesus is and how
hear from you if you have other suggestions please
important he is to you and demonstrate that in action for
email us.
example,
i) show your thankfulness to God when something good
happens and share how God is helping you,
You and God ii) talk about things you like about church,
The first thing to say is just as you cant take your children to a place iii) ask forgiveness of your children when you have wronged
you havent been to, so you cant help your child grow in them,
following Jesus if you are not doing the same. iv) show Jesus comes first (eg. get to a Sunday morning
birthday party late after church),
So...try to ensure that however you do it, you invest regularly in your v) prepare them for church,
own relationship with God. Try to make time during the week to vi) take them to church
read Gods Word the Bible and talk to God in prayer. Where vii) and where appropriate, talk about things you find hard
possible, attend a small group Bible study and seek to put what you about being a Christian.
learn into practice even pray it into practice. Even if its the 30
seconds you have to yourself on the toilet where youve stuck up a Also, start taking your children to church from the time they
memory verse and three prayer points on the back of the toilet door, are born. Dont wait until they are about to start school. Those
or the quick prayer meeting with your spouse before you go to bed, or years from 0-5 are foundational developmental years they will
with a friend over the phone at coffee time, set aside time to be with absorb more than you can imagine by simply being at church week
God. after week that will set them up for later life following Jesus. They
will also grow up feeling part of the church family.
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Praying with your family Familiarise your children with what


When you pray with your family, use a loving touch, a cuddle or hold happens in church
hands (eg. when saying thanks to God before a meal). Talk about worship. Children particularly love to know why?, or
what does it mean? Tell your family about the parts of the worship
Encourage your family to thank God for the blessings of the day, and
service why we meet together, have prayers, songs, bible readings,
to talk to God about their disappointments, hurts or joys and
sermons, etc... Do it little by little and keep your explanations short
teach this by your example. Share some of the answers to your
and simple. Dont assume that your family members are too young
prayers and some that you are still waiting for.
to understand. As long as there is interest, something positive is
When there is a fight with someone, apply the principle that Jesus going on.
taught of taking it to God and making things right with the other
Practise the responses. Teach a response occasionally. Think
family member.
about the service and find something that is regularly repeated (eg.
Some families have a nightly routine where they read or act out a the Lords Prayer). This helps our family to be familiar with worship
Bible passage and pray together perhaps with a display book of and so feel at home in the service. The deeper meanings will come as
photos with a member of the family, special friends, missionaries, they worship through the years.
people at church, and others to help focus prayers.
Talk about the Lords Supper. In the Lords Supper we
remember and celebrate the death of Jesus on our behalf the heart
of the Christian faith. Talking about the Lords Supper provides a
Expose them to Christian music wonderful opportunity to explain the gospel to your family. Use
Not only could you sing hymns and Christian songs together, you words and concepts that they are able to understand eg.
could also play age-appropriate Christian music with your
just like we come with empty hands and receive a gift of a sticker, or
family. Not only can this be done as background music at home, but
the bread and wine, we come to God with empty hearts and receive
CDs while driving in the car are a great discipling resource with
forgiveness, eternal life and his love all through Jesus death..., or,
repetition, children not only learn the words, but also imbibe great
truths about who God is what hes done for them. God used Jesus death on the bad, bad, cross to break the power of
dark, deadly sin and to bring good, good life to dead, dead sinners
See our recommended resources later on for ideas. like you and me (Colin Buchanan, Practise being Godly).
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Discuss with your family your own giving. Why you choose to Preparing for our meeting together as
give the way you give cheerfully, sacrificially, generously to Gods
Gods family
work. Remember you want to teach the principle of giving and lay
good foundations for adulthood. Sunday mornings can be the grumpiest morning of the
week! People tend to sleep late, then there is a frantic search for
clothes. There is often a lack of routine and a maximum of
Seek and make friends confusion... and ideal situation for creating frayed tempers and
negative feelings, which accompany the family to church. Sunday
It will help all the members of your family to feel at home if they are mornings need not be like that...
friends with some other church members. Invite other families to
your place or to some activity, etc... Establish relationships with How we prepare ourselves and our family for worship is an
friendly adults and responsible young people who may take a expression of our own worship and praise of God.
particular interest in encouraging and looking out for your children
Gods family is made up of everyone called by God (adults, youth,
at church.
children, as well as singles and married). All have something to
contribute to our corporate worship.

Pre-empt concerns Children, youth and adults all need a sense of belonging where
we can together experience something of the importance, awe and joy
Discuss with each family member what they can do if they become
of being in the presence of God.
restless during the service eg. change seats, spend time with
another adult, occupy themselves with a suitable activity, etc... Do not be deceived by outward appearances. Even the
youngest children observe the atmosphere of worship and attitudes
Create a special church bag, especially for all-in services or
of those around them. Be enthusiastic (and if youre not pray
when there is no childrens program. Encourage each child to help
for God to help you). Family members must feel that their parents
with filling the church bag (not a plastic bag!). Cloth drawstring is
are looking forward to this time. Parents who are half-hearted about
excellent, or an old handbag. For younger children, equip it with
coming to church, or who constantly grumble about getting up early
some favourite toys. Keep some paper and pencils in the bag and
on Sundays, cannot expect the rest of the family to exhibit different
some selected books.
attitudes.
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On Sundays at Church particular behaviour patterns are required (eg. during sermon
times).
Choose a seat with your family where you can all see and hear,
keeping in mind your familys needs (eg. access to the Share Gods love with your family. When you are at church
toddlers quiet play room, or to the toilets...). Let little children with your family, help them feel that you enjoy having them
stand on the seat when the congregation is standing, so that there with you. Find ways to show your love for them eg. a
they can see what is happening. cuddle or a smile or tell them you enjoy having them with you
at church.
Make the most of anything visual such as words on the
screen, the action at the Lords Supper or baptism, what the Childish noise. When we meet together, it is only natural that
musicians or Bible readers are doing, etc... Briefly explain there will be noise. Every parent usually feels most conscious
what is happening. about his/her own children. Please be encouraged that it is OK.
However if your child is distressed, you are welcome to use the
Encourage participation. It is more important to encourage toddlers quiet play room or to take them into the foyer.
your childs participation and involvement in worship than
to keep them quiet and occupied. Help young people to see Encourage your family members to talk quietly with you
where we are up to in the service. Include your family in the when necessary in church, and do the same with them.
greeting time. If children are invited for any reason to go up Encourage them to ask questions, and answer any questions
the front (eg. childrens talk, baptism), please go with them if they ask. This will help their understanding and sense of
that will help them join in. belonging. Do not feel that you have interrupted your worship,
or the worship of others, when you answer questions, or inform
During the Lords Supper have your family members remain them of whats going on, etc...
with you so that you can guide them through this section of the
service. Share your feelings of excitement, enthusiasm and awe etc...
with your family (eg. I love this song).
Establish a regular pattern of times when concentration
and participation is expected (when there is anything to
do/watch), establish when quiet play is OK, and when
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Childrens Programs Resources for discipling children


If you have preschool children, or if your child is new or The Christian life needs modelling teaching our children to pray,
you are unfamiliar with what is happening, you are most read the Bible, relate to God, understand about God). Of course
welcome to escort them to their program, and to stay and see what resources are only part of the solution, but its a start and they make
happens. a great springboard for discussion.

Childrens leaders put in a lot of time and effort and we While there are a number of great early age appropriate Bibles
encourage you to thank them for their work with your children. available (eg. starting with the Beginners Bible as the first point of
call), here are a couple we highly
Please do not let your children roam around the church recommend (see below).
building or grounds during the service. If theyre not in
their program, then theyre in church with you, and vice-versa. The Big Picture Story Bible - David
Helm (author) It is the best Bible to
help preschoolers see how the Bible is
After the service fully connected and coherent - and very
clear. (Biblical theology for
For safety reasons, if your child is with you in the service, please
preschoolers).
dont let them run ahead to the hall, but keep them with you at all
times. Despite our best efforts, drivers do sometimes drive too fast in
our car park and do not always see children.
The Jesus Storybook Bible - Sally Lloyd-
Its important that you share on the way home, or at home Jones (author) - for four to eight year olds
the things youve learned from your various activities in this is a big step up from the Big Picture
worship. This can open up new opportunities for your faith to Bible, with a very evocative faithful
be shared. storytelling, with each Bible story being
connected to Jesus. Very engaging and
well written. (Biblical theology for preps to
grade 3s).
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God and Me - 365 Devotions - Penny


Boshoff (author) - a fantastic devotion
book that you can read with your
toddlers/preschool child/ren every
night. Has a topic of interest, a prayer
they can pray after you in little bits, and
connects with a story you can read from
your Bible to them.

The second in Colin's series of books aimed at bringing Bible


truths alive, page by page. Also includes a free CD!

It's an activity, picture and songbook with family devotions all


in one! Includes free CD. Super Saviour Book | The third in Colin's series of books aimed
at bringing Bible truths alive, page by page. Also includes a
free CD!
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Another idea: just put Christian CDs on in the car when Preschoolers and Younger Primary School
driving or at home the kids will soak it up, and start to sing
along, and theyre much more enjoyable for adults than listening
listen to the Wiggles! Not only that, but kids can spend more time
listening to them than reading books.

We recommend:

Preschoolers
The King, The Snake and the Promise
Music CD (http://emu.mu/ )

A very very very Big God Music CD (http://emu.mu/ ) The story of the Bible with bible readings, narration and mostly
songs itll might even teach parents a thing or
two too (think of it as Biblical Theology for kids
but dont if that will put you off).

A wonderful collection of songs that children


like and relate to (and adults enjoy too)

Meet the King Music CD (http://emu.mu/)

A brilliant largely sung overview of Marks Gospel.


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And many Colin Buchanan CDs & DVDs all brimming with
Gods indestructible Bible truths

(http://www.colinbuchanan.com.au/ )

Get Ready Music CD (http://emu.mu/ )

Songs about what God is like and what we believe. Fantastic.

The King of Christmas

God Unlimited Music CD (http://emu.mu/ )

More songs about what God is like and what we believe. Fantastic.

Jesus rocks the world

To be like Jesus Music CD (http://emu.mu/ )

Songs for kids about the Fruit of the Spirit. Again fantastic.

o 10, 9, 8 God is Great


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Super Saviour

Colins Favourites the best of


Good News Parcel Company DVD

A great DVD presenting the gospel to children a great


present!

If you have found other resources that are helpful in discipling


kids, please let us know.