Developing Family Rhythms that Last
May 17, 2023 | Jen Kenerly
4-5 minute read time
Did you know there are 936 weeks from the time a parent brings home a newborn until their 18-year-old begins moving on to be influencers and world changers who will accomplish all the good things that God has planned for them in advance? (Eph. 2:10) If you’ve visited our campus recently, the Parent Resource Wall in our lobby displays a poignant example of these 936 short weeks. Here are two more startling numbers- 40 and 3,000. Next Gen On the Hill has, on average, 40 hours per year to influence a child in our ministry where his or her parent will have 3,000 hours.
While the church has less time with a kid or teen than a parent, we believe the church still plays a significant role—as a champion, encourager, and trusted voice for both parents and kids alike. We have a strategy to help parents leverage the time they have. More so, it’s backed by clinical research that helps us engage a child or teen at every phase of development. We believe when the church and parents work in tandem using a common language and strategy our combined influences make a greater impact in the life of a child or teen than just two influences alone. Our heart is to help you increase your capacity to lead your children in their faith so that we can mobilize the next generation to love God and love others.
I’m going to point you toward four steps you can take that will help us align our language and strategy.
#1: Parent Smarter, Not Harder. One of the most important tools available to help you leverage the 3,000 hours you have is the Parent Cue App. Download it from the app store, set up each child, and turn on push notifications. You’ll receive doable, bite-sized cues that will help you leverage everyday moments to create a rhythm of connection that will stand the test of time. It helps parents become confident leaders of their child or teen’s spiritual formation and character development by giving you cues that tie to our current teaching series.
#2: Make the Most of the Time You Have. Busy parents have to look at leveraging the time they do have. Often that looks like morning time, drive time, dinner time, and bedtime. These key times change from phase to phase. One thing that doesn’t change is how important it is for parents to know how to ask key questions that start incredible conversations that give you the opportunity to point your kids toward Biblical truths. Monthly Parent Cues are available at our Parent Resource Wall for all ages, at pick-up (for younger ages), and in our monthly correspondence.
#3: Create Rhythms Now that Last a Lifetime. I love the way this NIV version reads! “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Beginning in kindergarten and through 12th grade, devotions that correspond with our current teaching series are available on a weekly basis. Our devotions are uniquely tailored for each phase of development. What would the faith of the next generation look like if parents created an atmosphere at home that prioritized spending time in God’s Word and his presence daily? I’m going to stand on Proverbs 22:6, believing if we start our children off by fostering this daily rhythm in our homes, when our kids are “old” daily seeking God will be a priority.
#4: Technology Is Not All bad. Middle and High School students can find digital daily devotions by searching for Orange Students in the Plans section of the YouVersion Bible app. You’ll find a library of great devotionals built specifically for middle schoolers and high schoolers that align with our past and current teaching series. Here’s a pro tip for parents: Try doing the YouVersion plan in community with your teens. Preschool and elementary parents, you can take advantage of technology, too, by helping kids rewatch the replays of your child’s weekly Bible stories in the Sunday’s at Home section of the Parent Cue YouTube channel.
It's our privilege to partner with parents and grandparents to raise the next generation of kids and teens to know Jesus Christ as Lord and develop goldy character. Visit our Parent Resources content hub for more resources like this one that will help to lead your children in their faith. We're better, together!