Parenting Advice: Be a bridgebuilding parent.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received was The hours you put in leading to your child’s 11th birthday determine the strength of the bridge of communication you walk across in their teen years. One of the things I have seen to many times is parents that made no investment in their relationship with their child in the elementary year be completely shocked to find out in their child’s teen years they have no desire to have a relationship with their parent. The elementary years are the years you create that ebb and flow of relationship with your kids.

What do parents need to start building in the life of their elementary age child?

1. A healthy age appropriate view of sex
2. Healthy boundaries as to how and when to address mom and dad.
3. How to treat the opposite sex
4. Sometimes you just need to listen and say nothing.
5. You need to demonstrate to your kids at a young age they can tell you ANYTHING.
6. When your kids are young you need to prove to them you can earn their trust, when they are teens they need to earn your trust.

So in light of all of this creating opportunities to build relationships I want to take a quick second to plug my mom’s first book. Building relationship bridges with her kids is something my mom has always done well. In fact so well she has written a book on how Mom’s can build relationships with their daughters. I will blog about this book more after I read it. I just want to plug my mom’s book as much as possible because much of what I know about raising kids is because of the amazing example my mom and dad were to me growing up. If you are looking for a great book about mothers and daughters you need to buy my mom’s book Time Together.

Designing stuff for kids ministry

One of my pet peves in kids ministry is that we design below the intended age we are trying to reach. I am not sure why we do this. Personally I think it happens because we wrongly target the lowest age kids in the demographic we are trying to reach, or we are just out of touch from the main stream of design because are to busy ripping off real logos to companies to make Jesus junk shirts like taking the coke logo and changing it to say Jesus Christ “He’s the real deal”. In the church world we rip stuff off instead of using design ideas from what is hot now to help guide the direction of what we want to create. (where do I go for inspiration for kidmin design pieces? nick, Disney, Disney XD, ) Drives me nuts. Ok I am stepping off my soap box now.

I thought I would share a touch card I made yesterday and share some of my rules for designing stuff for kids ministry.

(This is the front)

(This is the back)

Here are a few of my rules for kidmin design:

1. Know the purpose of the piece

2. Content is king – what you say is more important than how it looks

3. Aim higher age than your intended audiance

  • – For Preteen think Highschool
  • – Elementary think Jr High
  • – Pre-school think elementary

4. You need to have white space

I designed this piece for parents to have something to give to their friends. We are going to make Uptown stickers and buttons, because I want kids to take our logo with them into school. We can’t be in the school but we can design some cool stuff that every kids would want to bring in the school with them. What are some other things we should print so kids can take our stuff into the schools with them?

Review: Sun Stand Still

I was provided by Multnomah Books a free pre-release copy of Steven Furtick’s new book “Sun Stand Still”

I remember the first time I heard Steven speak I was struck by two things 1. His Ability to communicate 2. What he had accomplished and both of those things at such a young age. I left the meeting challenged, and said to myself how did he do all that at such a young age.  I think Sun Stand Still answers those two questions very well.

Sun Stand Sill is all about the value that Steven and his church place on faith. If I had to discribe in a few words what this book is about I would say it is a handbook on Audacious Faith.

For me books on faith always make me a bit nervous because so many people have so abused biblical faith that they have reduced it to genie and a magic lamp. Thankfully Steven didn’t do that. I have a good friend of mine who has visited Elevation Church a few times and reading this book knowing that this is not just a book but part of the core message that drives Furtick and the whole community at Elevation.

Faith is a topic that many people either avoid or abuse. I think today more than ever it imperative that we have responsible voices raising the flag of authentic faith. I loved how he based the explain for the basis of faith on the greatness and the goodness of God. Whenever I explain faith to kids I always use this apporch we can have faith in God and trust him because we know that he loves us.

One of the things I wish he would have done more was give examples of the audacious everyday faith that has lead Elevation to be one of the fastest growing churches in America. He did tell some stories, I however was hoping he would include more of the journey that Elevation has walked.

Lastly, I loved how he focused on prayer. Faith and prayer are inseparable because if you don’t know God and don’t know how much he loves you you will never trust him.