Family Reminders

We recently led several families in a service we call “Parent/Child Dedication”. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things that we do at Journey.  (You can read more about that here.)  I was reminded of few things this time around though:

Parents can change the story for their family.

When parents begin asking questions about how to lead their children spiritually, it alters the future of their family.  The journey begins as those answers are put into action.  We have the opportunity to change the journey of our kids starting today.  I was reminded yesterday that while there are generational curses, there are also generational blessings.  Parents can change the destiny of their children and grandchildren.

 Everyone in the family has a part to play.

Just as the church is a body made up of many parts with everyone having a part, the family is a unit that functions best when each member contributes to the whole.  Even older siblings can play a part in the spiritual development of other siblings.  It was a beautiful thing to witness sisters committing themselves to teach their new baby brother about loving others.

Families need other families.

The church can make a commitment to help families.  Parents also need other parents to walk through life together with them, to lean on, and to speak truth into their lives and into the lives of their kids.  There are no perfect parents.  But as parents, we can learn a lot from each other. We all do better when we have people we care about holding us to our dreams and commitments and to our walk with Christ.

 

I know in the years ahead as my kids grow up that I want other adults involved in their lives.  I want them to know that mom and dad are walking out their faith but so are other families.  We are part of a larger community of followers and  together we can forever change the lives of others in our city, nation, and world as we follow Jesus through life together.

The Value of Parent/Child Dedication

Yesterday, we had an event that we do twice a year.  It’s called Parent/Child Dedication and it is one of my favorite Journey Kids events.

Some churches do a “Baby Dedication” in which families of newborns are invited to stand on the stage during a regular adult worship service.  The pastor prays for all the new parents and kids and the whole bit lasts about five minutes.

It seemed to me that a life-changing event like having a child and being a parent (in some cases for the first time ever!) should be celebrated a bit more than a five-minute tag before the offering plate is passed.

So, we tried to create an event that would do a few things:

 1)   Show value to families.

Having a child is a life-changing event.  It is more than giving birth to new life.  It’s raising deciding to take on the call of raising a child, who will one day be an adult.  So, we want to honor that in a special way.  Our service lasts about an hour and I think the word “service” is the wrong term.  To me, it’s definitely a party.  As one of our director’s said, “There’s cake.  So you know it’s officially a party when there is cake!”

 

2)   Equip parents with their first steps.

A child’s first steps are amazing.  The family cheers, and the cameras come out.  With each new step, and each new distance, the family celebrates.  I think we should also celebrate a parent’s first steps.  We should help them think through what it means to raising a child to know and follow Jesus.  What can they do now that will give them the best success for that?

 

3)   Let families know they are not alone.

Our most recent Parent Child Dedication had twenty families participating.  When you looked around the room, you could sense, “we are all in this together.”  All of those kids were within two years of each other in age.  As I looked at them, I saw a flash of the future when those twenty kids begin Kindergarten together.  They begin college together.  And these families have a great opportunity to find community with each other and support each other, as the body of Christ, and as parent’s all fighting for the same goal.

 

As a church, if we say we truly care about partnering with families to have a greater impact in a child’s life then we need to start at the beginning and walk with them the entire way.