• The Art of Loving Your Child

Posted by: kidhelper on Sunday, August 30th, 2009

The Art of Loving Your Child


A message from Sabrina Mayrand, Deacon of Children’s Ministries

As leader of the Westside children’s ministry, Westside Kids, I am very passionate about families and empowering parents to be the primary spiritual leaders in their children’s lives. Recently, my mentor and children’s ministry coach, Rev. Barney Kinard, encouraged me to explore why that might be. He gave me the exercise of writing my conversion story. Since I invited Jesus into my life at the ripe age of 5, I began by writing about my childhood. Here is an excerpt:”My parents were very intentional about incorporating God into our   day-to-day lives. As a family, we would talk about Him, read about  Him, pray to Him, etc. I knew He was there, in our home and in our interactions.” By no means was my family perfect; we certainly had our ups and downs, and I went through some very challenging times in my teens. It was, however, the foundation that was established in my childhood that got me through those times, and ultimately brought me back to my Lord and Savior.My father describes it like this:  “Christianity was and still is a lifestyle. We always put you in Sunday school and programs, but what really made a difference was that it was a big part of our home. The church was always there as a support to us, but not the main event.” The influence of my family while growing up is what motivates my work with families today; I have experienced firsthand the power a family’s faith can have on a person. However, I am also aware that not all families are the same. In a national U.S. survey titled the Significant Religious Influences Survey (Early Childhood Education study, Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN), thousands of church-attending kids were asked questions about faith in their home. The survey found that:

73% of children who attend church do NOT experience either family devotions, prayer or biblical activity in the home

Only 28% of youth who attend church have talked to Mom about faith

Only 13% have had a significant faith conversation with Dad

The same survey explored who had the greatest influence on children’s relationships with God. Children consistently voted Mom as having the number one impact on their faith, with Dad coming in a close second. Church was fifth. The reality is, parents spend over 3,000 hours a year with their kids. Church programs take up about 40. It is clear that parents have significant power in impacting their child’s faith. Thankfully, God is gracious and does incredible work in the lives of people who live in all kinds of families, including those who don’t know Jesus or engage in any faith-based activities. However, God’s call to parents is still clear in His command to Israel:”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all   your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command  you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

That is why Westside Kids is committed to equip and support parents. Our intention is not to replace parents in this role, but to empower them. Last fall we furthered this effort by offering Parent Training Days, workshops held every 3 to 4 months to equip parents to spiritually transform their children. I am very excited to announce that coming up on Thursday, August 20th, a very special Parent Training Day will take place. My mentor, Rev. Barney Kinard, will be leading a powerful workshop called The Art of Loving Your Child. This will be an incredibly practical workshop that will include three life-changing principles that every parent can use to express love in their family. The workshop will also include an orientation on parenting styles and will give practical insights on two major components that are vital to your child! You can read more about Barney and his ministries at www.kidhelper.com.

On August 20th, bring your family to meet and connect with other families in a fun, casual setting. Norm & Nicole Funk will be hosting a family BBQ before the workshop at 5:30 PM; then the children will have a movie night while Barney leads the workshop for parents. For more details regarding this special night or to sign up, please visit the Connect Centre on Sunday mornings or email office@churchonthewestside.com.

Church on the Westside, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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