In our family ministries, January doesn’t really feel like a New Year to us. If we’re honest, since we mostly follow the school year, September always has much more of a new feeling. BUT there are still some exciting things happening in our Family Ministries that I want to share with you.
To start, our youngest people we serve, our nursery and preschool programs, have all had mini ‘graduations’ this January. For all the children that have turned 2 or 4 between October-January, they have the opportunity to move up to the next age group class. For some, that comes with a sense of excitement and getting to be with the ‘big kids’ (or play with the big kids’ toys). For some it means a new environment, with new leaders, and that can bring a sense of hesitation or uncertainty. For that reason we leave the graduation decision up to the parents…. it is our goal that every child is in the best environment possible to learn about Jesus and to grow in their relationship with God and with His people, the Church. Please take a moment to pray for all the children that are transitioning to new classrooms; that they would feel safe and be able to hear and know the Good News of Jesus.
We also wanted to continue in our desire to help families grow together spiritually. Our CE Team has been reading the book, Practical Family Ministry, together and have really found some great encouragement for families to take a step forward and be intentional in growing in their relationships to God. As a mom of 3, working full-time, I understand how difficult making time for family devotions can be. At certain times in our family’s life it has seemed impossible, but the importance of it has never changed. Our CE Team discussed the concept of starting somewhere…. read a book (we have lots in our library), watch a show (Right Now Media is amazing for kid’s shows and Bible studies!) or even just take an extra moment to say that prayer or have that quick chat about how God helped us today, or how He might want us to react to something that wasn’t so great in our day.
So in line with starting somewhere, we will have some bible study material available for our families in the lobby this Sunday. First, your family will go to Right Now Media and watch the first episode of ‘Theo’ Volume 1 – God’s Love. If you aren’t signed up, we will have a sheet at the table… all we need is an email!
We have printed off the first lesson of the study for you, as well as a chart so you can record your progress. Remember this is about starting somewhere! If it takes you 3 weeks to do 1 week, you still did more than if you hadn’t tried anything at all. Don’t beat yourself up…. trust that the Holy Spirit will take your family’s teaching time and multiply it for God’s Kingdom purposes. If your family doesn’t enjoy this study, don’t fret, there are so many different options out there and I would love to personally chat with you and brainstorm some ideas that might work best for you!
Something that we are doing this year that is new to us, is a retreat we are co-leading with Pastor Michael and his Student Ministries Team. March 17-19 we will be hosting an adolescence retreat called ‘Equipped: Creating Space for Crucial Conversations‘ that will be held at Ranger Lake Bible Camp. We will have a table set up in the lobby at Cornerstone the next few Sundays or you can find the brochure here. We are so excited to be able to offer this opportunity to our families. And to stay in line with one of our core beliefs that parents are the spiritual leaders in their homes, Pastor Michael and I will merely be acting as facilitator for this retreat (except when I am in the role of mom there… eeeek!). If you would like anymore information for this retreat, talk to Michael or I either in the lobby or during the work week.
There are many things that I could share that are on the horizon, but I don’t want to take over Cornerstone’s whole website! If you filled out a survey that Cornerstone Family ministries sent out recently, please know that we heard you and are looking at how to better serve you all… whether it’s new spiritual parenting classes, more opportunities for community and relationship, resources or more. If you haven’t filled out our survey yet and would like to, please contact me and I will send you the link. It is anonymous and takes under 5 minutes to do, but it is valuable to our Team as we seek out how to be more effective and efficient in serving you all.
While it is true that January does not quite feel like a ‘new start’ for us in Family Ministry, you can definitely tell that we are not sitting idle. We are striving to grow in our ability to disciple… and to be discipled. We appreciate all of your prayers as we seek God’s leading in all the new endeavours we are discovering.