To learn more about the next Family Experience for your child and how to get signed up, send us a note at

Family Experiences: 

A child needs a family and church committed to raising them in the Lord.

WHY NOW?
Your influence begins now! In the first three years of their life, your child has one quadrillion (a thousand trillion) connections between brain cells (twice as many as an adult). Now is the ideal time to begin your influence. Furthermore, time is of the essence; primary caregivers have approximately 936 weeks with their child from birth to high school graduation. Throughout infancy, you are able to spend more hours per day in direct contact with your child than any other time in their life! Now is the time to show your child they can trust you.

WHY?
Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” The phrase “train up” is the Hebrew word “Chanoch” which means – to train up, dedicate, inaugurate. Just as Solomon dedicated the newly rebuilt temple to the Lord, so our children are to be dedicated as a temple of the Holy Spirit while they are young and teachable. Not only is your child dedicated to the Lord, you,the parent, are also dedicating yourself to spending the next 18 years of your life glorifying God in the way that you raise your child.

WHAT IS CHILD DEDICATION?
Child Dedication is a ceremony that typically takes place during a worship service, as it is in fact a form of worship! It is a time when families humbly bring their child before the Lord, publicly declare their Christian faith, and accept the following duties through the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

· Teach their child to love the Lord
· Watch over their child’s education so they are not led astray by false teachings
· Direct their child’s mind to the Word of God
· Direct their child’s feet to a place of worship
· Restrain their child from evil actions and companions
· Bring their child up in the Lord’s teaching
~Wesleyan Church Discipline

This ceremony, being a public declaration, also challenges the congregation to hold the family accountable for the dedications they made in this service. This includes encouraging, helping, and praying for the life of this newly dedicated child.

After the parents make their proclamations under the guidance of their local pastor, their pastor will follow Jesus’ example (see Mark 10:13-16) and lay hands on the child and pray a blessing over them.

WHEN IS MY CHILD READY TO BE DEDICATED?
We see Jesus being dedicated at just over a month old. However, there is no Biblical reference hindering older children from being dedicated. In fact, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” Therefore, we believe your child may be dedicated to the Lord at any time! There are no age restrictions! If you are new to the faith, or perhaps you have recently adopted a child that is in elementary school or even high school - we still see it appropriate and exciting to dedicate your child to the Lord regardless of age!

HOW DO I DEDICATE MY CHILD?
Simply communicate your desire to dedicate your child to your Trinity Campus Administrator at !

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Embrace your child’s spiritual and physical needs: your primary role at this time is to nurture your child with the Love and Word of God. There are countless opportunities to begin your spiritual influence. For infants/babies, share your love of Jesus with them when they awake, during feedings, diaper changes, play time and before bed, pray with them, share memory verses and Bible stories, sing children’s Bible songs to them. At this stage, your child will be consuming the spiritual food you are feeding them but in time will be begin to share it as well.

Here is a great resource for children’s Bible memory verse songs: https://www.amazon.com/Hide-Em-Your-Heart-Vol/dp/B001EJH4SW

Also, infancy is a time to lay the foundation of influence in the life of your child by responding to his or her physical needs. This is done by feeding, diapering, keeping his/her body temperature regulated, and providing sensory opportunities and lots of movement for your child. All of these simple activities set a great foundation for neurological and relational development. When you care for your child’s physical needs, they will grow to trust you more and more. This trust that is built through simple tasks, like feeding and holding, will eventually transfer to trust in more than just physical needs. Soon you will be the person they look to for their spiritual, emotional, mental, and social needs.

For older children, you will do the same with a few adjustments to meet them at their age level. Feed them spiritually in the morning, at meal times, while driving, and before bed. It is never too late to dedicate your child to the Lord and for influence to begin.

RESOURCES

http://www.shema.com/the-dedication-of-name-of-child-1920/

https://jeremymavis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ParentChildDedication.pdf

https://www.gotquestions.org/baby-dedication.html

http://justaphase.com/

http://www.shema.com/the-dedication-of-name-of-child-1920/

The Wesleyan Church: The Discipline 2012. Part 10, Chapter 1, Section A, Article 5500. Page 365.

“It’s Just a Phase, So Don’t Miss It” (Orange: Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy)

 

 

 

As your child’s understanding grows about what it means to be a child of God, engage your family in conversations about Salvation and Baptism.

WHY NOW?
Your child is now in preschool and preparing to enter the world of elementary school. Preschoolers enjoy creating things with their hands and live in a world that is equal parts reality and imaginary. Preschoolers will soon begin to shift from this sensory type of learning to a more concrete and facts-based. They are also seeking to discover truths about themselves, the world, others, and God. They will soon be able to see the world from a perspective other than their own. They will ask questions about what it is like to be in God’s family. During this stage of creativity and discovery, your child continues to look to you to keep them safe.

WHY?
As your child begins to ask questions about being a member of God’s family and having a personal relationship with Jesus, we would like to join you in preparing to engage in these conversations.

Please note: By no means is there an expectation that all children should make a faith commitment right out of preschool. This is simply a time when your child can begin to form a genuine relationship with Jesus. ___________________________________________________________________________

Here are some common questions parents and children may ask when you enter this phase of life and responses based on research and life experience:

WHAT IS SALVATION?
Salvation, is a faith commitment. This is the pivotal time when an individual admits their sin and their need for the one and only Savior, who is Jesus Christ. This person now identifies them self as a child of God and is held to the standards of Christ found in Scripture and the Church. When an individual makes a Faith Commitment, they are declaring that because of Jesus’ work on the cross, they have been saved from the death they deserve, and instead will receive eternal life in heaven! They are also declaring that because of Jesus’ resurrection, He is the Lord of their life and have given their life to follow Him.

WHAT IS SALVATION IN KID’S LANGUAGE?
Salvation is what happens when a person accepts Jesus into their life and receives His forgiveness for all of their sins! Every person has sinned. Sin is when we live in a way that goes against what God wants for us. Everyone who sins against God deserves to be punished. The punishment is separation from God and His love forever.

God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to ever be separated from Him. In order for us to be in relationship with God, God sent His son Jesus to earth. Jesus, is the ONE and ONLY person to ever live a perfect life! He never did anything wrong. Jesus knew this and chose to die on the cross to pay for our sins. When he did this, he took our place of punishment so that we can choose to live in a relationship with God – just as He wanted!

Salvation happens when you:
● Confess you are sinful.
● Say that you believe in Jesus.
● You believe He died for you, came back to life, is in heaven today and will come again.
● You want to accept Jesus as your Savior. This means you choose Jesus to be your very best friend. You also listen to Him with a deep desire to do what He says.
● You now have the Holy Spirit to help you live a life that glorifies God.
● You are now reborn with a new life in Jesus. You are a Christian.

WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is an outward representation of an inward change. Baptism is a public declaration of the work the Holy Spirit has already done in your life. You have experienced salvation, and you want everybody to know this! Baptism is a representation of death, redemption, and new life. Your submersion under water represents that you want your Godless way of life to die the death it deserves. Coming up out of the water is a sign that you have been redeemed and reborn as a new person with a new heart that seeks the Kingdom of God. Baptism is done publicly to declare your newly found salvation and ask those Christians around you to hold you accountable to your faith commitment for the rest of your life. You invite the Body of Believers to help guide you and encourage you in your walk with Christ aka Discipleship. Baptism is a time of great celebration.

WHAT IS BAPTISM IN KID’S LANGUAGE?
Baptism is your way of showing the world that Jesus is now your Savior and your very best friend. When you are baptized, your pastor or leader will dunk you into water (it is super cool). When you come up out of the water, it is a sign that all your sins are washed away and that you have been reborn. You have just shown everyone that you are a new person now, you are a Christian! You are a person that follows Jesus Christ because He gave Himself for you! When you are baptized, you are also asking people around you to help you live like a Christian even when it is hard. Baptism is a time to celebrate your new life through salvation!

By the way - you don’t have to be baptized to go to heaven. To go to heaven, all you have to do is believe in Jesus.

WHEN IS MY CHILD READY TO HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS?
Begin talking to your child about their Creator and Savior from the time they enter your life.

When speaking specifically about your child’s personal Salvation and Baptism, there is no exact age at which a child should make a faith commitment or begin these conversations. Just as every child is unique physically, mentally, emotionally – your child is unique in their spirituality as well. Simply begin when they are ready.

We believe there are 2 main concepts to look for that will help you know when your child is ready to make a genuine faith commitment: when your child...

1. Understands the Gospel
2. Wants the Gospel

When you see these two concepts present in your child, they are most likely ready to begin a life-long faith commitment.

WHERE DO I START?
It is such an exciting and meaningful opportunity to guide children to discover their faith on their own! Start by asking questions, provoking thought, and consistently sharing the truth of God’s Word. For your own spiritual growth and accountability, Trinity Church encourages all adults to join a Discipleship Group.

A good place to start is found in Deuteronomy 6 which provides you with four times throughout your day that you can organically have conversations to build your child’s faith.

Meal Time: When you sit at home
○ Focused discussion as a teacher to establish core values
Drive Time: When you walk along the road
○ Informal dialogue as a friend to help your child interpret life
Bed Time: When you lie down
○ Intimate conversation as a counselor to listen to the heart of your child
Morning time: When you get up
○ Encouraging words as a coach who gives a sense of value, purpose, and direction for the day

Author –unknown
Link: https://jeremymavis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ParentChildDedication.pdf

HOW DO I TEACH THE GOSPEL TO MY CHILD?
● Model the love of Christ to them on a daily basis
● Provide for their physical needs
● Engage in their interest
● Have fun
● Demonstrate appreciation for who they are

When you do this, you will gain trust and influence with your child.

Present the Gospel to your child in bite-sized pieces that your child can digest.

Your child learns best when you engage in their current interests.

When your child asks a question about an aspect of God or the life of Jesus, leverage this opportunity by answering their questions. If you don’t know the answers, that is OK! Together you and your child can do a bit of research to find the answer!

Once your child has been validated and their questions answered, most likely they will move on to begin discovering another aspect of God’s story.

WHAT SHOULD I BE TEACHING MY KIDS ABOUT SALVATION AND BAPTISM?
● There is only one God
● God created everything perfectly
● God loves all people
● You are created in the image of God
● Sin was brought into this world
● Sin is anything that separates us from God
● The punishment for sin is eternity apart from God
● Jesus is the Son of God
● Jesus did not sin
● Jesus died on the cross for our sin
● All who believe in Jesus and accept him will be saved and will be with God for eternity
● We can live forever in Heaven
● The Holy Spirit helps us to live according to God’s commandments and to follow Jesus.

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Have fun with your child. Your child’s primary motivator is fun - JOIN THEM! Make everything into a game, participate in this search with them. This goes far beyond making you both laugh – when you invest in fun during these formative years, you are laying a foundation for your relationship with your child. The fun you have now will exponentially increase your level of influence and trust in your child’s life as they grow into teenagers and eventually adults!

Above all, Pray. Pray for your child. Pray for God to give you opportunities to have these conversations and put them into action. When you are in a state of constant prayer for your child it not only changes their hearts, but also your own. As you are praying, God will open your eyes to the opportunities to engage in faith conversation with your child.

Resources

“It’s Just a Phase, So Don’t Miss It” (Orange: Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy)

http://centrikid.com/2011/11/21/8-lessons-for-sharing-christ-with-kids/#.WZSciHeGNsO
(http://www.gatherandgrow.co/teaching-kids-salvation/)
https://www.lampquill.com/how-do-you-handle-salvation-for-children-questions.html
(http://thebeginnersbible.com/salvation-ABCs.php)
http://grace360.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/WEB.Baptism_ParentBooklet.pdf
“The Gospel, God’s plan for me” (Lifeway Kids)
“I’m a Christian now” (Lifeway Kids)
<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/105975748" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
http://www.lifeway.com/Article/abcs-of-becoming-a-christian

As your child becomes more independent, empower them to begin their regular practice of encountering God through His Word.

WHY NOW?
As your child enters Kindergarten and 1st Grade, a shift takes place in the mind of a child. They shift from focusing on imaginary worlds to gaining wisdom and knowledge. They will begin learning how to read or improve their reading skills. Perhaps the largest change that happens as your child goes to school is the newfound desire to prove their independence. If they have not already begun doing so, your child may want to tie their own shoes, get dressed and even make a meal on their own. Don’t worry, these tasks rarely turn out polished at first.

Ironically, during this stage of discovering and proving their independence, your child is still asking you, “Do I have your attention?” and “Do I have what it takes to be an independent person?”

Therefore, as you embrace your child’s independence, it is critical to continue to show interest and approval in their progress. As you do so, their abilities will improve along with your relational credibility.

WHY?
Your child is ready to learn that the Bible isn’t mainly ‘about me’ and what ‘I’ should be doing. It’s about God and what He has done. In spite of everything, no matter what, whatever it cost Him—God won’t ever stop loving his children . . . with a wonderful, never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.

With the Bible as your guide, dive into scripture with your child; there is no better way to be present with your child. Help him/her learn to read, all the while improving life skills!
http://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/teach-children-that-the-bible-is-not-about-them/

WHAT IS EMBRACING INDEPENDENCE?
Embracing Independence is a time when your child will be presented with their very own big kid Bible! This Bible is for you to use with them to grow their skills in reading and more importantly, discover God’s character. As your child learns to read, you can begin having them read familiar words to you. Your child will be reading on their own before you know it.

HOW DO I HELP MY CHILD RECEIVE AND LEARN ABOUT THEIR BIBLE?
If your child is nearing Kindergarten age, contact your Family or Children’s Pastor to learn more about participating in an Embracing Independence Family Experience.

HOW DO I TEACH MY CHILD ABOUT THE BIBLE?
The process is simple. The curriculum is the Bible. The teacher is the Holy Spirit. The priority is obedience.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to you and your child through His word. Commit to having an attitude of “Yes!”... to whatever God will speak even before you begin reading His Word. Then, start by reading a chapter in the book of John together. Your child can read simple words that they recognize, and you can read the rest or you can each take turn reading a verse. Highlight or underline a specific verse that captured you or your child’s heart. Discuss the verse or Bible story with your child. Ask your child how this verse or Bible story applies to him or her. Share with your child how the Bible story applied to you. Close in prayer.

For your own spiritual growth, we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to join an adult discipleship group, or D-group. In a D-Group, you will have the opportunity to be discipled or to disciple others. As you are being discipled by others, you are also being equipped to disciple your child and others. Contact our church office for more details.
WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Continue to show interest in your kid’s interests and abilities. Your child loves your attention. When you show that you truly care about what they are interested in and that you are impressed by them, their abilities will improve.

Show them examples of God’s character in their everyday life. When you see proof that God answered a prayer, stop and talk about it! Let your child begin to affirm what they read and see about God through the world around them. When God provides for your child in a specific way, ask them about it. Help your child discover that they can ALWAYS trust God’s character!

RESOURCES

http://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/teach-children-that-the-bible-is-not-about-them/

ICB Bible https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/International-Childrens-Bible-ICB/

Jesus Storybible Book http://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/books/jesus-storybook-bible/

The Bible Isn’t About Me http://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/teach-children-that-the-bible-is-not-about-them/

“It’s Just a Phase, So Don’t Miss It” (Orange: Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy)

NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers

Northview Church Family Framework

As your child claims responsibility, dedicate time for consistent family accountability to challenge spiritual growth. 

WHY NOW?
Your child is no longer learning to read, but they are now reading to learn.  Third graders are becoming experts at categorizing information and seeing the world from points of view other than their own. This allows your child to read the Bible and apply the message of a story or text to their own life!  You may notice your child asking if they can have a pet. They want responsibility. They want to show you that they do not need assistance, and they can be trusted.

WHY? 
Trinity Church believes that discipleship is the foundation for growing the Kingdom of God. Trinity also believes in intentionally dedicating time once a week to gather with a small group (just as Jesus gathered with Peter, James, and John) to check in, encourage, and challenge each other in the following areas:

  1. Reading the Bible daily
  2. Pursuing holiness through accountability
  3. Intentionally loving and praying for the lost

We are ALL called to make disciples. Our kids are our #1 priority to disciple. Through discipling our children, we are aiming to cultivate their character for Christ.

WHAT IS CULTIVATING CHARACTER?
Cultivating Character is a time for your family to gather weekly and participate in Trinity’s Discipleship Group (D-Group) format. This means you no longer will be only helping your child read his/her Bible, but rather you give them the responsibility of reading it on their own every day. You gather as a family once a week to grow with each other spiritually. The main goal of this special family meeting time is to:

 Love God. Love one another. Help others know & love God.

HOW DO I START A D-GROUP WITH MY FAMILY?
Make sure everybody in your family has a Trinity Church Made for More Journal, a Bible, and a pen or pencil.  For your kid(s), we recommend a “SOAPY” journal . 

Once you have gathered your materials, here is what you need to know to begin:

  1. The process is simple
  2. The curriculum is the Bible
  3. The teacher is the Holy Spirit
  4. The priority is obedience
  5. The result is multiplication.

Begin your own practice of daily Bible reading and journaling. Trinity Church provides Made for More Journals that have instructions inside on our recommended SOAP process. Here is snapshot:

Begin with prayer. Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to you through His word. Commit to having an attitude of “Yes!”... to whatever God will speak even before you begin reading His Word.   Then …

Scripture: Write the verse that spoke to you today.

Observation: Explain what this verse is about?

Application:  How does this verse apply to your child’s life? 

Prayer: Write a simple prayer to God.

Dedicate time once a week to sit down as a family, perhaps during a meal or before bedtime, to discuss what God has shown you in your Bible reading. Ask questions for accountability and spend time in prayer for the lost.

For more information and instructions, please contact our Multiplication Pastor, Jon Wiest for “A Blueprint for Making Disciples.”

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Help your child discover truth on their own.  At this stage, your child will retain knowledge exponentially more if they are the ones that discover it.  Often times when your child is listening to somebody tell them what is true, it will flow right out the other ear.  The way elementary kids learn best is when they are able to put pieces together and find answers and solutions on their own – when they feel they were the ones responsible for finding this truth, it becomes etched in their minds, and they will be far more likely to apply it!

RESOURCES

Trinity Church, A Blueprint for Making Disciples. Pastor Jon Wiest

“It’s Just a Phase, So Don’t Miss It” (Orange:  Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy)

 http://www.liferesources.cc/childrens-life-journal/

 

 

 

As your student is discovering their uniqueness, affirm that they are a masterpiece made in God’s image. (Psalm 139:14)

WHY NOW?
At this phase, your student’s brain goes through a “growth spurt” that causes an overproduction of neurons and synapses similar to that of a toddler. This growth spurt enables your student to think abstractly, understand multiple perspectives, but also think critically of themselves and others. They may show confidence to conquer anything. Simultaneously, peers have now become a BIG deal. Many students tend to feel the weight of influence from their peers. Therefore, peer approval (or disapproval) is significantly motivating during this phase. It is likely that what people say about them, especially peers, are personalized and internalized as identity is being created.

WHY?
Though your student may feel invincible and confident, the truth is their identity continues to be very impressionable at this stage. Studies show that student’s emotional and social capacity are cultivated not on their own but by influence. Even though peer influence is significant during this phase, there is no greater influence that has impacted students more than those who have helped raise them. With this in mind, as a church we come alongside the family to affirm your student’s confidence in Christ. Together, we affirm that your student is a child of God wonderfully made. Together, we weather the storm of peer pressure and influence as they develop into young men and women.

WHAT IS AFFIRMING IDENTITY?
Affirming identity is a time when we gather together to “bless” our students. By definition, a blessing is God’s favor and protection, a way to show a person’s sanction and support. There is no better way to weather the coming changes and gain stability than to shower our students with affirmation from leaders and peers. This is a significant moment when we take time to celebrate our students, affirm their identity in Christ, celebrate God’s presence in their lives and prepare for the fulfillment of God’s purpose for them.

HOW?
Choose a time: Choose day when you will affirm your child’s identity (ex. Birthday, baptism, promoting elementary to intermediate school or intermediate to junior high, or any day you choose). This will be a “big day!’

Gather a Community: Big days are celebrated with significant people who make declarative statements that form future projections. Reach out to four adults who know your student well and who would be willing to speak life over them (ex. A grandfather, coach, pastor, teacher, family friend)

Speak Life: Relationships matter, and so do words. After you have gathered about four important adults, gather together to speak life to your student. The people that know your student the best, that are looked up to, that mentor them or mean a lot to them have the potential to share with them who they have been, who they are, and who they are becoming. The words of the community together celebrate and reinforce a student’s identity and validates the role they have in the community.

Make the Day BIG: There is something about BIG days that live forever with us and help define who we become. The story of your life is defined by moments or days that moved your story forward in one direction or another. We want to celebrate these days and leverage them to move our students toward a full life in Christ.

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Keep it Simple: Your student thinks critically about themselves and others. Simple and clear instructions have a better chance of being heard. Affirm students when they have been successful with follow through.

Make it a Game: Puzzles, patterns, codes, and games help your student connect information and concepts together. This is a great time to connect with your student in a fun non-threatening environment.

Think in Groups: Friends are a big deal as your student begins to act and seek friend approval. Connect with their friends, invite friends over to your home for a meal or an outing. See who is influencing your students. Encourage their involvement in Student Ministry.

Build their confidence: Your student personalizes abstract concepts by connecting ideas – everything means something. Even though they are getting older, affirm students by speaking positive identity statements to them. Let them know you see their potential and believe in them.

Prayer: Ask your student how you can pray for them. Share prayer requests with them. This affirms that student are able to have a spiritual impact in their homes.

Family D-Group - Graduate your child from using the SOAPY Journal to a Made for More Journal. 

Resources:

Just a Phase – Reggie Joyner

The Blessing - Gary Smalley

Raising a Modern Day Knight – Robert Lewis

“Blessing”, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/blessing, (September 9, 2017)

 

As students are being influenced by peers, discuss God’s design for personal purity and healthy relationships.

WHY NOW?
Students at this stage continue to desire meaningful relationships. They are also beginning to think abstractly, understand multiple perspectives, think critically of themselves/others, and establish social status. Students will continue to need help in setting boundaries and limits in order to develop good reasoning and problem solving skills.

WHY?
God desires all of us: our heart, soul, mind, and strength. With all the changes students are going through and the connectivity they have to social pressures, many influences will fight over students in nearly every aspect of their lives. Leverage the opportunity to guide your student in developing reasoning, problem-solving, and social/emotional skills to make wise decisions through a Godly sense of purity.

WHAT IS PURITY?
Romans 12:1 - “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

By definition, purity refers to the freedom from dirt, impurity, guilt, evil thoughts, or sin. Biblical purity shares similar attributes. In the Old Testament, sins were washed clean by ritual sacrifice of animals that had no fault or blemish. In the New Testament, Jesus was the “lamb of God” being the perfect, sinless sacrifice for all human sin for all time. Therefore, our proper response is to present our lives as “living sacrifices” to God. This is our pursuit of purity: that our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls, every aspect of our lives would be holy, honoring, and glorifying in the sight of God for His purpose; that we would see everything as God sees them.

HOW?
Romans 12:2 - “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Talk about it Early: It is never too soon to discuss God’s design and purpose for your student’s life and purity. By being open and honest with your student from an early age, you set the atmosphere for having real, deep, and meaningful conversations when it gets tough. There are many resources that can help you have these conversations in an age appropriate way.

Join the Fight: Many things are fighting for the authority to inform your student about what is right and what is wrong. It’s never too late to join God’s fight for your child’s purity. Take a proactive approach in shaping or reshaping their thoughts on purity today.

Be Brave: These conversations can be hard and awkward. Your students may push back or refuse to talk. Be brave, don’t stop. Keep trying. Keep Talking. Spend time with your student, take them out for fun, be interested in what they are interested in, keep bringing it up. It takes work to create a safe place to communicate. It’s worth it!

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Be present: as your child matures, hormones will flare, drama will escalate, and emotions will run rampant. Now is the time to lean in more closely. Learn what your students are involved in, be interested, and dive in with them. Continue to assure your student they are not alone and someone cares. This is an opportunity to show love can be consistent and unconditional, and you can be a safe and trusted place.

Encourage their process: they are smart beyond their britches, and they will let you know it. Focus on their processing and internalizing. Create a space that allows them to develop their own thought processes. Think WITH them! Guide them with questions and thoughts that will lead them into their own decisions and understanding.


Resources:

Just a Phase - Reggie Joiner

Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle - Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn

Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle - Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

Every Young Man’s Battle - Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

Every Young Woman’s Battle - Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn

The Purity Code - Jim Burns

The Volunteer’s Back Pocket Guide to Sex – Craig Gross and Cris Clapp Logan

Passport2Purity - http://familylifetoday.com/series/the-new-passport-to-purity/

Covenant Eyes - www.covenanteyes.com

Fight the New Drug - www.fightthenewdrug.org

As your student realizes their influence, commission them for a life of intentional service to others.

WHY NOW?
High school students are motivated by freedom. They want to make their own decisions, and prove that they are ready to take on the world. In middle school, your student was perhaps trying every sport, hobby, and club they could. They were most concerned about what circle they fit into. In high school, however, your student is primarily concerned with discovering their passions.
As high school students continue to mature, they begin to care less about their day-to-day appearance, and more about their future. “What am I doing here?” and “What am I going to do with my life?” are questions your student is asking.

WHY?
At Trinity Church, we believe that every person is made for more – made for a purpose that is far higher than any earthly goal. We believe that our students we recreated to follow the Lord, to spread the love of God to their sphere of influence, and to make disciples. They can fulfill that purpose today. When a student comes to realize their influence, and when that is coupled from strong words of empowerment from parents, caregivers, mentors or other adults who have their trust – that is when a student maximizes their potential and begins to make disciples.

WHAT IS PURPOSE?
As Christians, we believe that God created all people. We also believe that He did not merely create us because he could – we were created for a reason. We have a purpose. God’s love is so abounding, eternal, and perfect that He created us so that others could experience the goodness of His perfect love.
Our ultimate purpose is to love God, love one another, and help others know and love God.

WHEN IS MY STUDENT READY TO DISCOVER THEIR PURPOSE?
Discovering our purpose is a lifelong process. That being said, the culmination of the all the stages of development prior to high school prepare students to turn their focus from themselves to other people. This phase in a student’s life shift their focus from only considering the present to making decisions based on their future. This is the perfect time to be proactive about affirming their purpose!

HOW DO I HELP MY STUDENT FIND THEIR PURPOSE?
Lead by example. The first step to helping students find their unique role in God’s kingdom is to first help them discover their overarching purpose – to spread the love of Jesus. The best way to do this is to model it. When you live with a greater purpose, teens will notice.

Give them opportunities to serve. Join them in these opportunities. Teens are eager to discover that they matter and can make a difference. When you do it side-by-side and show that serving others is a JOY, not a TASK – students eyes are opened to a whole new level of potential. These opportunities should be both a weekly role at your local congregation and community as well as intensive missions opportunities like service projects in your city or short-term missions trips.

Identify and affirm their unique gifts. Call out the traits that give them a special ability to add to the mission of God. When students are aware of their unique potential, the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19) becomes their personal mission.
Discover Trinity is a class offered by all Trinity Church congregations that aid in this process. All high school aged students, along with their families, are encouraged to participate in this class to:

· Learn about Trinity Church and the Wesleyan Denomination
· Understand what it means to Love God in your spiritual journey
· Discuss what it means to love one another and join a community of peer believers
· Discover how to help others know and love God by identifying spiritual gifts and how to develop and utilize them in the Church

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Give them freedom to discover their purpose. Students are striving for freedom - often in areas like curfew and friend groups. Work with students to realign this desire for freedom and aim it in a direction that leads to an authentic and personal relationship with Jesus.

Let them process out loud. Most high school students are no longer analyzing the world in a measurable process, but rather more fluid and abstract thoughts. Help them discover meaning by LISTENING rather than TEACHING. Give less concrete answers and ask more questions.

Give them experiences rather than lectures. Student are not going to look to you or us to validate their truths as much in high school. Rather, they will form their beliefs based on what they have seen and experienced. This is why mission trips are hugely important in high school. It couples freedom to leave the home with opportunities to encounter the humbling presence of the Holy Spirit in a new environment!

RESOURCES

https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gifts-test-youth-version/

“It’s Just a Phase, So Don’t Miss It” (Orange: Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy)

http://pastors.com/helping-teenagers-live-gods-purposes/

https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/articles/kids-find-their-calling

Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today by Mark Labberton

Sticky Faith – Parenting Edition

Embrace your Purpose – Wesleyan Publishing House

http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2016/march-16/discovering-gods-purpose-for-your-life.html?start=1

https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-27-christ%E2%80%99s-purpose-his-church-ephesians-47-10

 

 As your young adult is prepared, charge them to go into the world proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples for Christ. (Mark 16:15)

WHY NOW?
Young adults are ready to take next steps that involve a greater level of responsibility and influence. This time is both exciting and scary because they have the capacity to take on adulthood, yet lack experience in “high stakes” type decisions. This shows their need for encouragement, counsel, and direction.

WHY?
We as the church body are commissioned to make disciples of all nations. Each one of us are called to be ambassadors for the reconciling work of Christ. Truth is, young adults can’t do this alone and need the support of the family and church to fulfill God’s call.    

WHAT IS SENDING?
With the world at their fingertips and possibilities endless, we take this opportunity to join families in reminding young adults of who they are, whose they are, and confirm that they are capable of doing what they are called to do. The goal is to set them on a trajectory of change for the Kingdom, to be disciples who make disciples.

By definition, sending means to dispatch someone to convey a message or do an errand. Other words used to describe sending include: to propel, direct, enable, to pour out.  This is a special day designed to help young adults define who they become, to in essence move their story forward.

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
Be a Mentor: Young adults will lean in relationally in a different way. They will be seeking your advice on “what’s next” decisions, but only in small doses when they ask for it. Discuss options, ideas, potentials, and decisions with them as a growing adult. 

Be Available:  Young adults will often come back home for advice, affirmation, some financial assistance to get them going or keep them going, or simply a reminder of home. Knowing you’re there gives them assurance of the support and love they need to succeed.

Prayer:  Continue to pray for and with your young adult. Share prayer requests and encouraging verses with your young adult.

D-Group:  Young adults are invited to join a Discipleship Group and the Young Adults Ministry.  For more information about Discipleship Groups contact the Trinity Church Office.  

Resources

Just a Phase - Reggie Joiner

The Blessing - Gary Smalley

Raising a Modern Day Knight – Robert Lewis

“Sending”,  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/send, (10/24/17)