Helping You Build A Strong Family One Step At A Time
THE POINT OF HOME
HomePoint is designed to help you take simple steps toward creating a God-honoring home. Since many of us are called to worship God through the intimacy of marriage and the blessing of children, we need to understand the purpose and priority of family life.
Every marriage is intended to be a masterpiece reflecting THE marriage between God and His people.
(Genesis 1:27, Genesis 15, Jeremiah 3, Ephesians 5:22-33, Revelations 21:9)
Those blessed with the gift of children and grandchildren are called to disciple the next generation as life’s greatest honor and highest priority.
Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78:1-8, Ephesians 6:1-4
A strong Christian family attracts the next generation and next-door neighbors to Christ as The Word becomes flesh and blood and we conform our lives to the image and example of Christ.
John 1:14, Philippians 2, 1 Timothy 3, 1 John 3:16
IT STARTS AT HOME
- Young adults can become intentional about their future.
- Couples can work toward becoming one and create times of connection to thrive.
- Parents can launch simple faith formation routines.
- Grandparents can use their significant influence to point the next generation toward God.
HomePoint offers a wide variety of tools available to help those in any life season take steps toward creating a God-honoring home. We encourage you to explore online or at our HomePoint center in the church lobby.
For more detailed information, download the complete OVERVIEW GUIDE.
It’s an easy thing to conclude that worship consists of singing and playing songs for/to God with other Christians—we are called to do that (Psalm 95:1-6). But worship is so much more! Worship is an act of surrender and self-sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2); it is a conscious decision of acknowledging Who God is and what He has done (Psalm 139); and it is an outflow of the heart, in spirit and truth, over some outward act done in church (John 4:19-26). In every aspect of our lives, we can worship God. Here are some ways to encourage both personal and corporate worship with your students:
Teach Your Students by Example…
You are being watched! Every we, as parents say and do, is under the microscope of our students, being scrutinized, analyzed, and—hopefully, so long as we are leading biblically—internalized. This includes how we, as individuals, choose to worship and encourage worship within our home.
- What is our default radio station or playlist? Does the majority of our music convey worship for God? Consider playing more music with Christian themes—and even playing worship music more often in the car and at home.
- When we pray around our students, do we spend more time “worrying in the direction of God”? Are the prayers a stagnant, repetitious phrase of thanks for a meal, or protection and guidance for the day (which aren’t bad things)? Spend time in prayer praising God for the things He has done and for Who He is!
- Take time to tell your students about what you are wrestling within God’s Word. Open up with them about the things that you want to thank God for. Show them what it means to be amazed by God!
- Thank the Lord that the Bible says to “make a joyful noise” in worship to God (Ps. 98:4), so do just that! Participate in corporate worship! It is far better for a student to look over and see that her dad is singing off-key, or mumbling the words of the song, but meaning every bit of it. A little bit of embarrassment is worth developing a worshipful heart in your students—especially if you truly believe in and mean the words that are being sung at church.
Teach Your Students to Care…
Though important in corporate worship, the music is not the main drive of the song. We may naturally think that because pop culture elevates the catchiest songs. Have you been there before? You hear a song for the first time and realize that you like the way it sounds…that is…until you pay attention to the lyrics. The world cares about sound—and our students will often default to this quality, as well—but as Christians, we care about the lyrics, doctrine, and theology of a song. We want students to love a song because of the truths it speaks of God over the way it sounds. It is for this reason that R. Kent Hughes has rightly said, “How right life is when theology [what we know about God] becomes doxology [how we worship God].” It is time, parents, to raise theologians:
- Spend a day in your family devotions digesting the songs that were sung in church.
- Ask your students if they understand what they are singing. Take lines from the songs and ask them to explain what they mean.
- Look for supporting Scripture that agrees with the lyrics of the song and discuss it as a family.
- Teach your students to spot unbiblical phrases in songs (because we live in a fallen world, and such things exist).
- Lastly, teach your students the hymns of old (and learn them, yourself, if you don’t already). They are rich in theology and church history, and they will be a blessing to their and your soul. Consider Norton Hall Band, Shane and Shane, and others who have taken traditional hymns and given them a modern tune-up.
Though music plays a large part in it, worship is a response to the realities of Who God is and what He has done. Get in the Bible, study together, and—together as a family—give to God what genuinely belongs to Him: our praise!
Do you remember that Sunday School song about reading your Bible and praying every day? As parents, we long for the outcome of that song for our students: that they would continue to grow; however, how do we effectively encourage our students to develop healthy prayer lives? The answer is actually rather simple: model and mold this essential practice within the home.
Model a Healthy Prayer Life…
One of the greatest things we as parents can do is to make sure that we are modeling a healthy prayer life to our own students. The principle is simple: most students forget most of the things that they are told by their parents and teachers over the years, but most students remember most of the things that they saw their parents and teachers do over the years. How is this done?
Start It…whether your student knows it or not, commit to be a prayer warrior.
Show It…one of the best ways to model a prayer life to your student is to pray in front of your student. This, of course, is not for show or to express some form of self-righteousness; instead, it is your student seeing you diligently seeking God’s will for your life and submitting to Him.
Share It…share with your student what you are praying about/for, and how God is growing you in the process!
Seek It…look for opportunities to pray with your student. Some ideas include at the start of the day as a family, when situations arise, before meals, after discipline (what a great time to thank God for His grace), and so many others! From gratitude to petition, follow Paul’s call to remain in a posture and preparedness to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Mold a Healthy Prayer Life…
Set the example of a healthy prayer life at home, but know that encouraging such practices in the life of your student takes time and intentionality. Here are some tips for getting your students into a healthy lifestyle of prayer:
Remind them that they are God’s masterpiece (Ps. 139, Eph. 2:10)…They don’t (and can’t) impress the Creator of language; they only need to come to Him as they are.
Ask them regularly if they have “prayed about it”…Let the default response in your household be to turn to the King of all in all circumstances. School trouble? Pray. Big game? Pray. About to ask somebody to prom? Pray. Whenever an opportunity comes, may our response be what a wise man used to conclude often: “pray, pray, pray.”
Teach them HOW to pray (Matthew 6:9-13)…teach your student to praise God, seek His will, request well, confess sin, and ask for spiritual strength in their prayers.
We do not need to overcomplicate prayer; we just need to do it. It starts with us and flows into our intentional discipleship of our students at home. Parents, keep praying!
We know that God is the one the Who blesses us with the gifts we’ve been given (James 1:17). From possessions, to time, to money, to skills—God has given to each of us according to the measure of His grace, and this includes our students. When it is tempting to look at Christianity from a consumerist perspective, we must teach our students proper stewardship through keeping their hands, eyes, and hearts open.
An open hand understands two important principles: 1) That everything belongs to God in His glory (Rom. 11:36), and 2) That God freely gives and takes of His belongings for His glorious purposes (Job 1:21). The purpose of the account of the rich young ruler is not to teach our students to sell everything they have and give it to the poor (Matthew 19:16-22). Its purpose is to ask this basic question: Who really owns it all, and would we willingly give it up for the sake of Him? The rich young ruler worshipped his wealth, not the Giver of that wealth; therefore, we need to teach our students to worship God with open hands:
- If your student gets an allowance or has a job, develop the principles of tithing. Your student could give to the church, a missionary, or a local parachurch organization reaching others for the sake of the Gospel.
- Explain where and why you tithe/give your money in support of God’s work. Remind them that though you are giving a portion of your money to something, it represents the reality that God owns it all.
- Show your students how you use the gifts God has given you to give back in worship of Him and service others, and then encourage them to do the same.
- Teach your students to lead as a servant and to make a difference as volunteers.
There will always be a task to accomplish, and there will always be a person in need. Students need to learn to prayerfully keep their eyes open to the needs around them, step up, and serve as if they are serving Christ (Matthew 25:34-40). By personally modeling and explaining…
- Teach your students to LOOK UP…to pray and ask God to show them opportunities to serve.
- Teach your students to LOOK IN…to acknowledge the gifts God has given them, and how they can be used for others.
- Teach your students to LOOK AROUND…to take their eyes off of themselves, and find opportunities to serve; whether those opportunities spring up at the moment, or require intentional searching.
- Teach your students servant-evangelism: a holistic approach to sharing the gospel, modeled by Christ, were meeting the physical/personal needs of others bridges gaps for Gospel impact.
- Teach your students to offer prayer and offer help when somebody shares their needs.
To be honest, parents, this is the key to it all, and the most difficult. Students will not have open eyes to see the needs around them, and open hands to willingly give if they do not have open hearts that are fully surrendered to the purposes of God; therefore:
- Pray that the Good News of Jesus Christ will radically change your student’s life; for today and through eternity.
- Intentionally provide opportunities to serve as a family, and spend time discussing with your students why you served.
- Be real…open up with your students about times where you missed opportunities to serve. Your kids need to hear about your successes and failures in light of the grace of Jesus Christ.
- Model for your students what it means to have an open heart, open eyes, and open hands. It will be that much harder for them to do it if their parents aren’t even doing it.
We have not been saved to sit, but to serve. Parents, teach your students to steward well the blessings given to them.
The Bible lights our way (Ps. 119:105), keeps us from sinning (Ps. 119:11), discerns the heart of man (Heb. 4:12), and is the very Word of God, Himself, profitable to make us greater ambassadors for His wonderful name (2 Tim. 3:16-17). There is no question that the Bible is an essential element to our Christian faith and continual walk; therefore, as parents, it is paramount that we ensure our students are studying, engaging, and applying it in their daily lives.
Start With You…if you want to see your student valuing the Bible, be sure to do it yourself. Spend time in God’s Word, share what you are learning, and look for ways to incorporate it in conversation (even if you have to look a verse up and revisit the conversation later).
Consider Hardcopies and Apps…there may be “an app for that,” but consider using and providing a hardcopy for you and your student. Smartphones are great, but they are also a great distraction. On the other hand, odds are high that your student owns—or will soon own—a smartphone. Become familiar with Bible Apps on IOS and Android and encourage your student to use them for study, social media posts, devotions, and reference when needed.
Consider What They Like…there are many translations and styles of Bibles to consider. Grace Point predominantly uses the English Standard Version (ESV); however, if you are looking for something that possesses a slightly easier reading level while not losing accuracy to the original languages, consider the New International Version (NIV), or the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). Additionally, consider what your student might like to use. Study Bibles, though bulkier than others, provide a lot of insight that can help your student understand what he or she is reading. Reference Bibles are an excellent go-to, as well, coming in various sizes that are more manageable for taking to church or throwing in a backpack at school.
Teach Them to Read Well…the Bible is best read in full sections or Books. Consider asking fellow church members, ministry directors, or pastors for recommendations on what to read! When it comes to studying the Bible, follow this acronym, SELLS, to help your student study God’s Word intentionally and proactively:
- SEARCH God’s Word: Make simple observations, but as many as you can. What are the immediate things that you see from what you are reading (characters, objects, clear statements, etc.)?
- EXPLAIN God’s Word: Seek to properly explain what is happening with what you are reading. Who is the author and the audience? When was this written and for what reason? What do the surrounding verses/context say? Does this passage directly speak to me (yes or no), and what are the clear principles I can apply here?
- LINK God’s Word: Are there other places in the Bible that support what is being said here?
- LIVE Out God’s Word: What does this passage teach me about God, and how does it cause me to worship Him? Is there anything I need to believe, change, or actively do today in response to what I just read?
- SHARE God’s Word: Sharing what you are learning in God’s Word blesses others and helps you hold fast to it throughout your life.
As a parent of a teen, you have given a wonderful blessing and serious mission. More important than a license, prom, first job, or even graduation is the priority of knowing that your teen understands and puts his or her faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ—also called the Gospel! Maybe you have spent their entire childhood telling your children about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Maybe you are a new believer, yourself, having just recently placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and now your heart is drawn to your teen as you long to share this truly Good News with him or her. At the same time, though, this can also be a rather difficult endeavor. Your teen is questioning everything (and maybe even challenging it), the world seems to be three steps ahead of you promoting its wide variety of beliefs, and the prospect of getting down in the trenches and tackling hard issues can be daunting. Don’t worry! This guide is for you as you navigate the most important ministry and mission you have been given: bringing the Gospel to your teen.
Cultivate a character and environment that your teen knows that he or she can come to you with any questions or concerns. Adopt in your life—what James calls—“wisdom from above,” that is peaceable, gentle, and open to reason (James 3:17). If your default attitude to close-mindedness, harshness, or dismissiveness, how do you expect your teen to ever approach you? At this time in their cognitive development, teens have taken a shift from the concrete questions of “what?” and have moved to the more abstract values of “why?” Love your teen well, and help them see that love by showing them hard questions and open discussion are not only allowed, but encouraged; because if they cannot come to you, they will go somewhere else for answers, so be open.
As a parent you are the spiritual thermometer in your household (you measure the spiritual temperature), and you are the spiritual thermostat in your household (you set the spiritual temperature). Deuteronomy 6:6-7 calls parents to bring God’s Word into every aspect of life for their children, and this is a call that cannot be ignored. Is your home Gospel-saturated? Be passively diligent as you find ways to bring the Gospel into every part of your family. Share what you are learning in church and Bible Study with your teen. Ask worldview questions that bring up gospel themes while watching TV or a movie. Even in your failures, help your teen see God’s love and mercy as you seek forgiveness and grow. Additionally, be actively diligent as you directly address the heart of your teen. Ask clear questions and discuss the Gospel with your teen; not accusing or belittling him or her if a decision has not yet been made, but rather opening more points of discussion. Be diligent.
As you diligently create an environment that opens up discussion, be sure to be ready to answer questions and talk about the Gospel. It may sound simple, but you cannot over-prepare this step as you allow the Gospel to saturate your life and cross over into your teen’s life. Apart from the Bible, consider resources like:
• Dare2Share Ministries (dare2share.org)…a ministry dedicated to reaching teenagers with the Gospel.
• 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin
• What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
The more you prepare, the readier you will be to walk your teen through the most important decision of his or her life.
The Gospel is so simple that a small child can understand it, yet so complex that theologians marvel at its intricacies regularly. The fact that God would love sinners like us so much, that He sent Christ to die for us, is so wonderfully humbling. What grace! Parent, extend that love and grace to your teen, and keep faithful! Your teen is worth it.
Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart…J.D. Greear
Before You Share Your Faith…Matt Smetthurst
This Changes Everything…Jacquelle Crowe
Life in 6 Words…li6w.com