Helping You Build A Strong Family One Step At A Time

One of our core values at Grace Point is that God designed the family as the primary place for faith and character formation. We seek to inspire, equip and assist you to become intentional about building a God-honoring home one step at a time. HomePoint exists to create a culture of intentional families using three simple objectives.

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.

 SHOWING CHRIST

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)

 RAISING BELIEVERS

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

 BE JESUS

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.

POINTERS

With more than two dozen topics, HomePointe Pointers provide a biblical perspective on common family seasons and challenges along with recommended “going further” resources and a description of ministry programs or a contact person at church to support each situation.


When it comes to discipling our children we know that we should—it is one of our primary ministries as parents (Deut. 6:4-9)—and we want to, but when it comes to actually doing it, we feel lost. Where do we begin? What do we say? Do I really know enough myself? And so, because of our overwhelming feeling of inadequacy, we tell our kids to listen to their leaders at church and do what they say.

That understandable, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It can’t be this way. Discipling your kids is far too important to hand off to others. You know you need to disciple your kids and you want to do it, but how do you actually do it? 

At Grace Point we want to partner with you in this journey.  Disciple@HOME are resources to help families disciple their children at home. We want to provide you with tools to help instill biblical principles during the earliest developmental stages and help navigate the issues facing your children during the teen years.

Disciple@HOME

Commit to Raise Your Child in a God-Honoring Home






What is Parent Dedication? Parent Dedication is a special time in which you make a formal commitment to raise your child in a Christ-centered home. We see several examples in the Bible such as 1 Samuel 1:24 – 2:10 when Hannah dedicated Samuel at the temple and Luke 2 where Mary and Joseph dedicated Jesus. Ideally, make the commitment in front of the church body or with a group of close friends and relatives as a public pledge that you will raise your child to know, love, and follow Jesus Christ. God designed the home as the primary place for faith to be nurtured. One way that we seek to partner with you is by providing resources throughout your child’s spiritual journey. We call this the Disciple at Home.








The Parent’s Commitment Parent Dedication is your commitment to model, teach, and reinforce the Christian Faith. It should not be confused with your child’s personal choice to follow Christ. We believe the Bible clearly teaches that each person must decide for themselves to trust in Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10). The age a child is ready to make this personal decision will vary depending on the child.








Parent Dedication Celebration Ideas Ideas for making dedication a special time include…








Inquire at church about the possibility of scheduling a public expression of dedication.







Have a dinner or celebration time with family and friends before/after the time of dedication.







Invite family members and special family friends to write blessings to your child as a keepsake. Make sure that you write one too!







Record a video message for your child to view in the future. Speak words of affirmation, sharing how you are praying for their spiritual journey and how you desire to point them toward Christ. Preserve the video to show them later. You can also write a letter if that works better for you.







Interested in dedicating your child at Grace Point? Contact the church office at info@gracepointefc.org or call 265-7997

Every child needs to experience the blessing!









WHAT IS THE BLESSING? The blessing is a powerful tool with which we communicate acceptance and genuine commitment. The word comes from the ancient practice of weighing coins on a scale to determine value.  Blessing someone “adds value” to his or her life.  We see in scripture the word bless or blessing is used almost seven hundred times.  The Bible also gives us great evidence that our God is a God of blessing.  We receive that blessing from our Heavenly Father and have the wonderful opportunity to pass it on.  There are five basic elements of the blessing that, combined, have a tremendous impact.









BE COMMITTED:  The blessing is not a fleeting moment or mere symbolic event.  It includes an active, long-term commitment to the child’s well-being by accepting responsibility to help them become all God intends.









LOVINGLY TOUCH:  The power of a hug or placing your hand on your child while affirming him or her creates an important physical connection and communicates warmth, acceptance and relational health.









EXPRESS VALUE:  Just like we add value to someone’s pocket by handing them a coin, we add to a child’s life when we use words that attach high value to them as a person.









SEE POTENTIAL:  Parents best see a child’s natural strengths and foresee possibilities for their future.  Giving the blessing includes picturing a special future and cheering them toward achieving their potential.









SAY IT:  An effective blessing must be put into words whether spoken, written or both.  Simply being present is not enough to communicate the blessing.  Words of affirmation are necessary for the child to know he or she is appreciated and accepted.

















WHO NEEDS THE BLESSING? Everyone needs to experience unconditional love and acceptance from their parents.  Those who didn’t receive it can spend later years trying to fill the void missed at home. Those who did receive the blessing have a tremendous advantage in life.  An example of this dynamic is recorded in Genesis chapter 28 in the story of Jacob’s two sons.









WHO CAN GIVE THE BLESSING? Anyone can give the blessing, but the most important and powerful blessing should come from parents.  









WHEN SHOULD YOU GIVE IT? You can take advantage of special occasions and scheduled events to give the blessing in an intentional manner as well as capture informal, more spontaneous moments.  You might want to start a nightly routine of blessing before bedtime or as you drop your child off at school or daycare.









SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED









On the Go Blessings:  Speak words of blessing to your child while driving to school, tucking into bed, celebrating an accomplishment or good effort, or writing a note to place in their lunch.  You can also frame the card included with this kit and use a dry erase marker to fill in the You Are Great Because phrase or create your own using any of the following.









I was so proud of you when I saw you…









I think God is going to use you in the future to…









God has gifted you with a unique ability to…









Bedtime Blessing Prayer:  Select a special scripture to pray over your child each evening such as Numbers 6:24-26 as quoted on the card included with this kit.  Consider framing the verse to keep beside your child’s bed.  Lay your hand gently on your child’s arm or shoulder while praying to reassure him/her with loving touch.

KEEP IT SIMPLE AND ENJOY THE TIME TOGETHER!







GETTING STARTED Protect a day and time and let your child place the Family Time sticker included with this kit on the family calendar to help build anticipation.  Choose a Family Time theme song to gather everyone together. Spend a little time singing, silly dancing, swinging the kids, etc. to get everyone in the mood for the best part of the week! 







OTHER IDEAS













  • Pick a family verse that you want to memorize and say together. Make up or use some fun games to learn the verse.  


















  • Discuss a movie that is age-appropriate for your child. Make some popcorn and watch the film together. Afterward, have a “faith talk” about the choices of characters and other aspects of the story that catch your attention. Check out movienightchat.com.


















  • Share with your child something that God has been teaching you.


















  • Cook a meal together and use the time for sharing and talking.


















  • Take time to ask each member of the family to share his or her “high” and “low” of the day.


















  • Go on a family walk and spend the time praying for each other, the neighbors, or others.


















  • Capture family prayer requests using a prayer chart or on a refrigerator white board.


















  • Create impromptu “God-moments” by taking advantage of unplanned and unscheduled opportunities to discuss your faith in the daily routine of life.






What is Worship? Worship is our response to the greatness of God. Many Christians limit the concept to singing songs in church. We need to help our children understand that worship involves much more than attending a weekend service. Worship is both an action and an attitude. Scripture says that true worship begins in the heart of the believer (John 4:23). Worship involves taking the focus off of ourselves and directing our attention toward God, who He is, and what He has done. We may be great multi-taskers who can accomplish multiple things at once, but real worship only occurs when we give God our complete and sole attention.


Personal Worship


Actually, children don’t need to be taught how to worship, but whom to worship. Most kids idolize heroes from the world of sports, music, and television. They memorize every statistic and detail about this or that celebrity. In other words, they “worship” in the purest form by focusing their complete attention on someone they admire rather than on themselves. It is our job to help them see the wonder of our awesome God. The best way to teach your child how to worship God on a personal level is by doing it yourself, modeling a life of worship with your words and actions. Allow your child to experience the “wow” of who God is. Intentionally point out the amazing things that God has done and is doing.  At Grace Point Kids Camp, we call those “God Sightings.”


Corporate Worship


It is also important to spend time worshipping together at home and at church. Create family worship experiences using songs, prayer, and scripture. Make public worship a priority by gathering with other believers to focus on God through the same elements.  


Ways to Worship


  Make it a priority to help your child discover real worship. Use any of the following ideas to get started:


  Spend a few minutes around the table or in the car as a family taking turns saying something about who God is and what He has done. Try to avoid mentioning yourselves; focus completely on Him.


  Make worshipping as a family a priority by talking about God and committing to regularly attend a church service where you praise Him and study His Word together.


  Play songs of worship or make music together using instruments to create a fun time of family worship in song. Psalm 100:20 says to “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”


  Encourage your child to make up a worship poem, song, rhyme, or prayer.


  Listen to a worship song and think about the words.


  Sit quietly for 2 minutes and think about how awesome God is.


  Declare specific days like “Worship Wednesdays” to make a point of worshipping together. This could be as simple as taking time on the way to or from school or before bed to each say one thing about God you observed during the day.


  Ask your child questions about God’s character or His creation.  Help him or her focus on how amazing God is.

Prayer strengthens your family

 

Family Routine Making prayer a regular part of your family culture will help make it a normal part of your child’s life. Consider incorporating some of the following in your family routine.

   
    • Mealtime: Briefly give thanks before you eat, then wait until everyone has finished having a longer time of prayer together.
     
    • Bedtime: The first person in the family to go to bed (usually the youngest) alerts everyone else that it is time for an end-of-day prayer together.
     
    • Drive time: As you start the engine, pause for a brief prayer together asking God to go with you, and invite everyone to pray a sentence prayer for any concern about the upcoming activities of the day. This is a great routine to begin as you drive to school in the morning.  
     
    • Walks: Taking a walk together is the ideal time to pray. Or pause at the end to pray about the matters discussed during your walk.
   

Prayer brings blessings and peace to your home

 

Be an Example Allow your child to see and hear you pray on a regular basis. Take time to stop and give thanks in times when God blesses you or answers a prayer. Model prayer in times of difficulty or when seeking wisdom for important decisions. Pray for those in your family and others you know who are in need.  

 

Jump Start Prayers Use these ideas to help start prayer time with your child.

 

Sentence Prayers: Take turns allowing each person who is comfortable doing so to pray a very short, one-sentence prayer. It can be as simple as “Please heal Uncle Paul.” “Thank you for giving Troy a new friend.” or “I’m sorry for losing my temper with everyone earlier today.”

 

Fill-in-the-Blank Prayers: Use pre-written language to guide and focus prayer times such as the following starter lines:

 

God, I love you because…

 

Thank you, God, for…

 

God, please help…

 

God, I’m sorry for…

Prayer Tools and Ideas

 

Prayer Board: Keep a dry erase board or the calendar included with this kit in a high traffic area of your home and use it to note items the family is praying for together.

 

Prayer Journal:  Consider purchasing a journal for your child to start recording prayers and how God answers them. 

 

Mirror prayers: Using a dry erase marker, write a list of prayer concerns on your child’s bathroom mirror so he or she remembers to pause and pray after brushing teeth. 

 

Pray Big for Your Child by Will Davis Jr.

 

Creative Family Prayer Times by Mike and Amy Nappa

 

What Happens When I Talk to God? by Stormie Omartian 

 

Power of a Praying Kid by Stormie Omartian

 

PrayerWorks by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

GIVING Followers of Jesus give a portion of their income to meet the needs of God’s work and other people as an act of obedience and worship. In Genesis 28:10-22 we see Jacob making a vow to the Lord, worshipping Him, and giving ten percent (also called a tithe) back to God.    





In reality, teaching children about money through tithes and offerings is not about giving to God. It is about reminding ourselves that we are dependent upon the One who gives all good gifts and that we are mere stewards rather than owners. Giving reflects obedience, showing that we love a God who is worthy to be obeyed in all areas of life. It is also an opportunity to participate in something bigger than ourselves with eternal value.    





Model It: Start by putting into practice the disciplines you want your child to learn. This may mean taking steps to become a better steward of your family’s finances. Let your child see that you first give money toward tithing, then savings, and so on. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 the Bible says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 





Teach It: If your child receives money from an allowance, jobs, or gifts, take the time to help him or her divide the money wisely. A good place to start is to set aside 10% for giving, 10% for savings, and 80% for spending on other activities and items. 





 



SERVING In addition to financial resources, God has also entrusted us with gifts, talents, and time. As believers, we have the great opportunity to worship and glorify God through the spiritual discipline of service. Help your child discover their unique gifts and explore how they might use those gifts to glorify Him. A few simple suggestions include:   





Shared Passion: Spend some time talking with your child about the things that interest and concern him or her. It will be more meaningful if you share a passion for the specific area of service.



Good Fit: Help your child find good serving options. It can be as simple as baking cookies for a homebound neighbor or it can be an extended serving time such as a mission trip or meeting a particular need on a regular basis.



Set Expectations: Put your child more at ease by explaining what to expect. If visiting a nursing home, for example, explain he or she may encounter odd sights, sounds, and smells.



Build Your Relationships: Take note of what your child does well while serving. Intentionally encourage him or her by saying you are proud of how they demonstrated a great attitude or area of strength.



Be Safe: Keep a close eye on one another, especially children/teens if serving in unfamiliar settings.



Talk About It: Ask questions when you finish serving together such as “What kind of difference did you/we make?” “Why was it important to do this project?” “How did it impact those you served?” and “How did it impact you/your family?”



Pray: Take a few minutes to pray, asking God to bless those you served.

One of the greatest joys and responsibilities you have as a parent is to teach your child to love God’s Word in order to build a solid foundation based on truth. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” 




Establish Family Habits of Reading God’s Word together!




Write verses on index cards to put in your child’s backpack, or lunchbox or tape them to the mirror.




Write out Bible verses using colorful markers, then cut each word out and mix them up on the floor.




Play a game as you put the verse back in order or make into a memory match game.




To memorize a verse, makeup hand motions together.




Play a memory game by passing a ball or beanbag as each person says the next word in the verse.




Allow your child to pick a book of the Bible, book, or devotional to read with you at breakfast or bedtime.




Act our Bible stories together!







Help your child discover the importance of God’s Word




Choose a Bible  Find a translation that is easy for your child to read and understand. 




Model it  You cannot pass to your child something that you don’t have. Schedule a regular time of reading the Bible where your kids can see you. 




Use as a guide  Show your child how the Bible can be used as an everyday guide for life by helping him or her search and learn how to use the Bible. This is a great opportunity, especially when your child might be struggling with a particular issue or looking for wisdom on a particular topic. 




Keep it simple  Choose one simple Bible truth or verse and repeat it often such as “God is love.”




Be creative  Don’t just read the story, become the Bible character or use games and crafts to engage all five senses in the learning experience.  




Don’t bluff  It’s okay to not know the answer to a question your child might have. Use the opportunity to show your child how to search in God’s Word for wisdom. Be authentic by admitting that none of us understand everything. Only God is God and we must learn to trust what He says in the Bible. You can also tell your child you will get back to them within a certain period of time so that you can investigate and/or ask for guidance from someone you trust. 




Study it  Show how to study God’s Word using a simple Bible study plan. Teach your child to look at any scripture and ask questions about the passage such as “Who wrote this passage?” “What does this verse teach us?” or “How can I apply this truth in my own life?”  




Find tools  There are many great tools like a kid’s Bible, Bible storybooks, Christian scripture songs, Christian videos and games to make understanding the Bible easier and more fun.




Pray  Ask God to give your child a love for God’s Word as well as understanding and wisdom as they read and memorize scripture.  







Parenting with Scripture by Kara Durbin


What the Bible is All About: Bible Handbook for Kids by Frances Blankenbaker


Bible Basics for Kids by Terry Glaspey and Kathleen Kerr


Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones


Seeds Family Worship scripture songs from seedsfamilyworship.com







BIBLE SUGGESTIONS




Following Jesus Bible, ESV, for kids to like answers to the who, what, why, and where of a text




Kids Quest Study Bible NIrV, for kids who ask lots of questions




The Adventure Bible, NIV, for kids who want to explore the people and places and events of the Bible




Hands On Bible, NLT, for kids who learn best through activities

it’s more than a story—it’s good news! One of the greatest privileges you have as a parent is to help your child come to faith in Christ. Even if your child was dedicated or baptized as a baby, you will want to help your child understand the Gospel and make their own faith decision when he or she is old enough to do so. Like many parents, you may not quite know how or when to approach one of the most exciting yet intimidating moments of parenthood. Some worry that they won’t explain the gospel properly. They might be tempted to just “leave it to the professionals” by relying on people at church or ministry events. That’s understandable, but God has given you the most important and influential role when it comes to leading your child to Christ. This guide is designed to help you feel more comfortable about the process when that time comes.



Step One: Lay a foundation Your son or daughter grows in his or her understanding of God by developing a foundation – hearing stories from the Bible, learning scriptures, singing about Jesus, and so forth. Your child also learns by experiencing life in your home – watching your example, feeling your love, and learning right from wrong. Seeing parents ask for forgiveness when they have been wrong is powerful.  We see this in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 that says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  



Step Two: Discern readiness Do your best to discern when your child is mature enough to put the pieces together. Avoid the temptation to push for a decision before he or she is ready to truly grasp the gospel. Your child may intellectually understand before being socially or spiritually ready. Young children are usually bonded to their parents in such a way that they want to please and do not have a full sense of a separate self. A child needs to understand that this is a personal decision and not just an opportunity to repeat rote answers. 



Step Three:  Ask questions If you feel your child might be ready, ask a few questions to help gauge his or her level of understanding. For example, read Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then ask questions like, “What is sin?” “How does your sin affect your relationship to God?” How they respond can help you sense when your child is ready to understand two important concepts: 



JESUS AS SAVIOR:  The need for forgiveness and cleansing from sin which was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross 



JESUS AS LORD:  The need to submit to God as “the boss” by making Jesus Christ the Lord of one’s life





Step Four: Guide your child in prayer for salvation Romans 10 says, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” If you sense your child has a basic understanding of what sin is as well as what it means to accept God’s gift of salvation and His Lordship, then you can guide him or her to pray along those lines. Instead of quoting specific words for your child to repeat, it’s best to prompt using his or her own words.  



SHARE THE GOOD NEWS!

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.

Hands 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.

Open Eyes…

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.

Open Hearts…

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.

Be Open…

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.

Be Diligent…

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.

Be Ready…

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.

Recommended Resources

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart…J.D. Greear

Before You Share Your Faith…Matt Smetthurst

This Changes Everything…Jacquelle Crowe

Dare2Share Ministries…dare2share.org

Life in 6 Words…li6w.com

MY HOMEPOINT PLAN

We encourage families to take HomePoint appraisal several times a year to help them assess how intentional they have been at home and what small steps they can take next.