If you are moderately interested in the church world and haven’t been living under a rock for the past week or so, you’re familiar with Pew’s recent report. Blogs upon blogs upon blogs have been written analyzing this report, but it instilled in me a sense of excitement about my job ministering to and with my church’s youth. How can we encourage the faith of kids and teens in such a way that they will WANT to continue being a part of the church in their adulthood? Do they see themselves as a integral part of the church now, or as an afterthought?
I am using the book The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family to spend the summer encouraging the parents of our teens to implement some of these ideas at home (and implementing them with my own kids!).
Every night at dinner, the Smithson family discusses four topics related to their day: Wow, Pow, Holy Cow, How.
WOW is the best part of their day.
POW is the worst part of their day.
HOLY COW is something in their day that pointed them to God.
HOW is an opportunity in their day to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.
As family members share their experiences for each topic, the Smithsons discuss everything from softball tournaments and science tests to sales presentations and software design. To prevent things from feeling too fake or forced, family members are allowed to opt out of addressing any topic, but the more evenings the Smithsons have these discussions, the less anyone opts out.
*What are your family discussions at dinner like?
*Wow, Pow, Holy Cow, How might sound a bit corny to you or your kids, especially if they are teenagers. Another family tackles these topics by asking about “highs, lows, and how you saw God at work.” Another family simply asks, “How’s your heart?” More important than these labels you use are the conversations you have. Perhaps you could involve your kids in choosing the topics you’ll discuss and the words you’ll use to describe them.