Parent Connection
partnering with parents at new vintage church

Feb
01

In Chap Clark’s book, Disconnected, he says that parents are responsible for providing the boundaries necessary to help a child grow into the person God has created and redeemed them to be. That’s a pretty heavy task. It requires first that parents know where the child is—an ongoing challenge in itself. And second, it requires that parents know where the dangers lie, where the areas of caution are and what signals indicate that something might be holding the child back.

In this series, we are talking with your child about dating. But more importantly we are talking about balance. In a world where finding a boyfriend or girlfriend sometimes becomes all-consuming, we want to remind students that dating is only one of many areas in their lives. Like everything else, it is good in moderation, when it is not taken to extremes. We also want to help them develop healthy relationships, whether those are dating relationships or friendships with the opposite sex, and help them understand the value in leaving a positive impression in the lives of those we come in contact with.

As a mother or as a father, you are in a better position than anyone to know and understand how dating works in your child’s life. Maybe they haven’t dated anyone, but they are constantly thinking about ways to find that perfect someone. Maybe they haven’t been alone since fourth grade. Maybe they’ve been dating the same person for the past two years. Wherever they fall on the spectrum, you are viewing the situation close-up. Their emotions are in it. You, who have more insight and more life experience, can look down the road for them when they don’t have the perspective to do it on their own. Are there dangers ahead? Is there something that might be holding them back from experiencing the life they were intended for?

I would like to challenge you to take a few minutes this month to reflect on your child’s situation—especially in the area of dating. Think of ways you can be creative and helpful as you set boundaries and help them navigate the wonderful and risky world of relationships.

 

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Jan
28

Parents of students, the following is a tool for you to know what we’re talking about in InsideOut and some questions for you to continue the conversation at home… because what happens at home is just as important, if not more, than what happens at church. You are the spiritual leaders of your children.

Lovesick (Face book Event)

Series Overview

There’s something pretty amazing about being in love, isn’t there? The butterflies in your stomach. The dreamy gazes. No wonder so many of us are so in love with being in love. But if you look around—in the media, at school, in life—we’ve taken what God created and twisted it, morphed it and configured it into something it was never meant to be—an obsession. When romantic relationships become an obsession, balance goes out the window. We miss out on opportunities and experiences we might otherwise have had. And sometimes we even forget who we are. There’s got to be healthier way to do this. There’s got to be another way than being so lovesick.

Session One (1/30)

There is nothing quite like the experience of falling in love. Nothing. In fact, some people are willing to do just about anything for the feeling of being in love, for the knowledge that someone values them, finds them significant and worthwhile. Some people are even willing to give up who they are as an individual, give up their identity, just for the sake of a relationship. This week we are going to talk to students about the both the fun and wonderful parts of dating and also the danger of sacrificing who they are and who they are designed to be for the sake of romance.

Session One Parent Cue: Parents, share a time when you were more in love with being in love than you were with the person you were with.

Session Two (2/6)

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!” We’ve all heard the phrase before, some of us have probably even used it a time or two, but when it comes to dating, it can be pretty hard to actually put into practice. We live in a culture where marketing, events and entertainment are driven by romantic relationships, where people are profiled based on relationship status, and where love and romance are a part of our daily conversations. For many students it just seems normal, almost expected to devote all of their time, energy and affection to acquiring or maintaining a dating relationship. This week we’re going to talk to students about finding balance as they learn to fit dating into the many other, equally important, areas of life.

Session Two Parent Cue: Parents, if you could go back and re-do or undo relationships you had in high school, how would your high school experience have looked differently? What are some things you would have gotten involved in, what would you have pursued or tried?

Session Three (2/13) // Valentine’s Day Weekend

High school reunions can be either something we eagerly look forward to, or anxiously dread. The reasons for our excitement or our hesitation are usually the same—the people. We’re concerned about who we will encounter from our past and the lasting impression they had on us—for better or for worse—and the lasting impression we had on them. And no relationship has the ability to leave an impression, for better or worse, than a dating relationship. Dating relationships just have a lot of potential to do great good, or harm in the mark they leave. So this week we are going to help students explore dating from the perspective of the one they date. We want to challenge students this week to think about their own responsibility, regardless of where they may have been in the past, to always consider what they can do in the future to make someone’s story better, and to treat them in a way that will be beneficial and positive in the long run.

Session Three Parent Cue: Parents, share a relationship from your past that you did well, and one that you didn’t. What did you learn from both?


 

Jan
07

*this is a guest post for parents of our students*

By Sarah Anderson

Spiritual leader—two words people use a lot at church, and ones that they often direct right at you as a parent. Those words can be pretty intimidating. Leading our kids spiritually is one of those things we know we should do, maybe even want to do, but we’re just not sure how.

But when it comes to the influence you have on your kids spiritually, it is something we rarely learn how to do until we simply make the decision to do it. We can read books. We can listen to guidance. We can observe the pros. But we can’t really make any strides until we simply take the plunge and make the first move.

For a lot of us, there is nothing more scary than endeavoring to navigate our own spirituality, let alone talk with our kids about their spirituality. But we can’t be non-participants in this. We can’t watch from the sidelines and allow the youth pastor, the small group leader or the church as a whole take over a role designed and purposed for you as parents—as tempting, appealing and easy as that might be.

Your kids need you—more than they need a coolly dressed youth pastor. Your kids need you—more than they need a culturally relevant small group leader. Your kids need you—more than they need a spiritually impressive church. All of those can play an important role, but they don’t lessen your role. Your kids need you, because your kids are watching you, observing you, taking note of you and the value you place on what is going on with them spiritually. So fading into the background isn’t really an option.

So how do you even begin to engage your kids when it comes to their spiritual well being? For one, you start by asking questions. I remember hearing years ago that people can easily determine what I value and what matters to me by the questions I ask them. When I first got married, my dad would ask me if my new husband and I were “doing okay financially.” He asked this one question often enough that I knew, to him, it mattered that we were managing our money wisely. In the same way, the questions we ask our kids reveal what means the most to us. Are we only concerned with their grades, their whereabouts and their messy rooms? Or do we take the time to ask about their time at church? What did they most enjoy about their time there? Was there something that stuck out that they heard or talked about? Was there anything that challenged them or confused them? Begin a conversation, a dialogue, an ongoing connection that happens because you made the effort to care about what is happening at church.

Make yourself available. Don’t allow yourself to become invisible in your own teenager’s life. Kids notice your willingness to simply be there —whether they acknowledge it now or years later. Your presence alone is communicating a valuable message: “I care about you. You matter to me. So, I am going to make sure you have my attention. You have my time. You have me.” This could mean you make the effort to drop off or pick up your student from the student program or it could mean you are simply tuned into what is happening in the student ministry. Doing this communicates to both the youth pastor and to your student that what they are doing has validity, is important and matters enough to you for you to know what is going on.

Sometimes, leading your child spiritually takes time. Sometimes it is more comfortable to stay uninvolved in something that doesn’t come so easily and feels so odd. But even though it’s easier, if you don’t make the effort, you’ll miss out on some incredible experiences. With most things, when you give it time, things start to improve. The outlook isn’t so bad. It doesn’t feel so foreign. In fact, it may actually start to feel right.

No, it doesn’t happen overnight. And no, it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to go well. There will be some awkward silences. There will be times when you’ll wish you would have said something differently. But continued effort, renewed care and concern can go a long way. And the glimpses of payoff—though maybe brief—are enough to look past the awkward foibles that come with the learning process to see the potential.

When it comes to the spiritual lives of your kids, there is potential. So much potential. Nurture it in them, not by becoming a super parent, but by becoming their parent—a parent who cares too much to fade into the background and let someone else steer the reigns of their spiritual lives.

© 2010 Orange. All rights reserved.

Jan
05

At the bottom of each week’s description is a “parent cue.” A Parent Cue is a way to interact with your students at home because what happens at home is more important than what happens at church. Ask these questions around the dinner table, in the car or whenever it’s natural.

THE INVISIBLES:

Series Overview

We are surrounded by the invisibles. These are people who simply want to know someone cares, someone notices—people who want to know God cares. Some of us would even say we feel that way—invisible to an entire world, daily passing us by. Whether that feeling is a familiar one or not, the reality is that each one of us has felt invisible at one point or another. But we didn’t stay that way. God saw us. He sees the invisibles. And because God took notice of us, we are able to open our eyes to see those around us.

 

Session One: Can You See Me? (1/9)

Sometimes you can stand in a room or walk down a hallway or sit in a chair and no one notices you. It’s not that you have some type of special ability that makes you invisible—people just don’t see you. They know nothing about you—nor do they seem to want to know anything about you. It’s like you’re not even there, even when you are physically in the room. You’re invisible. The good news is Jesus sees invisible people—even those who never realized they were invisible.

Session One Parent Cue: Describe a time when you felt invisible.

 

Session Two: In Focus (1/16)

Some people go unnoticed. There are people in the background of our lives we never see. Maybe it’s the guy at the gas station or the girl at the coffee shop. Maybe it’s the girl sitting in the lunchroom, or the guy hanging out in the back of the youth room. There are people all around us who we treat as invisible. But because of how God has seen us, because of what we’ve experienced personally, our vision is changed. How can we begin to see the people in our lives every day that may normally go overlooked? How can we see the people halfway around the world that go unnoticed? What can we do to bring those around us in focus?

Session Two Parent Cue: Who are some people that are consistently in the background scenery of your everyday life?

 

Session Three: Seeing Beyond the Seen (1/23)

Sometimes what we really want isn’t what we are asking for. Sometimes what we really need is invisible to us. Thankfully Jesus sees us, really sees us. He sees the obvious physical needs and the more subtle spiritual ones too. And not only does He see them, He cares enough to do something about them both. When it comes to reaching out to the invisibles, when we provide friendship, water, help—sometimes it just isn’t enough. There’s a deeper, spiritual need that can only be met through Jesus Christ. And because of that, we do both—we help with the physical need but point them to Jesus Christ for the spiritual one.

Session Three Parent Cue: Identify someone who is invisible in each of your worlds. What do does he or she need? How can you help with that need? How can you also point them to Jesus Christ?

 

Dec
23

Teens are smart. They get stuff. They understand complicated things if they’ll stop their minds from “multi-tasking” long enough to think about it. Jacob Fullman is one of those rare students who “gets it” and he says it all in his baptism testimony video. Enjoy!


Read more about Student Baptisms here.

Dec
13

Every week at New Vintage Church, students are stepping up to the plate. They serve in WaumbaLand, UpStreet, InsideOut and on the Production Team. These three are just a sampling of about 20 students serving. If you are a student and you would like to serve, email us at students@newvintage.org.

Dec
09

I get emails, facebooks, communication cards and calls about students wanting to be baptized and the first thing I try to discern is…who is making the ask? Does the sentence start:
“I want my son to be baptized…” or
does it start “My son wants to be baptized…”

Those are two very different conversations. When a student is ready to be baptized, by his or her own free will, we get pretty excited around here because of what it represents. Baptism is not something that means anything if it’s forced or coerced. It’s got to come from the heart and from the individual. It’s not fire insurance and it doesn’t save you. It’s a symbol. It’s a right of passage. It is essentially saying…”I own my own faith. It is mine. I am choosing this.” (and much more)

Ross McKnight was baptized at our last Night of Worship and we want to encourage the conversation to start at home.

The first step is making sure that your student has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Once that’s taken place, when they are ready to show the whole world that they’ve made that commitment… baptism is a public proclamation of an inner transformation.

Parents, you have more influence over your kids than anyone else EVER will. Use it wisely.

Questions?

Dec
08

Below is a letter going out in the mail this week to parents of InsideOut students.

InsideOut Letter to Parents Dec 2010

Have a Great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nov
23

NO INSIDEOUT ON 11/28!

This is a new series for our students and here’s what we’re talking about:

A Christmas Story:

Christmas is such a crazy time. Students are busy dreaming about what they want to get, and parents are shopping frantically for what they want to give. We all become consumed with malls and wrapping paper. It’s a Wonderful Life and How the Grinch Stole Christmas play on TV and Santa Clause poses for pictures with every excited (and screaming) child. At church we tell the story about shepherds, angels and a manger, but so often the significance of the story is lost because it seems like just one more holiday tradition. Or we’ve heard it so much that we don’t hear it anymore. Our upcoming series is going to tell the Christmas Story—but in a slightly different way.

Session One (9/5)
Everyone has a vision for their lives. We dream of the type of home we’ll live in, the car we’ll drive, the job we want, the love we desire or the family we’ll have. And even if we wouldn’t dare share those things with someone else, deep within us we hope that life will turn out one way . . . even if we’re at the same time skeptical it won’t. But sometimes the life we envision is different than the one we actually have . . . okay, most of the time. So how do we react when life doesn’t turn out the way we hoped? And more importantly, what do we do with Jesus, because as wonderful as He is, He steps into our lives and makes things messy. He leads us down paths we never thought we would go. He asks us to do things we don’t always want to do. And even with all that, somehow life still turns out even better than we dreamed.

Session Two (9/12)
It’s so easy for something to capture our sense of wonder, especially during the Christmas season. For some of us, there is that one thing we would love to unwrap. Whether it’s the latest cell phone, wide screen TV or money for a shopping spree, there is one thing that makes our heart skip a beat with anticipation wondering if this Christmas it will happen. Simeon lived his whole life with that type of anticipation. His life was consumed by one thing, but it was really the only thing that mattered.

Session Three (9/19)
It’s the easiest thing in the world to do, and that’s probably why so many of us are guilty of doing it. God gives us something–a talent, a provision, a relationship–we take it, make big plans for it, then somehow forget all about Him. In the act of serving God, sometimes we completely miss Him. Sometimes our big God becomes very small in our lives. Perhaps that’s why God chose Mary, someone who was very aware of what little she had to offer, to provide the gift that the world so desperately needed. Mary is remembered not only for what she did, but for why she did it–simply to honor God’s request.

Parent Cue:

Increase the quantity of quality time you spend together.

Have you ever been a part of something bigger than yourself? Maybe you were able to send food, shoes, or presents to a family hundred’s of miles away. Maybe you were able to hold the hand of a grieving stranger. Our world is full of need and each one of us has been equipped with resources to meet some of those needs. And when we do that, we also gain in the process.

Whenever we are able to work together as a team, neighborhood or family, it is amazing how much we are drawn together. In the act of serving together all the tension and stress of our day-to-day lives seem to melt away, and we walk away with a powerful shared experience. This month, think about a project that you and your family can do together so that you can be a part of something bigger than yourselves.

You may want to consider one of the following options:

Compassion International: Compassion International is a Christian child advocacy ministry dedicated to release children from poverty. Through sponsorship programs, Compassion addresses the economic, health, environmental, social, educational and spiritual needs of these children. Currently, Compassion helps more than 800,000 children in 24 countries. Log onto their web site to find out one of the many ways your family can partner with Compassion to make a lasting difference in the life of a child.

[www.compassion.com]

TOMS Shoes: TOMS was born in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie out of a commitment to produce stylish, comfortable, and practical footwear while improving the lives of children around the world.  Every pair sold is personally matched with a donated pair to a child in need. This Christmas have fun giving TOMS shoes and celebrating the children who will also be comforted by your donation.

[www.tomsshoes.com]

410 Bridge: 410 Bridge began in 2005 by Lanny Donoho. The overall goal is life transformation, for Americans and Kenyans alike through building lasting relationships within cross-cultural communities. This month your students are partnering with 410 Bridge to help solve the water crisis in 410 bridge communities in Kenya by purchasing bottled water. To find out more about how your family can partner with 410 Bridge communities, go to their web site and click on the link to “communities,” then look for projects that interest you. Be creative in thinking of activities that would raise money and enable you to give to these communities.

[www.410bridge.org]

In Our Community: Pick up an Angel Tree child form at our info table on Sunday. Give a local needy kid the gift of a merry Christmas.

 

Nov
11

Think about some of the basic things you learned as a child. You learned your colors, numbers, alphabet, shapes. You learned what the word “No” meant or “I love you.” You probably learned that it’s not good to hit others or steal things, along with much more! What age do you think you were when you learned these things? If I had to guess you probably learned a lot of these lessons and basic skills between the ages of 2 and 5.

This is why we do not do childcare at New Vintage. There is so much developement going on in a child’s brain during their preschool years. We want to capitalize on the opportunity we have to teach them that God Loves Them, God Made Them, and Jesus Wants to be their Friend Forever!

Everything we do in Waumba Land centers around these three basic truths. We want your preschool child to walk away from our environment on Sunday morning knowing a simple bottom line for the day, and a memory verse. We are so passionate about helping your child discover Jesus, who He is, and grow in a relationship with Him that we will not pass up a single opportunity to teach our preschoolers. Because…IT MATTERS.