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Here's What WE're Teaching IN The Loft This Month!

November Series: Refocus: A series on Gratitude

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January is often a time when we think about new year’s resolutions and what we need to adjust to make the new year, our best year ever. But goals are nothing without a strategy and a way to reach them. The same is true for practicing our faith. That’s why we want to help kids work it out. Figure out a plan and put it into practice.  That’s why we’re headed to a workout room to figure out a plan to get in shape and practice our faith!  

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN COMMITMENT AND GOD’S CHARACTER, AS SHOWN THROUGH GOD’S BIG STORY COMMITMENT IS A REFLECTION OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD.   


If you're a parent who is growing in your faith, chances are you want then same thing for your child. But feeling responsible for the spiritual development of your kid may seem overwhelming. But the good news is we’re here to help. We’re kicking the year off teaching kids four faith skills that will help them develop a faith of their own. (These skills work for parents, too!) It takes practice and persistence to develop a skill, so we want to encourage you to practice these faith skills together as a family throughout the week:

HEAR:
Practice hearing and doing what God says.  Make sure your children have an age-appropriate Bible of their own. Memorize this month’s Bible verse as you start to practice what it says: Training the body has some value. But being godly has value in every way. It promises help for the life you are now living and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8,

PRAY:
Practice praying to God. Pray with your child on a daily basis—before school, before meals, or before bed. Help them get in the habit of talking to God out loud about many different things.

TALK:
Practice talking about God. Share stories about your own personal faith journey. It’s okay to talk about the doubts or struggles you’ve had, along with the ways God has shown His faithfulness to you.  

LIVE:
Find ways to serve your church or community together and talk about making wise choices that honor God. Here are a few tips to consider as you talk about faith together:

  • You don’t have to have all the answers.  It’s okay—healthy, even—to say, “I don’t know,” when it comes to questions about faith. Other great responses are, “Let’s ask someone who knows more,” “Let’s look it up together.”
  • Tap into resources.  Pick out a family devotional or one just for your kid. Know God and Where in the World are great devotional journals to help kids develop their faith. (available on the Parent Cue store at www. ParentCueStore.org)
  • It starts with you.  Modeling a daily pursuit of your relationship with God accomplishes much more than our words ever could.

Just remember: God has uniquely wired you to raise your kid. You can do this. Ask for help—from your church, from other parents further along in their season of life, and from God. 


SUNDAY, january 7
10:45-NOON

(Kids are dismissed at 10:00 from worship)

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WEEK 1
Key Question: How can you hear from God? When kids learn they should learn to hear from God, they might have some questions. After all, when God doesn’t really speak audibly, how can I hear from Him? We hope kids wrestle with this idea and learn that through reading God’s Word they can hear from God and discover what God wants for their life. 

We start to look at commitment in Matthew 7:24-27 where we can read a parable Jesus told at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Two builders took two different approaches to building their homes. One was built on a solid foundation, the other on shifting sand. Our solid foundation is built on hearing and doing what Jesus says.  

Bottom Line: Practice hearing and doing what God says. We can’t do what God says until we know what God says, and that begins with listening to God. We pray that kids will learn the faith skill, HEAR, and discover how they can navigate and personalize God’s Word.  

MORNING TIME:

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Read Matthew 7:24-27. Discuss with your preteen the idea of building a solid foundation. Why is rock better than sand? “Building on the rock,” takes two steps. You’ve gotta hear what God says and then you’ve got to act and put God’s words into practice. Pick one thing you know God has said and choose some ways you can put that into practice this week. Ask God to help you show commitment. 

From Parent Cue:

PRACTICING FAITH SKILLS WITH YOUR CHILD
By Holly Crawshaw

If you’re a parent who is growing in your faith, chances are you want the same thing for your child. But feeling responsible for the spiritual development of your kid may seem overwhelming. But the good news is we’re here to help.

We’re kicking the year off teaching kids four faith skills that will help them develop a faith of their own. (These skills work for parents, too!) It takes practice and persistence to develop a skill, so we want to encourage you to practice these faith skills together as a family throughout the week. Here’s how . . .

CONTINUE READING ON THE PARENT CUE BLOG


SUNDAY, january 14
10:45-NOON

(Kids are dismissed at 10:00 from worship)

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WEEK 2
Key Question: How do you pray to God?  Kids are just starting to discover that they can pray more than before meals and at bedtime. We hope the kids in your environments learn that they can pray to God whenever they feel like with whatever words come to  mind. God is always there to listen.

In Luke 11:1-4, we find Jesus’s disciples asking Him how to pray. Jesus responds with a prayer that serves as the perfect model for how we can talk to God. We can pray with gratitude and honesty, pray for ourneeds, and for forgiveness. It’s a comfort to know that we can pray knowing that God knows us and wants to hear from us.

Bottom Line: Practice praying to God.  They can pray anytime, anywhere because God is always listening. We hope kids will understand more about the faith skill, PRAY, and find that talking to God is an important part of growing in their faith. 

MEAL TIME:

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Q & A for kids: Would you rather practice the recorder for an hour every day for the rest of your life, or listen to someone else practice the recorder for an hour every day for the rest of your life?
Q & A for parents: When you were my age, did you play an instrument, sport, or do another activity that required a lot of practice? Was it ever hard to commit to?

From Parent Cue:

MAKE IT PERSONAL
(This is an excerpt from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof)

A crucial link exists between your ability to parent and your personal growth.

When it comes to character and faith, your kids are watching you in a way they might not watch you in other pursuits. Because it’s so personal, you can’t do faith and character for your kids. There’s another factor at work. If it’s not in you, they know it. When it comes to spiritual and character formation, your journey impacts them deeply. If you want it to be in them, it needs to be in you.

As you read this, your anxiety level is probably rising. You feel like you can’t possibly measure up. If you were to level with your kids about your fears, your inconsistencies, or even how shaky your faith is on some days, you’d feel like you were admitting defeat.

But that’s a perfect picture mindset. God is interested in writing a bigger story, and your personal growth is part of the plotline . . 
CONTINUE READING ON THE PARENT CUE BLOG


SUNDAY, january 21
10:45-NOON

(Kids are dismissed at 10:00 from worship)

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WEEK 3

Key Question: Who can you talk with about God? Talking about what God is doing in your life is an important part of growing in faith. But not every child knows the best person to talk to about their faith. We hope kids figure out the trusted people who can be a sounding board to listen to their faith stories.

In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asks His disciples about who people think He is. Then, Jesus turns the question on them. After everything they’d seen Jesus do and heard Jesus say, who did they think He was? This gave Peter the perfect moment for him to declare what he believed about Jesus—that Jesus truly is the Son of God.

Bottom Line: Practice talking about God. We can know God better by talking about Him with others. But this isn’t just about talking about Jesus with people who don’t know Him yet. There’s also another important element of talking about God. As kids process their growing faith, they will have questions and doubts. We want kids to practice the faith skill, TALK, and learn how to talk through their questions about God with others who believe in Jesus. 

DRIVE TIME:

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When you get in the car, pick a challenge to commit to for the ride. Like no screentime or phones or radio. Get creative and know you are making a plan and putting it into practice!

From Parent Cue:

ARE YOU STEALING LIFE FROM YOUR KIDS
By Carey Nieuwhof


I have seen the lives of parents get so interwoven with the ups and downs of their kids that I sometimes wonder whether we approach our kids from a life-giving perspective or whether we end up trying to steal life from them?

I've seen parents give up everything that used to give them life, and invest almost 100 percent of their energy and time in their children.

When we look to our children to be the source that gives us life, I wonder if we end up stealing life from them . . .

CONTINUE READING ON THE PARENT CUE BLOG


SUNDAY, january 28
10:00-NOON

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JANUARY SERVICE PROJECT
As you know, one of the things we strive to do here at bcc|youth is help our students learn that our faith is something that we put into action.  That’s why this month we are going to serve a local ministry here in Bellingham that supports young kids entering the foster care system.  Specifically, we are going to collect items for Skookum House.

SKOOKUM HOUSE
Skookum House welcomes children just entering foster care from across western Washington during their first 72 hours of foster care. This gives their social workers enough time to find the best long-term placement for each child. Our team of over 130 volunteers provide 24/7 care and are happy to bake cookies, play Legos or snuggle with the bunny in the backyard.

Skookum House is technically a group home, but we like to think it's a little more like Grandma's house.

Their goal: to eliminate emergency placements and ensure a smoother transition for kids into foster care.

We chose this ministry because we believe strongly in what they do and because we have a close connection with the program director, Abby Smith.  

HOW WE CAN HELP?
Skookum Kids has asked if we could collect some needed items for them…which of course, with your help, we can!  

You’ll get more specifics in the coming weeks, but we wanted to make you aware of this service project because we will be talking about it as the month moves on.  

HOW WILL YOU KID RESPOND?
We also wanted to let you know about this project because your son or daughter might have questions for you about foster care. These conversations could be a great opportunity for you to reassure your kid about your unconditional love for them!  Please take advantage of any questions they might have!