Friends, what a blessing it has been to share this past year with you. Your encouragement, excitement and support has been a blessing to me as I’ve had the opportunity to share my heart with all of you regarding children, families and the body of Christ.
This year over 500,000 new people visited this blog and shared its posts. Many of you wrote to me and shared testimonies and prayer concerns and amazing resources. Several of you called me, emailed me, or chatted with me about various experiences in your homes and churches. I have been immeasurably blessed to join you in your ministry journey.
Here are the top 5 blog posts of 2016.
It is NOT Okay – This blog was first shared in March 2016 during the intense political presidential campaign and was read on Day 1 by more than 300,000 people. While the campaign is over, many of the concerns I shared in this post still exist and I continue to pray that we can find ways to tell our children in no uncertain terms that many of the words and behaviors being exhibited by leaders in our country are not okay.
“I can no longer hide behind the flag of “I don’t want to be political” rather I have to state the obvious and say, “This is not about politics. This is about human decency and I, for the sake of my children and all future generations who are seeing these things, must say, ‘I am not okay with this because this is NOT okay.'”
Why My Kids Weren’t At Kids Church – Inspired by a mom who shared with me why her kids weren’t in Kids Church one Sunday, this post looks at the larger experience of the Sunday morning church service. This post continues to be read and shared daily and has led to some wonderful discussion with many of you as we’ve explored this topic more together!
“The church experience is much bigger than a sermon.Big or little, child or adult, the sermon is only part of the whole experience. Not understanding the sermon in no way negates the rest of the experience.”
My Kid Doesn’t “Get” Anything Out of Church – For the second year in the row, this post has struck a chord with people across the world. It has been read and shared in over 120 countries.
“One common concern I often hear from parents and other adult church members about including children in the corporate worship setting is that kids won’t “get” anything out of the worship or the sermon. From an adult perspective, there are certain things we want to walk away from church with such as a sense of having been in God’s presence or having learned something that will help us grow in our faith. We presumably come to church for a reason and it is easy for us to assume those same reasons apply to our kids. But they probably don’t.”
What’s with the Flipping Bottle? – Remember that short-lived craze where kids across America were flipping bottles to see if they would land upright? Here were my thoughts on the phenomenon and what we as adults could learn from the kids and the flipping bottle. Over 7,000 of you read and shared this post, helping it rise to the third most popular for the year.
“Have you seen your kids or others flipping bottles? Does it drive you nuts? If so, you’re not alone…but, are we sending the best message to our kids?”
Do Not Hinder: Welcoming Kids to Church – Making its appearance for the second year, this post continues to be read and shared in countries across to the world. The heart of this article is to explore what we mean when we say “welcome” to children in the corporate worship and fellowship of the larger faith community and has sparked numerous conversations, discussions and future posts.
“It’s not about making sure we use strategies to keep kids occupied and from being a distraction. That’s important, but its not about that.”
God has just blessed me so much with this opportunity to share life and ministry with all of you. Thank you for welcoming me into your conversations, your churches and your homes. I’m so looking forward to what 2017 holds for ReFocus Ministry and the work of children and family ministry across the world!
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.
About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and Seedbed