What will They Do on Their “Worst Day Ever”?

“This is the Worst. Day. EVER!”

If you have children, I bet you’ve heard them say this once or twice when things don’t quite go their way. Like maybe when they have to clean their room or eat all their dinner. We smile, because we’ve all been there, but at the same time, we know that these things in no way represent the “worst day ever.”  Deep in our hearts, we know that one day, our children, who we love, will face their worst day ever and it will involve much more than daily chores and eating vegetables.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Eddie Moody share at a local D6 Connect family ministry event. His talk focused on the story of Daniel and his friends and how to raise godly young men and women in a time where their faith is becoming increasingly unpopular. He talked mostly about how the parents of these young men had prepared them for their “worst day ever” while they were children.

One verse he read was Daniel 6:10 (NKJV) where it says, “… he [Daniel] knelt down on his knees three times that day [when the king had outlawed prayer], and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

What “early days?”  Well, if we look at other versions of this verse, we see it says “as he always had” and “because he always praised God in this way.”  Daniel and his friends had already lived through their “worst day ever.”  Their homes had been destroyed and conquered by Babylon. If their family survived, they were torn away from them and brought to the king’s palace.

Almost everything they loved and held dear was removed from them…almost everything. But not everything. 

Because Daniel’s parents and his friend’s parents had given them something precious, something engrained into the fabric of who they were, that no king could ever take away and no conquering army could ever destroy.

They had given them faith in the Most High God.

A God they knew could cause them to be strong and healthy, even if they didn’t eat the king’s choicest foods.

A God they knew could rescue them from a fiery furnace, and even if He didn’t, was worthy of their trust.

A God that could tell them what kings dreamed and what those dreams meant, even if it turned out the king was a little crazy.

A God that could give them the place of highest influence, and then protect them when the law of the land prohibited them from practicing their faith.

A God that on the worst of days proved the most faithful and true. 

What we do in crisis, on our “worst day ever” is the legacy we pass on to our children.

And when crisis comes, our children will tend to do what they’ve always done. In the shock of crisis, our tendency is to revert to the things that are most familiar, the things we’ve done before, the things we did in the “early days.”

There is considerable turmoil in our world today. Our children are not immune to its touch. And certainly as they grow, they will face hurt and heartache. We cannot protect them from the ravages of this life.

But we can give them the tools with which to face them by faith and not by sight.holding-hands-752878_1920

We can teach them in their early days to run to God and not away from Him in times of need.

We can weep with them and cry with them and lead them to the place of hope and grace.

We can model for them how to walk with love and compassion towards those who are against us and to live godly and upright lives in the midst of a generation that is becoming increasingly resistant to our faith.

We can give them a faith to fall back on whenever they face their “worst day ever.”

Daniel and his friends weren’t super human. They didn’t possess some kind of supernatural strength or unheard of powers. They were just men. Young men at that. But what they did have was a faith in a God that didn’t waver when faced with challenge. Their parents, long before they were removed from them and displaced to another land, gave them the greatest treasure they possibly could – a faith to fall back on.

They took the words of Deuteronomy 6:7 seriously and impressed God’s commands upon their children and their legacy continues to this day. 

When faced with our worst days, with crisis, with news that breaks our hearts, with unjust laws or  unfair treatment…how do we react?  What legacy are we leaving?  What faith are we giving our children?

I pray that we resolve to run towards and not away from God and His love and in our brokenness and fear give our children a faith on which to fall and stand; a faith characterized by love, and trust, and hope, and grace so that when their worst days come, they too can do what they did in the early days, as they have always done.


For more information about

Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.

About the author

Family(40)Christina Embree is 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. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family,  Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.

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Practical and Fun Ways to Keep Church and Family Connected All Summer Long

As the summer months roll in, everything changes. Normal routines are jostled free from their rut and suddenly the calendar is filled with words like “vacation” and “beach” and “camping” and “reunion”. Weekends taste like burgers and watermelon and smell like grills and campfires. The days last longer and the nights invite star-gazing and drive-ins.

It’s a different rhythm. 

And in that rhythm some things that characterize the regular schedule of a family during the rest of the year, like bedtimes and limits on sweet treats, fall to the wayside. For those who attend church, it can also lead to what I call “Summer’s Dilemma” where sometimes there is a tension between choosing time with family or choosing to go to church (read more about that here).

Some churches have come to recognize that tension exists and have begun to seek ways to engage the families and keep them connected to the faith community even when they are not in the church building.

These activities are not intended to replace church or the gathering of a community of believers; rather these are ways to help families keep their identity in Christ and as a member of that community wherever their summer adventures take them.

If you are looking for a way to keep your kids and families plugged into community throughout the summer or if you are a parent looking for a way to disciple your kids all summer long, these ideas may be exactly what you are looking for!

Many thanks to the people who shared what their churches were doing for families this summer.

FAMILY KINDNESS BAGS – “We are taking the ‘we’ seriously this summer by preparing a Family Kindness bag with items for families to offer random acts of kindness and generosity throughout the summer, then post/report back when and where and what’s happening. I’ll take my connection however I can get it!” – DeDe Rally, GA

Want some ideas on some ways to show kindness?  Check out this post with a printable list of 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids. 

FAMILY ON MISSION –  “At my church we have adopted the phrase “Family on Mission”. Challenging families to see what it means to live out “church” every day (even at travel baseball tournaments! Ha) and not just on Sunday mornings.” – Hannah James, KY

Read more about the idea of Family on Mission by checking out the book written by Mike and Sally Breen available on Amazon here

prayawayPRAY AWAY BAGS – These simple bags invite families to gather in pray together wherever they go by including items that help them engage a variety of ways to pray and things to prayer for like balloons, smiley and sad faces, candles, and even play dough.

For an example of a great and easy to assemble Pray Away bag, check out this blog post that includes a list of items along with prayer suggestions. 

TAKE OUT CHURCH – This fun idea shared here by Gail Jenkins, Family Formation Coordinator in Houston, TX,  actually uses a pizza box to encapsulate some familiar faith practices like prayer, worship, and faith conversations. Inside the box, her church had the following message:

“In this box are ways you can build God’s Kingdom while on vacation. Just as we do on Sunday mornings at St. Cuthbert, you will have opportunities for laughter and fellowship, to praise God, pray, learn God’s word, give thanks, and serve. Through it all, we want you to remember to take Jesus with you. He is the most important thing in this box. Color Flat Jesus and then take him with you everywhere you go. Snap a picture and email it to church so we can see where Jesus vacations this summer!…Have fun, be safe, and take church with you this summer!”

SUMMER FAMILY ACTIVITY BOOKS – The intention of this fun activity book for parents from The Village Church is to help families “to be intentional with your time together as a family.”  It includes helping families set a rhythm, to capture God moments when they are out and about, activities to do as a family and other milestones. You can download a digital copy here and modify it to fit your context or family.

WHERE’S MR. ADAM? – My church this summer is having fun with our Kids Church worship leader (and 4th/5th grade small group leader). We made “Mr. Adam Heads” by taking pictures of his head, pasting them on styrofoam, and putting them on a stick. Each family got a Mr. Adam to take with them this summer mrAdamand told to post pictures on Facebook of their family’s summer adventures, hashtagged #WheresMrAdam.  In addition to creating a fun online community, all summer long, “Mr. Adam” will be offering the families brief video devotionals, fun ways to engage Scripture, and activities to do together. In the first week, we actually ran out of Mr. Adam Heads and had to make more. Why? Because many adults wanted their own even if they didn’t have kids in the children’s ministry.

Interested in seeing what it’s been like so far? Check out this video trailer from our first week of following Mr. Adam and connecting with families. 

As stated earlier, I recognize that these things cannot replace the face-to-face time with the congregation and the time spent in corporate worship; loving, leading, and learning with one another. But these strategies can give us ways to stay plugged in and connected to one another and our continuing faith conversation while enjoying family vacations, trips to the zoo, times at the pool and picnics with friends and family.

Do you have some fun ideas not mentioned here? Please share in the comments and Happy Summer to everyone!


For more information about

Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.

About the author

Family(40)Christina Embree is 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. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family,  Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.

 

 

Mom, I’m scared

The thing about headlines is that they are big, they are bold, and they are bait. They draw us in with words that shock, incite, and entice. They tell a story of a million words, reduced to four or five. They call to our emotions and tells us to read on…but many times we only skim; after all, the headline tells us most of what we need to know.

I don’t know if it is because I’m getting older or because my kids are getting older, but I am becoming increasingly more sensitive to this big, bold, baiting words around us.

Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time on Twitter the last two weeks watching people attempt to have discussions on amazingly complex topics in 144 words or less.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen one too many headline that predicts the end of life as we know it from reasons spanning from the environment to the next U.S. president.

Maybe it’s because I am weary of the sensationalism and aggrandizement that seem to lace each article I see posted, each sound byte I hear aired, and each newspaper I pass by.

But mostly I think it’s because one of my children looked at me and with all sincerity and with deep concern said, “Mom, I’m scared.”  

Of what, dear child?  Of bugs and bats and creepy crawly things?  Of the sounds you hear in the dark or of having a bad dream?  Of missing the bus or failing a spelling test?

Because these are the things I would expect a 4th grade girl to be afraid of.

“I’m afraid because I heard on the news that…”

I won’t fill in the blank. We know what is in the news. We’ve seen the headlines.

And so have our kids.

Half-truths, fear tactics, emotionally stirring words intended to create the very emotions my daughter was feeling.  Only she’s not an adult. She doesn’t have the mental acuity or capacity to view these things through a lens of objectivity. She can’t say, “Hmm, that’s interesting. Before I charge ahead and start a campaign to right this wrong or to understand this topic, I’m going to do some research and make sure I’m well informed.”

She’s a kid. Emotions are her reality. Fear is real.

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Disciple Kids in Faith, not Fear

I can’t change the media. I can’t hide her from the real world. I can’t shield her from every radio broadcast, political conversation, doomsday prediction or end-of-the-world scenario. What I can do, and what I think as parents and ministers and adult Christians who interact with the youngest generations, is to give her some frames, some truths, through with she is able to filter whatever she hears and grab onto the hope that is offered to us through Christ and His Word.

  1. God is still God – Acknowledge the world honestly, MAGNIFY the Lord intentionally. Yes, there are bad things that happen in the world. Hiding the truth from your kids will only make them more inquisitive. Talk to them when they ask about things that are scary BUT don’t focus on the scary thing; intentionally shift your focus to how GREAT God is!
  1. Seeing (or hearing) Is NOT Believing – Walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT – Kids watch what you model. If you react out of fear, that will be the model that they learn to make decisions from. If you model decision-making from a place of faith and seeking God, that’s what they will learn to do as well.
  1. We have a part to play – Be the HANDS and FEET of Christ – We are confronted with the reality of a fallen world on a daily basis. People who are lost, in need, alone. When we become Christ to those people by serving them and sharing hope and life with them, we show our kids that faith conquers fear every time and we model participation on the life of Christ as the way to approach a Christian life.
  1. We are never without hope so PRAY without ceasing – The reality is we cannot protect our kids forever from the results of living in a sinful world. We can parent from faith, we can give them tools for the task, and we can hold their hand for a while, but eventually we have to let go. But, we never have to stop praying, in the morning, at lunch, before bed, while we walk along the road, while we sit in our house. We can always, always pray. And we can tell our kids that they can too!

I realize that I have a grave responsibility here, that my reactions and consequently, my actions are being watched and recorded. My prayer is that I am offering her more than trite answers that “Everything will be okay” but real world acknowledgment that life is hard, and sometimes scary, but God is faithful and we can trust Him.

And the best way I can do that is to live that way myself; to measure my words and my responses in ways that communicate hope instead of hopelessness, action instead of reaction, grace instead of judgment and careful response instead of emotional outburst. 

Let’s be aware that our kids see, hear, and digest a lot more than we might realize. We don’t need to fear that, but we should be cognizant of that so that when those words written above get spoken, we are able to confidently lead them to a place where hope is the anchor and love the foundation because that this the place we ourselves are living.


For more information about

Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.

About the author

Family(40)Christina Embree is 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. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family,  Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.

Three Ways We Can Let Them Wonder

His eyes looked up at me with the most lively gaze I’ve ever seen. Dancing in those big brown pools was a story of heroes and adventure and mystery and excitement. His hands waved around emphatically as he jumped from foot to foot, bursting with energy, alive in his imagination.

child-997231_1920Welcome to my son’s World of Wonder.

Oh, there are so many times I wish I could join him there. I love the way he sees the world around him, full of potential, full of life. Behind every tree is a villain, between each home a person needing rescued, and around each corner another adventure in which he gets to plays a starring role.

The story is so big and so beautiful, grand its design and boundless in its depth. 

I often look at children in church and wonder, “Are we giving them a big enough God?”  If their world of imagination is so big, are the stories we tell them, big enough to fill the space?

A lot of the Bible stories I hear in church are just that…stories. They have a limited scope, beginning and end. They have limited heroes and villians like David and Goliath and Daniel and the lions and Jonah and the Whale.  They have limited life lessons like “Be brave because God is with you” and “Be obedient when God tells you what to do.”

Recently, I heard Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales and more recently Buck Denver’s What’s in the Bible series, put it this way: “We tend to give kids superficial lessons in the Christian faith but we’ve found that superficial teaching leads to superficial Christians. The formula for teaching Scripture to kids has become a biblical value + a verse to back it up + a song to make it memorable”.

We have been given the greatest story of all time through the person of Jesus Christ and the revealed Word in Scripture. It is truly THE story of all stories. So much so that nearly every story we can think of follows the pattern of this one, even those stories in my son’s imagination. It goes something like this:

All is good. Evil comes on the scene. All is not good. A hero is needed. A hero comes and vanquishes evil. All is good again.

Kinda like…

When God created the world, He declared all was good. Evil entered the world through sin and what was once good began to experience the consequences of that sin. A hero was needed to redeem mankind. Jesus came to be that hero, to once again make all things new. He vanquished sin and death and made His goodness available to all once again. 

Catherine Stonehouse, author and researcher on the spiritual formation of children, shares, “Can children grasp the full meaning of Christ’s coming, death, and resurrection? Can we as adults? No, but awareness of the mystery draws us to explore, wonder, and discover more and more, year after year.

So often we stop short of giving children the deeper context to the stories because we are afraid the theology will be too deep for them to comprehend. When faced with this question, Phil Vischer responded by saying, “Kids can learn more than we think. Adults can learn less than we would hope. We consistently underestimate what kids are capable of learning and overestimate what adults will learn. Kids still ask questions; grown ups stop asking questions.

And therein lies the wonder… the beautiful mystery that is our faith.

Precisely because we do not have all the answers and we cannot explain all the mysteries can we rest in the assurance of something greater than us, our God.

So, how can we let them wonder?
  1. Let them ask questions and don’t have all the answers – I know that is so hard to do, but sometimes the best way for kids to learn about God is to wonder aloud to Him (we call it prayer) and let Him answer them in His way and time.
  2. Ask “Wonder Questions” – There’s a great curriculum called Godly Play written by Jerome Barryman that incorporates asking “wonder questions” into the lesson. In other words, while the lesson is being shared, the teacher will say things like, “I wonder why the shepherd went to find the lost sheep? I wonder why the other sheep stayed in the pen? I wonder who is our Shepherd?”  I like to do this with my own kids, even my older ones, with normal everyday life situations. Things like, “I wonder why He made the grass green? I wonder why God made some things edible and some things not? I wonder if the birds are singing to Someone?  I wonder if God is speaking to his/her heart?”
  3. Listen to them tell the stories – Oh, I love, love, love this one!  If you know your child, especially your young child, has heard a Bible story, ask them to retell it to you. There are so many times I’ve done this and instead of telling me word-for-word the “right” version of the story, they tell it with a little twist, a subtle plot change or a humorous undertone. What’s so cool about this is you get to hear who their God is according to how they heard and understood the story. And you get to underscore God’s love and goodness if they’ve missed it or even if they hit the nail on the head. For more on this, check out the book Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey by Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May (Phil Vischer’s mom). 

When I ask Caleb to imagine God, his faith in who and what God is supersedes anything I could teach him in my feeble understanding and far exceeds the stories I tell him from the Bible. His God is big, bigger than anything, bigger than my mind can fathom and bigger than this blog could possibly convey or contain. And I love that my faith grows by wondering with him about our big, big God!


For more information about

Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.

About the author

Family(40)Christina Embree is 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. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family,  Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.

Here’s What’s Wrong…

There’s a lot of stuff going on in this world and in the church that can be discouraging. And because many of us love God and love our country and love the church, we tend to see these things and it burdens us. We write blog posts, have serious discussions, share our heart with those who will listen and carry the burden with us as we go.

I am one of those people.

My burdens for the world, the country, the church sometimes feel overwhelming. But God is so good and He always sends the right person with the right words to remind me… He’s got this. He truly does. And more than that, there are a LOT of really good things going on in the world and in the church. God is still at work. His body is still at work. There are many things we have to be grateful for and to encourage one another with as we follow Christ. And, like with many other things, for the sake of our children, it is good and necessary that we share those things as well! As it says in this blog post…

What if we started more conversations with “Here’s what’s right…”

What if we celebrated more? What if we affirmed each other more?

What if we took the time to point out the amazing things that are happening all around us every. single. day?

There’s HOPE to be had, there’s good to be noticed, and God is still at work in this world today.

I want to give my kids something to fight FOR, not just things to fight against.

I hope this is a good reminder for you today as well! Read on for more…

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“Here’s what’s wrong.”

We start too many things with that sentiment.

Because let’s be honest – there’s a lot of things that are wrong.  There are a lot of things in this world that are wrong.  There are a lot of things that can get our blood boiling, our hearts pounding, our anger kindled and our hearts heavy.

And it’s not hard to find those things.  Every day I read blogs that enumerate and extricate the wrong in the world, everything from drinking from water bottles to terrible wars and gross abuse.   There is a lot to get frustrated about. And the church, well, we have a lot to say about a lot of things.  Maybe its because we are graced by God to have seen true good in Him, that the wrong in this world so alarmingly stands out to us.

I don’t know.  I’m not even here to…

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A prayer for those with hurting hearts this Mother’s Day

As we approach Mother’s Day, I am filled with mixed emotions, this year more than others, because some dear people I love greatly suffered great loss this past year that I know will bring both tears and bittersweet joy this Mother’s Day. When I read this post by my friend Stefanie Morgan, I knew it conveyed my heart to these hurting moms and families better than I ever could. With her permission, I am sharing it here with all of you.

If you are a hurting mom, may you find comfort in the words of truth spoken here. If you, like me, minister to those who hurt, I hope that just as I did you find the words here to say what your heart is feeling. For all of us, may we remember to give our mothers, no matter where they are, physically or emotionally, our love and appreciation this weekend.

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I see you sister.

I hear the pain in your voice, I see the tears welling up in your eyes.

As we are approaching a holiday that celebrates mothers, your hearts are in mourning. There is darkness, rather than joy, in a day honoring mothers, and you are feeling the angst more as Sunday approaches.

Perhaps it is because you have lost your own mother, and the grief still sucker punches you in the middle of the night, no matter how long it has been since she has been gone. Or perhaps her health is failing, or Alzheimer’s is ravaging her mind, and you are already in the throes of sadness as you prepare for her future. I’m sorry, sweet sister, for that which you’ve lost.

Perhaps your mother never mothered you, and you grieve your lost childhood.  You weren’t able to be a child, to be free, filled with…

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If Parents Have the Greatest Influence on Kids, Who is Influencing Them?

Last week I shared a blog entitled “Parents, It’s not ‘your’ job to disciple children.”  I picked the title on purpose, hoping it would lead people to question why I would say something like that, and proceed to read the article. Many did in fact do that and I received a lot of feedback, ranging from enthusiastic agreement to sharp disagreement.  The conversations surrounding the post led to some robust discussions about the role of the church in discipleship and how that should look in healthy faith communities.

One thing we could all agree on was the fact that parents are the single greatest influence on their children and that the home is the primary place of faith formation. Study after study reveals to us this truth. Parents and caregivers help shape the worldview of their children more than anything or anyone else including church, school, peers and sports. In fact, the second greatest influence are grandparents so that places all of those other influences in a distant third (Want to read more about this, click here).

So, how in the world can I write a post saying that it’s not the parent’s job to disciple children?

Well, first of all, that was not what the post said; rather my heart was to share that discipleship  wasn’t exclusively the job of parents and caregivers but something God has called the whole body of Christ to.  However, all this talk about influence got me thinking: If parents/caregivers have the greatest influence on their children, who has the greatest influence on them?

Who is influencing the influencers?

It’s an important question to ask, because whoever is influencing the parents is indirectly influencing the children. Wherever the parents are going to get advice, to find support, to resource information and to understand society is the place that wields tremendous influence over children.

Which is why I wrote that post. It’s also why I struggle with the message we often share that says church gets 40 hours a year, schools get 1,200 and parents get 3,000 and therefore parents have the responsibility to disciple their kids; and they do, but they are not meant to do it alone.

We keep saying that church isn’t a building, it’s a community, but when we consistently and often exclusively share messages like this one, we reinforce that idea that church is a place we go 40 times a year for an hour at a time.

We can’t have it both ways.

If church is a community of faith committed to doing life together, then church should be in the schools, the homes, the playgrounds, the neighborhoods, the restaurants, the grocery stores, the soccer fields, etc. Parents are the greatest influence; every study, secular or religious, shows us this. But limiting the church’s influence to only 40 hours a year says that church is nothing more than a building we go to once a week and the faith community is just the pastoral staff and volunteers that interact with our kids on that day?

What if the church was the greatest influence on parents/caregivers?

The influence of an involved and present faith community that prays for each other, interacts with each other, and disciples and mentors each other far beyond set meeting times of “church” can’t be measured by hours. And the support that the parents would feel from knowing they have this spiritual community surrounding them and joining them in the job of raising the next generation would be palpable.

So, who is influencing parents?

tablet-1075790_1920According to Pew Research, parents use social media heavily to find the advice, support, resources and understanding mentioned above.  74% of parents use social media to get support from their friends there.  Social media is broadly viewed as a source of useful information and as a parenting tool, with mothers using it as a parenting resource slightly more often than fathers. 59% of those surveyed said they had gotten parenting advice off of social media in the last 30 days.  And you know what is really interesting about this? Of their friends on Facebook, parents only qualified 50 of them as “actual” friends. 

That’s a lot of influence for people not even considered actual friends.

I truly believe the church can fill that gap. In fact, I think the church is supposed to fill that gap. I think church can be more. I think God meant it to be more. And I think as children and family ministers we have the awesome job of bringing that vision to the forefront in our church

I’d love to hear from you. How is your church doing this?  How is the faith community coming together in ways that reach beyond Sunday morning and Wednesday nights and connecting church and home all week long? I know that some churches are doing an amazing job of creating that support network around and for parents and families and I’d love to share that with a wider network. I am hopeful that my next blog post will offer some of those practical suggestions from all of you and from my own experience that will encourage all of us as we lead the next generation together.

We are called together, not apart. We are called in community, not separately.

We are called to be the body of Christ, joined and fitted together. Discipleship of the youngest generations is our job, collectively and individually. Let’s BE the church…together!


For more information about

Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.

About the author

Family(40)Christina Embree is 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. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family,  Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.