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Every month, Josh Breeden (our high school intern), works alongside Robbie and Alyssa in getting together parent resources and a ministry calendar for the month. I want to encourage you to read it to see what’s going on. If you don’t have a high school student, you can still take a look at it…you will then know how to pray for our high school students, volunteers, and staff. Click the link below.
I’m afraid too many parents have indulged and enabled their children to such an extent that they have helped create irresponsible and even narcissistic kids. When we have weak, inconsistent discipline and poor boundaries, kids just aren’t willing to grow up. This doesn’t mean teens shouldn’t be nurtured and affirmed, though. Every child needs parents who can be irrationally positive toward them. Yet at the same time, they need us to express expectations, set high standards, and hold them accountable. In other words, our kids need us to lead.
Leaders are consistent with their discipline and consistently express clear expectations. Discipline is fundamentally a matter of leadership. I have spoken to and studied leaders in all fields of life. One thing they have in common is consistency with their message. They role model what they expect and then they keep on task. With an excellent leader there is seldom a doubt about who is in charge and the purpose for what they are doing. Even though all parents aren’t business leaders, they are the leaders of their home. The question in many homes of rebellious teenagers is “Who’s in charge?” This question must be settled with everyone in the home, and the only healthy answer is that the parents must take the lead. Inconsistency or poor role modeling or guidance will place your kids in a leadership position that isn’t healthy for anyone.
What does leadership mean? It means a parent must eliminate any power struggle from the relationship. Resolve the authority issues. I tell people almost every week in parenting seminars, “Don’t argue and don’t fight with your kids.” It is way too difficult to mentor and lead if you and your children are fighting and arguing all the time.
We have a daughter who could win most of the arguments in our home. She is dynamic and articulate and can argue either side of an issue. When she was a teenager she like to argue for the sake of arguing and stretched the boundaries whenever possible. There were times she was just exhausting. Then one day a therapist friend gave us two words of advice: Quit arguing. Cathy and I had to learn to lead. If you think about it, people seldom argue with their leaders. We had to hold our ground and let our daughter know who was boss.
Holding your ground can be wearisome, but it is always worth it (although you probably already know this from your own life experience). To help communicate with our kids about discipline-related issues, Cathy and I came up with what I call “Confident Parenting Talking Points.” I wrote about them in greater detail in my book, Confident Parenting.
1. “I feel your pain.” If your children know your expectations and they break them, or if they suffer consequences from their poor decisions, let them know you care and that you feel their pain. You have empowered your teenager to make healthy decisions, but if she doesn’t do that, you can show her empathy while holding her accountable. In a recent HomeWord radio broadcast, John Rosemond shared what he told his kids: “If I was your age, I’d feel the same way. The answer is still no, but you are doing a great job expressing yourself.”
2. “Nevertheless.” This might be the most important word in the English language to show our kids who really is the leader. Yes, we do feel their pain and we are listening; nevertheless, the consequences are going to stay. Adapting John’s words to his kids, I’d say, “I can understand how you feel, and I might have felt the same way when I was your age. Nevertheless…”
3. “Life isn’t fair.” The sooner your kids understand that life isn’t fair, and that whining and complaining won’t get them what they want, they will quit trying the make-it-fair game. Whenever you can, let reality be the teacher for your kids. If whining and manipulating works for a child, even some of the time, it is the parent who has to live with the consequences. Here are some more wise words John Rosemond shared in one of our radio broadcasts together: “Parents should not agonize over what a child fails to do or does, if the child is perfectly capable of agonizing over it themself.” Whatever your child’s age, it’s about time they learn the truth that life isn’t always fair, but it sure can be good.
Excerpted from Teenology by Jim Burns (Bethany House).
Current 5th Grade Students | May 19
May 19 will be the first day your students will officially promote to the middle school ministry. The morning will start with middle school worship at 9:15 in room 106. Many in the middle school ministry (kids and parents) sit together at the 10:45 service half way up the balcony on the right side (as you walk into the worship center).
The morning will conclude at noon when 5th grade students and parents are invited to take part in the Knighting Ceremony. We will have lunch in the gym with the ceremony to follow. Each student will be challenged as they are knighted and we will conclude with a final challenge to the students and parents from me. We hope you can make it!
Current 8th Grade Students | May 19
This will be the first day your students will not attend MSM Worship. I (Seth) am going to miss them terribly. But I know that Robbie & Alyssa will take good care of them in the high school ministry (at least they better). HSM Worship meets at 10:45 in room 106. They sit together at the 9:15 service. When you walk into the worship center for the 9:15 service, look up and to the right in one of the pods and you’ll see Robbie and his big beard!
All Other Kids | August 18
Promotion for all other kids in CFC Kids ministry will be August 18. Look for further communication from our fearless CFC Kids Director, Mike Lagenour, as that date approaches!
Many of us have tried and tried to do family devotions and have failed. If this is you, you are not alone. There is no prescribed way to spend time in the Word of God as a family. Some have weekly family worship, some have Bible study together every night, and some do things totally different. The important thing is that you are in the Word together.
As a family ministry, we want to help you by providing resources. They may work for your family context or they may not. If they don’t work for your family, don’t think you’ve automatically done something wrong. Just keep trying until you find something that works for you!
Click on the image to see one of the resources that are available to you. If you like what you see, you can download and print it for each member of your family OR you can pick some up at the Welcome Center on Sunday morning. Be sure to read the instructions at the beginning.
We love you and are praying for our families at CFC!
In March, we updated you that the elders were seeking God’s direction for CFC in the area of leading worship in our main services. You may recall CFC and Dana had a one year agreement for him to be an artist in residence. That agreement ends soon. We asked you to pray, and we believe God has answered those prayers. We are pleased to let you know where we believe He has led us.
Uncharted International is headquartered here in Evansville, and is one of our missions partners. This winter, they are taking 2 short term trips to Myanmar and have invited CFC attenders to apply to go. They are looking for medical and dental professionals, teachers, and those who can do construction, crafts, college teaching, and sports.
Last week, our elders had a chance to get away on Friday night and Saturday to seek the Lord on behalf of CFC. We were challenged spiritually, and we prayed for the direction and future of CFC. Some of our take-aways were: